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(courtesy CSGV)

Campaign to Stop Gun Violence Press Release:

VCDL rallies armed pro-gun activists to attend meeting of McLean Citizens Association

McLean, VA—The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), a radical pro-gun group based out of Midlothian, Virginia, rallied numerous pro-gun activists to travel to McLean last night to attend a meeting of The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) during which the location of a gun store next to a local elementary school was discussed. The nature of the VCDL response, which included armed individuals and a customized RV depicting a threatening image of Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui-Cho, made it clear the that effort was intended to intimidate McLean residents and elected officials who want the store to relocate . . .

The issue at hand involves gun dealer James Gates’ store, NoVA Firearms, which is located at 1389 Chain Bridge Road in McLean, Virginia, immediately next door to Sherman Elementary School. This has drawn vocal opposition from citizens in the community, who organized a large protest in front of the store on September 26, 2015.  Fairfax County Board of Supervisors member John Foust has also publicly stated he would like to see the store relocate. Gates previously sought to locate his business in the Cherrydale section of Arlington, but had his lease cancelled by landlord Kostas Kapasouris after intense pressure from local residents.

On Tuesday, VCDL President Philip Van Cleave sent an alert out to VCDL members across the state asking them to attend the MCA meeting. “There are apparently nine parents who fear the safety of their children, who go to school near the gun store. <eye roll>,” Van Cleave wrote, adding, “WE MUST MAKE SURE MCA HEARS FROM PEOPLE OTHER THAN THE GUN HATERS!!”

The MCA held their meeting at the McLean Community Center and planned to “discuss [the community’s] way forward” on the issue of the gun store, stating in their announcement, “Our community must find ways to balance the legitimate equities of this business with the understandable fears of parents. Both deserve respect. Because this is a community issue, MCA should do what we can to find middle ground.”

VCDL members , however, made such an open discussion impossible. Several VCDL members entered the McLean Community Center yesterday evening armed, including one man who stood in the back of the room during the meeting carrying a rifle. A pro-gun activist also parked a customized RV in front of the center with a large picture of gun-wielding Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui-Cho depicted on its side and the words, “BLOODSHED IN THE WOMB SHOOTERS LEAD TO BLOODSHED IN THE STREETS 2ND AMENDMENT DISARM CITIZENS STUPID DECISION.” The RV also listed the website, which belongs to Matt Trewhella, an insurrectionist pastor at Mercy Seat Christian Church in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area and the founder of Missionaries to the Preborn. Trewhella’s website slogan reads, “divine laws trump human ones.”

James Gates and a lawyer with Arsenal Attorneys, Matthew Bergstrom, were also present at the meeting. Bergstrom could be seen at the meeting whispering into Van Cleave’s ear. Arsenal specializes in pro-gun litigation.

In response to this intimidation, MCA members voted unanimously to table discussion of the gun store at the meeting and conduct a study on its potential impacts on neighborhood safety. That study is due in a month.

Additionally, at least two families have now pulled their children out of Sherman Elementary after receiving threats from pro-gun activists due to their participation in the September 26 protest at NoVA Firearms. “Our parents are frightened. As a school board member, I am frightened,” Fairfax County School Board Member Janie Strauss told CBS News.

“What we are seeing in McLean is local, democratic government being crowded out by armed insurrectionists who want to send a clear message; ‘Go too far with your gun store campaign and there could be consequences,’” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV). “Intimidation like this has no place in our democracy; a lesson our Founders made clear in the wake of Shays’ Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion.”

“As a survivor of gun violence, I was horrified to see photos from last night’s meeting in McLean,” said CSGV Virginia State Director Lori Haas, whose daughter Emily was shot and injured during the Virginia Tech shooting. “To bring guns to this meeting and invoke the image of the Virginia Tech shooter is beyond the pale.”

Several photos taken by an attendee of the meeting have been pasted below. More can be obtained by sending a request to [email protected].

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. CSGV can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. Gun microaggressions causing victimhood. Please… everything is intimidating to these cowards. More sensationalizing of their victimhood.

    The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) seeks to secure freedom from gun violence…

    Yep… secure freedom from gun ownership with laws, rules, and regulation. That definitely is the defining characteristic of “freedom.”

  2. Hmm, the RV may have been a bit over the top.

    Note: I said “…may have been…” I’m perfectly willing to be convinced otherwise.

    • The rifle was also an unnecessary distraction. Just because you have a right to do something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

      I have attended more than my share of public meetings and presided over more than a hundred. I’m quite familiar with the dynamics of an emotionally-charged issue in such a venue. My general recommendations are:
      1. A large group of people, with uniform clothing (or pins or stickers) to identify the group, is a powerful tool.
      2. Be silent, respectful, courteous, and avoid becoming a disruption.
      3. Choose a spokesman to speak for the group. Someone who is calm, polite, and doesn’t sound like a raving lunatic when he speaks. This is more effective than allowing each person to speak for themselves.

      From the looks of things, I think the VCDL followed this formula (except for the rifle). Kudos!

      • As a VCDL Executive Member, I can confirm that that IS, in fact, the VCDL formula, Curtis. Every time, all the time. Would have been nice if we were dressed more uniformly, but oh well. We don’t do T’s anymore, and not everyone can drop $25 on a polo.

        I personally to agree with you on OC of rifles. Get folks thoroughly used to handguns, THEN up the ante. However, VCDL adamantly supports legal ownership in ALL its forms. Terrell is a stand up fellow, and he made DAMNED sure that the rifle was not only unloaded, but action open. He is actually a great ambassador for us. He is known as, “The San Francisco Liberal with a Gun!”

        The guy with the homemade RV is not anyone I know. Posting three or four foot square pictures of the Va. Tech gunman on the side of a truck is a DUMBASS thing to do! Not only does it offend folks affected by the atrocity, it gives that little shit the fame he sought. I acknowledge NO kinship with that dumbassery!

        • That’s what happens when an Internet-wide appeal for support is made. You end up with unpredictable respondents and local people who are close bye with too much time on their hands. This particular ass-hat alone did more damage than all of the positive effects from the other supporters combined.

          I was the civic association president in a nearby Arlington community for five years and know these neighborhoods and societies therein. It is the highest concentration of NIMBYS outside of California. In 2002 I was OC on a trip to the bank to pick up a cash payroll of $10K and the bank was freaking out (VA was an OC/no permit state back then) and called the lender who wrote the check to demand that I no longer come in armed, whereupon he told them that he was armed every time he came in, except it was concealed, and when I came in the next time, I told the bank manager that he was being blindly hypocritical when he uses armed security to guard his institution’s assets and employees during armored truck visits.

        • It’s just like the protests against I-594 in Olympia. All the flyers, mailings etc (which were collectively issued by NRA, SAF and others) calling to action specifically asked people to be respectful, dress nicely, and not open carry rifles, to project a serious, professional, non-nutty image.

          Guess what was the first thing you saw when you actually got to the Capitol? Loads of people openly carrying rifles. Mostly “military-style” – AR, AK, FAL, CETME etc. Some even went into the Capitol itself and stood on the balcony of the chamber with the guns slung on the back…

          What would your average gun-neutral WA citizen take away from such a picture? Why, that people opposing I-594 are mostly gun nuts who are trying to literally intimidate the legislators with guns. Just as the anti-gun propaganda had told them. So clearly it must be right on all the other things, too!

          Stupid. So fυcking stupid. Like a child throwing a tantrum.

    • Admittedly the RV may have been a Chipotle Ninja over-step, and I didn’t follow the links – was there a picture of the van? Is it as ridiculous as described?

  3. I’m a member; we’re hardly radical.

    The VCDL newsletter/email of this morning indicated it was the antis who behaved rudely and disrupted the forum.

  4. Its just another store selling a legitimate product.
    Stop complaining already. Its not like a kid can just walk inside…………

  5. Gee, the antis condone the SWATting of gun owners but get upset if rights supporters turn out in support of a business that may get railroaded out of its premises. Hmmm, SWATting versus sitting quietly and listening to the discussion. Yeah, no difference there at all and those mean evil gun owners should STFU.

    [insert head-banging emoji here]

  6. Good. Fascists should be intimidated, the same way they and their overlords seek to intimidate us. Since when do free people care what subjects and fascists think?

    They started this war with their illegal laws, coercion, and violence. Now they’re getting weak kneed when we fight back. Too bad. Should’ve thought about that before you declared war on innocent people and the concept of liberty.

    Subhuman scum like CSGV shouldn’t even be allowed to speak about the founding fathers. If the FF existed today, they’d be ashamed that the CSGV has been allowed to exist.

  7. Gee in Springfield,IL 3000pro-gun folks show up with 3 hours notice on a gun vote-THAT is intimidating. When push comes to shove there are MORE of us who care…

    • If a public law was being voted on with only 3 hours public notice, it could hardly be a bona fide enforceable law. The public government standards require 30+ days notice advertised locally, barring emergency/exigency circumstances.

      • Mark Lee I see you’re unfamiliar with Illinois-that state that voted in a massive state income tax increase in the middle of the night. “Temporary” we were told. You do understand Illinois and Chicago is (perhaps) the most corrupt place in America? And Barry Soetoro came from here…the Chicago Way.

        • “Barry Soetoro came from here”

          THAT fact was NEVER lost on me. I just don’t get how the rest of our country ignored, overlooked, forgot it.

          …a “community organizer” from a corrupt bureaucracy, yeah, great choice for president.

        • FWW, do you just want to engage in a meaningless exchange over semantics that you apparently misinterpreted? I never said that corrupt politicians never abuse privilege or the law. I just said that when done in that manner it shouldn’t enjoy the support of the people and deserves public scrutiny into the “exigent” circumstances requiring such immediacy without public discourse. Please, argue with the anti-gun rhetoric, not the little comments that contribute to that purpose – because in my case, it doesn’t go over well when I have to consider whether someone is simply a troll.

  8. If half the people around me knew my shirts were pro-2A they’d crap a brick. They are gun shirts but you have to know guns to get the meaning, i.e. ENDO shirts, etc…

      • I really don’t understand people advocating for total government control over the individual, helplessness against oppression, and the elimination of basic human rights calling other people Nazis. Are you really that insanely stupid?

        Is your next stop an entrepreneurial website to call all the free market capitalists Communists?

        I miss trolls like mikebnumbers. He was wrong about everything, but he at least exhibited a glimmer of human intelligence.

  9. Does anybody besides other blogs, like TTAG, even read the CSGV “press releases”? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if those loons have jumped the shark already.

  10. Gun owners like me are getting to the point where they are sick and tired of being marginalized and portrayed as mentally ill, paranoid survivalists murderers and are starting to get organized and politically involved to fight back and stop this “common sense legislative” nonsense. Guess what, crybabies are offended and upset that someone has stomped their feet and said NO! Well cry me a river. God forbid your child sees a gun store. That would, like, imply that guns are part of the society… But… but… EVERYONE must feel uneasy upon sighting of a firearm. This gun culture must be changed! F U.

    The last thing I want to do is deal with this BS. I go about my life – while carrying a gun. No one ever sees it and no one ever will, unless they put me in a situation where I’m concerned about well being of myself or people I love. I’m not a cop, I don’t get involved. I offend someone by no fault of mine? Well, I apologize and walk away. Leave me alone as I leave you alone. The last thing I wanna do is spend time arguing on forums, getting involved and spending time fighting for the right that is NOT up to discussion in the first place. I am free man. And I’m not going to walk away from this one. /end of rant

    P.S.: I just donated more money to NRA. Next time I read BS like this, I’m sending a gift to GOA. And so on.

    • That’s the way fascists work. They simply cannot live and let live, and leave people alone. The existence of free people offends their quest for statist total control. They don’t hate you because you’re a gun owner. They hate you because you’re not a weak, cowardly slave like they are, and your existence reminds them of how pathetic they are.

      • The sad thing is they think they’re free… Freedom isn’t required to keep men pacified, the illusion of freedom will suffice.

    • Silver: Yes, that is precisely it. They want everyone to be tolerant and stuff, as long as their opinions don’t differ. Then you should be shamed and intimidated until you get back in the line. What does it remind me of, hmm?

      P.S.: Sorry for all the typos

    • You don’t want to be portrayed as paranoid gun-crazy murders yet you applaud a group that acts like neo-Nazis and who came armed. Terrific.

      I wonder how long it’s going to be before someone shoots someone else over this, and I’m betting that there’s a good chance it will be an armed anti- popping some pro-ammosexual redneck out of a sense of self defense.

      • No, I just don’t think that carrying a gun, whether openly or in a concealed manner is intimidation. I also don’t see what is wrong with showing up in numbers for a political meeting. How is MDA organizing rallies during legislative events any different from this? I think that you are using double standards, friend.

      • Actually, it’s your psychotic ilk that do all the shooting. We need guns to defend ourselves from you.

        So, walking into a place with an inert piece of metal and polymer is more intimidating than the fascists there trying to destroy a man and eliminate basic human rights? It’s unreal how screwed up you are.

        There’s nothing more American than intimidating and fighting against fascists. I take pleasure in seeing your subhuman kind scared, paranoid, and desperate. You’re all monstrous mockeries of humanity and deserve nothing but scorn.

        • And for the record, I don’t care at all how I’m portrayed. What free man cares how fascists and slaves portray them? I know who I am and that’s all that matters. Your lies and propaganda change nothing.

          It’s called confidence, something your kind can never understand. You’re too busy being frightened of stamped metal.

        • After taking a few moments to reflect on my outburst, I realize that you simply don’t understand that we all want to be left alone. Antis coming at people like us – people who have never hurt anyone, will never hurt anyone, and only want what this nation’s Constitution guarantees us – is akin you you demonizing car enthusiasts because of people killed by drunk drivers, and wanting to take their cars, except doubly so because cars are not a natural right.

          We are not criminals. We are not killers. We are simply tired of simpleminded lemmings letting politicians demonize us to further their agenda. We show up at meetings like this and passionately speak our minds not to threaten or intimidate, but to stand up and let ourselves be heard. Get to actually know some real gun people rather than believe biased media and you might see that.

        • Maybe he hasn’t, but he is right, they also work with intimidation. I have faced them at protests here and they can get very intimidating.
          And really if you want to be portrayed differently then you currently are, why play easy to get?

      • So let’s for a second pretend you actually know anything about the being/idea/whatever that you base your online persona on, i.e. God. Every single living organism has at least one if not many means of self-defense. The overriding instinct of all life is to survive first, then to procreate. God gave that instinct for survival to every living organism in the world. Survival almost always involves killing because life feeds on life so to keep from being food creatures developed ways to protect themselves. Guns are one way man can protect themselves from being killed by predators, a much more effective way than mere words (“laws”) will. Most humans do not have any desire to prey upon other humans but all humans have a desire to live.

  11. The most entertaining part about this (forgetting certain people’s desires to eliminate law-abiding citizen’s right to armed self-defense) are the reactions from both sides of the table. Click on the photo, it takes you to the source article, and read the “discussion” comments there. They are the exact opposite of what we see in almost every TTAG comment section. Maybe you disagree, but it really seems like those speaking the loudest on either side of the table are on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum, the “extremists”, so to speak. I don’t often see or hear from people on the fence, but based on the small percentage of people commenting and speaking out, the fence riders might make up a good portion of the population. Perhaps we should try to convince (think constructive criticism, or Sara Tipton’s “sandwich method”) the fence riders of the pros of armed self-defense, and also the cons of a gun free American (think the UK and Australia). Some people are too far gone to bring back to the Armed Side, but there are some definitely worth trying to save. Before its too late.

  12. “Our parents are frightened. As a school board member, I am frightened,” Fairfax County School Board Member Janie Strauss told CBS News.

    I’m not frightened, but I am sad that our country has turned into a nation of Prozak-addled soccer moms and metrosexual almost-males, both of whom are long on estrogen and short on brains and guts.

    • This is the unfortunate side effect of a free society. Those who are too weak, stupid, or evil to be curators of a free nation are still allowed to gain power.

  13. It’s a difficult decision. Do we keep the strong, polite and urbane tactic going? Or do we get a little more obvious? The risk of course is descending to their level of gibbering insanity.

    • So, being a man, with a brain, and using both, could result in becoming one of “them?”

      That seems mutually exclusive to the point of dividing by zero…

  14. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) seeks to secure freedom from freedom through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy.

    • @Indiana Tom: Along with a lot of misinformation and propaganda. But I am sure that is not stated in their official goals.

  15. One of them guns in the gun store next to the school might go off and kill a child. Think of the children…. Children should not have to cower with a gun bully store next door. Children are entitled to be in gun free zones with little plastic signs. They will feel safe. If you feel safe, then you are safe.

  16. “We must respect both sides of the issue”….why respect or give time, or be psychologist for mass irrational fear invoking social sterilization.

    Since when did a lawful self protection store become bad regardless where it’s located?

    Am I crossing the geezer threshold or Americans just devolving into weak, babbling, sniveling excuse

    • That was really nothing more than a platitude to soften the blow, when they have to tell these shrieking idiots that there is nothing to do. Every member at the executive table looked for all the world like a man standing in front of a foot high pile of shit, and boxed in back and sides. They REALLY wanted NOTHING to do with this. One member, Darren Ewing, even said, “Are they zoned properly? Are they in compliance with all regulations?” Before he even heard a “YES”, he threw his hands up and chuckled!

  17. The deeper issue is that these fascists think that the 2A is “open for discussion.” No, basic rights are not open for discussion.

    Let’s ask them if reinstituting slavery, eliminating women’s right to vote, and stoning homosexual people are also open for discussion.

  18. I am disappointed in VCDL’s approach to this. Northern Virginia is the safest urbanized area in North America. They should have been passing out comparitive crime stats for the region and nationally. It would have given lie to the claim that more guns equal more violence.

    Their approach to defending Second Amendment Rights was as incomplete as those who believe training for selling defense is all about the gun.

    • Because if there’s one thing antis respect, it’s logical arguments based on facts and statistics…

      • You aren’t trying to convince the committed antis. You want to influence the undecideds. Facts matter to them and the facts are on our side. VCDL went after the wrong target.

    • Safest urbanized region in the nation?

      Yeah, that’s why NoVa has an MS-13 problem, and Richmond has a, a, a hooker problem.

      • Last year Arlington and Fairfax Counties, and the Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church had a murder rate of less than 1 per 100000.

        MS -13 isn’t a street gang. They are like the mafia; they don’t shoot up the neighborhood and if you stay out their business they stay of yours. Prostitution is a victimless crime so what does a hooker problem have to do with your safety unless of course that’s how you get laid.

  19. Not sure if those pictures came from the original article or not but they appear to be cherry picked. The guy with the frown who they seem to have caught at a bad moment (maybe he really needed to go to the bathroom?) and the guy with the rifle standing at the back. So, ignore all the normal looking people and focus on the few that might elicit an emotional response ? Is that the tactic ?

    • If anyone was actually doing anything “intimidating,” they would have posted a shot of it. But no, it’s just people at a meeting, mouths shut, listening. No arms waving, fingers pointing, or mouths shouting.

      This is the best CSGV can come up with. Pathetic.

      • People wanting to do be left alone is very intimidating to the fascist agenda. Can’t have people thinking they’re not state property, after all.

  20. Somebody please explain why its NOT OK to open a gun-store next to a school, but it IS OK to open a school next to a gun-store.

    • That (racetrack/airport/gun range/concert venue/any other noisy thing), which has been there for decades before I built my house next to it, has to go because the noise is too much!

  21. Here’s VCDL’s update they sent out, really not surprised by the behavior from the gun haters.

    1. Recap of Wednesday’s meeting of the McLean Citizens Association regarding NOVA Firearms

    Last night VCDL flooded the meeting of the McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board meeting, where the MCA was going to decide what to do, if anything, about NOVA Firearms moving their store near a k-12 school. A few parents, who clearly didn’t know anything at all about guns, were actually concerned about the gun store being near the school.

    (If those parents would simply take about 20 minutes to go visit the gun store, they would find their fears are totally unfounded.)

    Members wearing VCDL “Guns Save Lives” stickers vastly outnumbered the other side, who were sporting some small black-on-white stickers.

    At the beginning of the meeting the board chairman told the attendees that the board was not taking any public input on the NOVA Firearms matter. He said the board would be discussing it that evening, which they did as the last item on their agenda.


    The chairman had asked everyone to please be quiet as the board held its meeting.

    While gun owners were respectfully silent, one of the antis yelled at the top of his lungs from the back of the room (paraphrasing): “This guy (pointing to someone in front of him) has TWO GUNS!!! Do you allow GUNS at your meetings!?! Officer – are GUNS LEGAL here?!!”

    The room broke out in laughter! If I hadn’t been so polite and not wanting to take part in interrupting their meeting, I had wanted to say, “Will everyone who is carrying a gun please raise their hand?”

    The police officer at the front of the room, who is there for all the MCA meetings, said it was perfectly legal. One of the board members applauded that.

    The meeting continued until another self-important anti interrupted the meeting, first demanding in a loud voice that she be told details about a committee being created and then demanding that one of the board members who was speaking stand up and face the attendees so she could hear him! Excuse me, but this is the MCA’s board meeting, they don’t have to change how they run their meeting to accommodate you, madam! Sit down and shut up. I hope she tries that at a committee meeting at the General Assembly. I’ll be sure to have some popcorn ready as I sit back and enjoy the show.

    All the antis rude shenanigans always make me all the more proud of the decorum of VCDL members.


    Reading faces, it was pretty clear to many of us that the MCA really didn’t want anything to do with the whole affair. I believe that they do want to placate the fearsome parents, so they created an ad-hoc committee to look into what, if anything, the MCA should do. The committee will report back next month.

    We’ll be watching and waiting.

    Thanks to all of you who came out, create that sea of orange and standing up for freedom!

    Photos of the meeting are now posted on the home page of the VCDL web site.

  22. “Our community must find ways to balance the legitimate equities of this business with the understandable fears of parents.”

    Just what, exactly, are those understandable fears? Are they hassling the gas station on the corner for selling the fuel for car crashes? What about the grocery store down the block which sells tobacco products?

    Where’s the equal protection of the law when this shop can be run out on a rail for selling a legal and necessary product? What are they teaching those kids, anyway? While you think about that, think about this: It is only because of those guns that our children (especially the girls) even can attend school.

    • The modern proclivity to “understand” and give “respect” to the insane opinions and stupid ramblings of anyone and everyone is why this country’s gone to pot. There’s a time when people have to be told to sit down, shut up, and grow a brain.

  23. A “radical pro gun group”?
    We need to start giving them an appropriate name.
    Radical communist group?
    Radical fascist group?
    Radical anti-freedom whack jobs?

    • When it comes to whack-job “moms,” the best thing to do is buy them an appropriate libation. I’m thinking vinegar and water.

  24. If it were my biz, i would gladly relocate to a City provided site, (appropriately comparable) if
    the City were to provide adequate tax relief incentives.

    If the citizens want to change things, they should do it at their own cost, indemnifying the lawful business from any loss of income or incurred expenses.

    Somehow i dont think thats what they have in mind.

  25. As a lifelong gun owner/shooter, and a firm believer in the second amendment, I believe that intimidating protests against gun laws are not in most gun owners best interest. They just give the anti-gun types more ammunition to use against us. While I believe in total gun rights, I am not into the ‘militia” mindset. Even I see them as a threat. I also believe in self defense. But a large group of people going around carrying rifles scares me about as much as someone breaking into my house at night.

    I ride motorcycles too, but always ride alone, and make it as clear as possible that I am a motorcyclist or a rider, NOT a “biker” That word conjurs up images of outlaw motorcycle gangs, which are definitely not a good representation of your average rider.

  26. I am the man who was OC’ing that rifle. Yes, the San Francisco Liberal With A Gun is none other than myself.

    Why did I OC that rifle? It turns out that rifle is a Finnish Mosin-Nagant M39, date-stamped 1941, that very likely saw combat against Stalin’s Soviet hordes during the Russo-Finnish “Continuation War”. When all was said and done, Finland remained a free nation…precisely because the Finns had their rifles and could fight back. I’m talking about Simo Hayha’s pals and comrades. So, that rifle was specifically chosen for that night because it is a symbol of liberty. NOVA Firearms, a perfectly legal business, has every right to exist in its present location.

    I was asked about the rifle later that evening by a member of the local press, and his subsequent coverage was remarkably unbiased and even-handed. Here is the link to his article.

    And, as Bob Sadtler has pointed out, I made damned sure the action was open and nothing in the tube, for safety reasons.

    – T

    • That’s a nice story… but it does nothing to undo the gift you handed the anti-gun crowd because you wanted to be the center of attention.

      Optics, always think about the optics.

      • That’s what they said to Black people in Montgomery, AL and other places, too, during the Civil Rights Movement days. “Think of how you look, Negroes, don’t intimidate White people with your militant sit-ins and protests!” So, I respectfully disagree with your assertion here.

  27. They claim they want “discussion and debate”, yet they reject the mere presence of those of us who carry guns. Just by peacefully showing up, even with our weapons concealed, we’re called bullies who are trying to intimidate. This is our everyday public dress!

    Oh, and that guy wearing a “guns save lives” sticker, so intimidating. “By wearing that sticker that disagreed with my beliefs, he frightened me and I had to retreat to my safe space where no one ever challenges what I say and I’m infantilized. What a Nazi he was to cause me emotional harm by exposing me to his different opinions without so much as a trigger warning.”

  28. I have a recommendation for the committee:

    Find a good educator who can develop lesson plans based on the store’s presence to show the kids how critical self-defense has been in the course of U.S. history, including as star attractions the Deacons for Defense who were the unseen backbone of the Civil Rights movement and the fact that when Britain needed firearms to face the Nazis, it was American gun owners who first responded by sending weapons to arm against totalitarianism.

    For older students, add a study of the militia concept as understood by the Founding Fathers, and why they considered an armed citizenry essential.

  29. There is, no joke, three gun stores next to our local elementary school. No shootings so far, can you believe it?

    • I remember an incident when I was in elementary school when people would have welcomes having a gun store next to the school: some escaped felons were on the loose and believed to be armed. No one thought they would be targetting schools (I don’t think we had that kind of animal in the country back then), but even so there were a batch of folks temporarily deputized and set to keep watch over us.

  30. When patriotic Italians had to deal with the Brownshirts and patriotic French had to contend with pro-Nazi sympathizers they discovered that it was more effective to intimidate the family members of their enemies than to confront armed thugs head on. Beatings, disappearances, destruction of property – that sort of thing occurred. And it made the thugs rethink their actions.

    My suspicions are that if those ammosexual thugs (i.e. future FEMA camp residents) don’t act in a civil manner the patriotic citizens of that town that believe in the rule of law will take things into their own hands.

  31. Oh, come on.

    The correct response to that press release is a followup press release, immediately, as in not more than the next day, refuting the exaggerations point by point, with independent evidence, as in recordings, minutes, contemporaneous notes, and interviews at the time.

    Essentially fisk the thing. If you can’t – if they have a leg to stand on with any of these claims – you’re doing it wrong.

    Advocacy is a skill, not a hobby, and if you care about the issue, not a personal indulgence. If you’re gonna advocate against gun prohibition, do it right. (As one resource, take the ACORN playbooks exposed during President Obama’s first term. Drop in your favorite policy or issue for theirs – find / replace is easy with these computer things. Then, follow the playbook.)

    The point of something that might provoke a media response *is that media response*, so know what you are going to do with it. For Bog’s Sake Mothers of Whatever had that frakking press release written before the event. See what happens, and if you get some fodder, drop in the nouns and publish the thing.

    Also, the pivot point is here:

    “Our community must find ways to balance the legitimate equities of this business with the understandable fears of parents.”

    — Where’s “customers” as in people who want to own and use guns who will be restricted by restricting the vendor?

    — The word is rights. Rights of legitimate businesses to do legitimate business. Also of legitimate, lawful citizens to do legitimate, lawful things.

    — The fact of some parents’ fear is a unfortunate. Maybe you should stop stoking people’s baseless fears.

    Whether this fear is reasonable, is the point. You don’t want to see guns, because they scare you – OK, that’s one argument. Gun store “near” the school has what effect on actual safety? Use facts. I’ll wait. (Try statistics of gun crimes in schools vs. proximity of legal gun sellers. Maybe a heat map of incidents using guns, with gun stores flagged. For completeness, include violence by other means, and DGUs. Still waiting.)

    — What is the basis in law for this group’s assumed authority to regulate, meaning effectively forbid, this private, lawful action, by private individuals?

    Concerned neighbors, nobody much minds, whatever they are concerned about. False flag, and outside agents, creating a drama for their agenda … pisses everybody off. So, before you call them on the wording (I’ll bet fed to the admini-thing quoted, if not flat-out cherry-picked or fabricated in the press release) call them out on …

    Wow, that press release came out quick. How’s they do that? It’s almost like this was the point. Also, that community board has a PR shop?

    Oh, that press release is from an advocacy organization. So, what’ the community group have to say?

    If you’re really clever, bring the press release to a conversation with the admini-drones, and ask whether this is their position. Suggest it looks like they are being used.

  32. It blows my mind how many pro-gun groups and people are totally ignorant when it comes to “optics”; I would have expected the VCDL members from NOVA to be aware of this when they decided what to bring to this meeting.

    Just because you CAN OC a rifle doesn’t mean you should… especially at an event where there is likely to be media or groups that have shown a propensity to take things out of context or provide their own context/narrative.

    If you give the enemy the opportunity and the means to frame you in a negative way, they will take it and run with it.

    If you really want to stick it to the anti-gun groups, really get under their skin, and make them as ineffective as possible, show up in a button-down w/tie, Starbucks in hand, looking like you just got off of work; thus making it as difficult as possible to apply negative comments (even better if you are a women or minority).

    These fools carrying around rifles are “winning the battle but losing the war” because they are making the job of the enemy that much easier.

    The goal shouldn’t be “any rifle, any time, any where”, that goal is a bridge to far right now and a battle that would require too much and too long to win right now.

    What is within reach and will go a lot further than “I’m gonna carry my rifle because I can!” in the long run: OC of pistols as part of every day life by fine, upstanding citizens in everyday events.

  33. Note that anything that offends some is “beyond the pale” but when some groups and politicians dance in the blood of mass shooting victims to promote gun control BEFORE having facts in hand, that’s OK with most media and anti-fans.

  34. Arm the teachers. Level the playing field.
    No double standards put the DC politicians on Obamacare and SS.Thanks for your support and vote. I am a veteran and I know I am the best choice. Pass the word.

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