Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- Virginia Senator Dick Black has been working with Virginia Citizens Defense League (EM Hal Macklin and me ) in drafting a bill that allows local government employees to be able to carry concealed at work if they have a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP).
The bill is now complete and ready to be introduced shortly! Senator Black's bill, if it had been law earlier this year, would have definitely saved lives during the Virginia Beach massacre. And that's if the massacre was even attempted in the first place, with the murderer knowing that there were lots of armed employees in Building #2.
Senator Black has always been a strong believer in our right to keep and bear arms. Even though he has decided to retire, he's not pulling any punches, even now, in fighting to protect innocent life in Virginia.
We owe him a debt of gratitude, not only for his service in the military, but for his work to protect our right to self-defense over the years. He will be missed and whomever takes his place has some seriously large shoes to fill.
Other pro-self-defense bills are on their way, as well. Watch for alerts on bills as they hit. Do any associated action items in the alerts as soon as you can!
Recap of the VCDL meetings in Fredericksburg and Virginia Beach on Tuesday
More than 45 people showed up at the VCDL Fredericksburg meeting and more than 60 at the Virginia Beach meeting (standing room only). Patricia Webb ran the Fredericksburg meeting (thanks, Pat!) and I ran the Virginia Beach meeting. We compared notes and found both had similarly engaged members, asking important questions to the legislators that spoke at each meeting.
Senator Bill DeSteph and Delegate Glenn Davis both spoke and fielded a host of questions from attendees. Around 1/3 of those attending were not yet VCDL members and many told me they are now joining after attending the meeting and seeing what VCDL is all about.
At one point Senator DeSteph asked some questions about suppressors that apparently normally stump people. Not our members! He was impressed with just how knowledgeable everyone was at the meeting.
Senator DeSteph said that what has been written about the latency time for police to get into the Virginia Beach Government Building #2 is wrong. He went over the time line with us. Bottom line was that the locked doors did not keep the police from getting to the murderer – he was not behind them when the police got there. Once the shooting was over, the police breached all locked doors as they look for victims or any accomplices.
DeSteph and Davis both said that a large turnout at the General Assembly next week, as well as at the polls in November, is critical. They also stressed that personal letters or emails that explain how a bill will affect the writer are best. I said that if someone wants to customize the VCDL pre-written email text to make it more personal, to put the personal text AT THE BEGINNING OF THE EMAIL and not at the end.
Pat covers many of the other topics that we discussed in Virginia Beach in her writeup, below. I'll not repeat them here. I'll highlight in red some of the common themes.
Thanks to Board member Gary Moeller and EM Brendon Mooney for helping with arrangements and thanks to everyone who attended! Thanks as well to Senator DeSteph and Delegate Davis for speaking to the group and answering questions.
Pat Webb's meeting recap:
We started out with Mark Cole addressing the audience. He spoke of the challenges ahead in this special session and reminded everyone of the tenuous balance of power. He stressed that we must make every effort to block bad bills in committee because if they get to the floor and we have just one no-show or one person who usually votes with us that flips, we could see some of these bad bills pass. And if they do, Northam will surely sign them into law.
We also reminded people that when they are communicating with legislators that DO vote the right way, please be sure to acknowledge that. A little thanks goes a long way. Everyone likes a pat on the back, and those in the GA are no different. Del. Cole answered many questions, and we thank him for taking the time to attend the meeting.
Candidate Paul Milde had a work-related emergency that he had to deal with, but he sent a representative from his campaign who also spoke with our group. He told us that Mr. Milde is 100% ready to stand up for our rights, and believes wholeheartedly in the right to keep and bear arms, and not just for “sporting” purposes.
We then moved on to the topic of the Special Session and our plans for July 9th. We looked at maps showing parking, our staging area, how teams will form and where to hook up with others for car-pooling. (If you are on Facebook there is an event page for the Special Session Lobby Day) Another question that has been popping up with some regularity is handicap parking. Those with placards or handicap tags may park in metered spaces for up to 4 hours without feeding the meter.
Strategy was discussed, as well as the fact that every one of the Senators and Delegates, and also the Governor, Lt. Governor and Commonwealth Attorney swore an oath to uphold both the Virginia and United States Constitution. While some contend that the militia means the US Military, the evidence shows that this is not the case. The militia is the common man. Historical evidence supports this and the courts have increasingly been referring to the original intent in the context of when the US Constitution was written.
It was pointed out that our General Assembly is responsible for naming the Judges for Virginia courts. So, as you can see, the upcoming election…and EVERY election…is more important than simply who decides on which legislation passes or fails. In addition, there will be some redistricting next session, and those decisions are also made by the General Assembly. When these lines are drawn it can radically impact the balance of power.
So our take-away was that, while the July 9th Lobby Day is vitally important, it is only a first step. We must all be more active. Volunteer for campaigns. Write letters to editors. Attend committee meetings if you can. Be active in our LOCAL government functions as well as at the state level. This is how you have an impact.
One final topic that we discussed is education. Knowledge is power. Sharing the love of the shooting sports and educating people that, when handled properly, firearms are safe and useful tools will do much to further our rights. We, as a community, must address the safety aspect and do what we can to prevent accidental injury. That can only be done by educating others on safe handling practices. Start with your own children. Get involved in 4-H shooting clubs or youth programs at your local range. Be an ambassador of good will. The dividends are immeasurable.
I am grateful to everyone who attended last night, and would like to offer special thanks to Sam Houchins for setting up the meeting, and to the folks who set up the room and cleaned up afterwards. The meeting was a huge success, thanks to the efforts of many volunteers.
About Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL):
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.
For more information, visit: www.vcdl.org.