Comment Response

In response to this post, a reader from Israel (thanks for visiting, doubletapper) asked a valid question:

How would they ever have enforced the ban at outdoor public festivals?

Here in Israel, they just outlawed the riding of bicycles without a helmet. They never made any provision for enforcement. The cops say “How are we going to write tickets to 8 year olds? They have no ID?”

It must be an international requirement that Big Government has low IQ!

The short answer is, they can’t. They never really even INTEND to enforce such legislation against those who would be a danger…namely, criminals. The legislation was in direct result, and in support of, the harassment of law abiding gun owners.

Now the long answer (as my regular readers are well aware, brevity is not my strong suit):

I thought some history would be in order because I believe it’s indicative of how effective (and hated in some circles) the VCDL has become under the strong leadership of President Phillip Van Cleave, the Board, and the Executive Members.

All three of the bills that I noted in that last post were introduced in direct response to the VCDL and our activities.

The “outdoor festivals” ban was a reaction to the saga of VCDL and opencarry.org member Chet Szymecki. In a nutshell, Mr. Szymecki and his family attended a festival in Norfolk while openly carrying a defensive sidearm. Unbeknownst to them, the august Norfolk City Council had passed an (illegal) ordnance banning firearms at said festival. Mr. Szymecki was (illegally) accosted, (illegally) detained and (illegally) arrested and his family and a friend’s two children under their care were left stranded with no vehicle, no money and no help. The charges against him were pretty quickly dropped but VCDL attended the next available Norfolk City Council meeting in force and very forcefully voiced our displeasure with Mr. Szymecki’s treatment.

To my knowledge, Mr. Szymecki’s lawsuit is still pending. The city’s knee-jerk reaction? Get an anti-gun legislator to introduce a bill that would make such ordnances legal. Norfolk’s own representatives are not sufficiently anti-gun (or anti-reelection) to do it, so they enlisted the assistance of Hampton/Newport News representative, Senator Mamie Locke.

The second bill, also introduced by Senator Locke, was in direct response to festivities in Newport News. There has been an ongoing battle in the state to get public libraries to discontinue the practice of posting illegal and unenforceable prohibitions on the lawful carry of defensive firearms on their premises. I went through that here in Norfolk a while back. Most localities are simply unaware that their prohibitions are…um…prohibited…and remove the signs immediately upon being informed so. Newport News officials, however, refused. Again, we descended on the City Council and let them know of our displeasure. I thought I had posted about that meeting but I must not have because I can’t find it now, but I was there. Anyway, the Newport News City Council was infuriated that we lowly subjects had the audacity to demand that our rulers obey the state laws that bind the rest of us. The signs were eventually removed, but this legislation was their ineffectual effort to thumb their noses at the VCDL and the citizens of their fine city.

The final legislation introduced by Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, was designed to prevent the VCDL from using the public Mason District Governmental Center in Annandale (which happens to be in her district) to hold meetings, as has been our practice for several years. The primary motivation for this move was the “Bloomberg gun giveaway” held at that location by VCDL in support of the Virginia gun dealers who were fighting back against Mayor Mikey Bloomberg’s infamous illegal sting operation. The government of Annandale, in league with anti-gun forces in Virginia and the Brady Campaign, tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to halt the gun giveaway. Again, this legislation was intended as a “thumb to the eye” of the VCDL.

Noteably, all three pieces of…um…legislation…failed miserably, but just having the anti-gunners care so much about us that they would go to so much trouble to even attempt to annoy us means that we MUST be doing SOMETHING right.

Ain’t politics fun?

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