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Both sides of the gun-rights issue were present at the "Gun Violence in America" forum held on April 29th in Blacksburg. The forum was to encourage a civil dialog on solutions to violence, with both sides listening to each other. While things were indeed civil, based on the photo below it looks like two on the panel were somewhat bored and not really listening ;-)
(Seated above, left-to-right, Karen Peters with Mothers Demand Action, Andrew Goddard with the Million Mom March, VCDL Executive member John Wilburn, VCDL President Philip Van Cleave)
There was a decent turnout (around 80 people), with the audience having a mixture of pro-gun, anti-gun, and fence sitters. Closest to the camera, below, wearing a maroon shirt and taking notes, is Executive member Dave Knight.
VCDL had a table at the event. Member Sheila Rigney and Executive member Ken Modica are shown seated below.
The VCDL President's key point was that the real question shouldn't be what to do about "gun violence," but about any violence against innocents, regardless of what tool is used to perpetrate that violence. It's those with a black heart that are always the problem, not guns, which are a the most effective tool in protecting innocent life from evil.
In was standing-room-only with over 100 people present at the VCDL membership meeting in Roanoke on Tuesday, February 25! Many thanks to the Odd Fellows Lodge for providing the excellent facilitiy.
And thanks to Board member Al Steed Jr (in blue shirt addressing the meeting below), Ed French, Sherril Smith, Sheila Rigney, and Executive members John WIlburn, Dave Hicks, Dave Knight, and Ken Modica for making southwest Virginia the most active part of the state for VCDL activities, hands down.
Food was served before the meeting was called to order (thanks to the Odd Fellows Lodge and various members for the food!) and there was even a birthday cake for VCDL's president made by Shellie Meikle and Linda Steed (with help from Stephen Meikle)!
Who was there? YOU were.
Friends and family
The Press was there
Thanks to member Kevin Schindler for the great photos above!
Lobbing inside the General Assembly Building
VCDL members watch as Militia, Police, and Public Safety subcommittee considers some gun bills
Members listen to Board member Dennis O'Connor as he discusses what happened that night in subcommittee.
It is with great sorrow that I report the passing of long time VCDL member Hugh Cain from the Tidewater area. Hugh died suddenly on Saturday, November 23rd. He worked the VCDL booth at gun shows regularly, so many of you may know him. He will be missed.
Member Ron Hyson, who used to be a VCDL Gun Show Coordinator, wrote this about Hugh:
"Hugh was a retired Navy Corpsman who spent most of his service with the Fleet Marines as a Medic. Hugh was also a Vietnam Vet. Most of all he was a great guy who didn't pull any punches - if you asked Hugh a question, he would tell you exactly how he felt. I admired him for that, his friendship, and his service to our country."
Hughes obituary is here:
Some photos (thanks to Ron Hyson):
Above - Hugh is on the right talking to the VCDL President at a Shad Planking event
Above - Hugh is on the far right with the volunteers for the VCDL booth at a Shad Planking. (Ron Hyson is in the center kneeling.)
Above - Hugh is 3rd from the left.
And lots of ladies carrying, too!
Congratulations to the winner of the VCDL raffle in the Roanoke area, Michelle Smith!
From left to right VCDL member Sheila Rigney, VCDL executve member John Wilburn, raffle winner Michelle Smith with her new Glock 19, and VCDL member Ryan Burch.
They are standing in front of Pawn Plus (1695 North Franklin St, Christiansburg), which donated the gun for the raffle. VCDL wishes to thank Pawn Plus for its generous support!
At the 2013 Gun Rights Policy Conference, known by attendees as the GRPC, VCDL President Philip Van Cleave spoke about the many victories that VCDL and Virginia gun owners enjoyed in the 2013 legislative session.
He also shared the challenges we face and the goals we are working toward in the upcoming session.