Roanoke Times editorial implies gun owners are to blame for stolen guns

A Sunday editorial in the Roanoke Times featured the admonition “Don't let your gun turn up in a crime.”

The editorial starts out by correctly noting that most guns used in crimes do not come from the so-called 'gunshow loophole'.  Rather, they note that the majority of “guns don't start out illegal ... they're owned by good, law-abiding citizens who think of themselves as responsible gun owners and would shudder to think their possessions would turn into criminals' tools.”

However, the editorial then goes on to say that an increase in gun violence in Roanoke occured at the same time as a rise in burglaries and then took a jab at gun owners.  “It is a point gun owners should note, especially those clinging to the notion they own weapons in order to defend themselves, their loved ones and their castle.

The editorial finishes off by clearly implying that those self-same gun owners who are 'clinging' to their rights do not do enough to prevent their guns being stolen by criminals.  “There are ways to prevent the theft of guns ... Those who consider themselves responsible gun owners might want to double-check that they indeed are exercising an abundance of caution.

Read the entire insulting editorial at The Roanoke Times.

Virginia carry permit data may become private

In the wake of the outcry over New York's Journal News publishing an interactive map of permits in their readership area and the subsequent criminal targetting of gun owners, many states where permit data is currently public are considering making the data private. You should include Virginia on that list.

Last Friday, the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee passed a bill out of committee that will make the data private except in the course of a criminal investigation.

 VCDL President Philip VanCleave notes that it has happened in Virginia as well. In 2007, the Roanoke Times did something similar by publishing the entire list of permit holders.  He went on to say that “There are people there whose lives are at risk.”

Read more at The Daily Press.

VCDL President addresses the Craig County Board of Supervisors

At the February 7th, 2013 meeting of the Craig County Board of Supervisors, VCDL President Philip VanCleave stood to address Craig County VCDL members' concern over a proposal from the January meeting of the Board of Supervisors that a public shooting range located in Craig County be shut down.

He barely gets to introduce himself before Board Chairman Millie Harrison tries to cut him off and not allow him to speak. Craig County residents, who also happen to be members of VCDL, quickly shut down her dismissal of VCDL as an out-of-town organization.

In the end, it was another victory for Virginia's gun owners.  The Potts Slope range is not going to be shut down, and the Board member who asked for that has retracted her request.

Franklin County Marksmanship Team improves student's lives

Thirteen out of twenty-two members of the Franklin County High School Air Force Junior ROTC Marksmanship Team will be shooting at the USAF National Championship competitions next week.

Like other shooting sports, this one has had a positive influence on the teenagers who make up the team.

Team member Mattie Green says that “Marksmanship has taught me discipline.

Fellow team member says that "It’s taught me very much about self-discipline and all the rewards from hard work."

VCDL would like to wish all of Virginia's young shooters good luck next week!

Read more at The Roanoke Times.

In Virginia gun related deaths and injuries are way down while gun sales skyrocket

In Virginia gun-related homicides and injuries continue to trend downward while sales of firearms have skyrocketed.

Virginia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner releases data yearly about deaths in the Commonwealth and that data shows that gun-related deaths and injuries on a per-capita basis dropped an amazing 37% in Virginia since 2005.

Also, for the first time, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner broke out homicides by so-called 'assault weapons'.  In the latest report, the total homicides and injuries by these sporting firearms, which make up the majority of new sales, was .... one.  A single solitary case.

Virginia Commonwealth University professor Thomas R. Baker admits that this data does not support the anti-gunners positions.

It’s actually quite surprising and the opposite of what I would have hypothesized. I would have thought that aggregate increases in gun sales would directly correlate to aggregate increases in the proportion of suicides and homicides by gun. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Read more in The Times Dispatch.

Fincastle Mayor supports gun control, misleads public in LTE

Over the weekend, the Roanoke Times published a letter-to-the editor from Fincastle Virginia Mayor Robert Waid. In the letter, Mayor Waid calls on citizens to accept gun control because denying citizens “automatic weapons and clips of more than 10 rounds is not only reasonable, but the right thing to do.

Before we even begin to discuss Mayor Waid's skewed definition of 'reasonable', I want to point out that he repeatedly uses the term 'automatic weapons' in his short letter.  The problem?  The ban on so-called 'assault weapons' that the Mayor is espousing has nothing to do with automatic weapons.

Fully automatic weapons have been heavily regulated in the United States since the National Firearms Act was passed in 1934.  When anti-civil-rights activists use this term, they are attempting to confuse the issue in the minds of middle-of-the-road Americans who might not be familiar with the law.  In other words ... they are lying!

The ban the Mayor is so eager to have you agree to is nothing more than a ban on the most popular sporting firearms in America.

I have to believe the good people of the Roanoke Valley will not fall for such misinformation.  Please read his letter and leave your comments.

Biden and Kaine to pitch gun control in Richmond

Vice President Biden will be joined by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine in Richmond on Friday to pitch the Obama Administration's gun control proposals.

Assuming that Senator Kaine has forgiven the Vice President for calling him Tom Kaine back in October in one of his famous gaffes, the administration should find a willing ally. Kaine proved time and again when he was Governor of Virginia that he does not support gun owners.

Long-time political observers will remember that Kaine likes to tell his base that he is a “strong supporter of the Second Amendment.” However, he is apparently one of those who reads the term 'hunting' into the Second Amendment and considers any other violation of the right to keep and bear arms to be 'reasonable.'  

He told the Huffington Post in January of 2011 that “I have long been a supporter of what I think are reasonable regulations.” As for what some of those restrictions might be, he noted that limits on the size of magazines are the “kind of legislation that I've long supported.

Virginia's gun owners should also remember that, as Mayor of Richmond, Kaine spent $6,000 of the public's money to provide buses to the Million Mom March promoting gun control.

Stay strong Virginia, because Biden and Kaine are coming to tell you why you should give up your rights. We need to be prepared to explain to them why that's not going to happen.

CNN Radio covers VCDL Lobby Day

CNN Radio covered VCDL's 2013 Lobby Day as well as the sparce efforts the gun control groups were able to muster.

Listen to the complete coverage at CNN Radio.

"Gun Show Loophole" bill defeated

Thanks to the tireless efforts of VCDL activists, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee defeated Senator Marsh's bill SB 1001 which purported to close the so-called "gun show loophole."

And while we celebrate yet another legislative victory, it is important to keep reminding our friends and neighbors who might not understand the intricacies of the law that there is NO gun show loophole!  

Any licensed dealer or person who is engaged in the business of buying and selling firearms MUST conduct the same background check at a gun show that they conduct at their brick and mortar stores. While most of you reading this consider this a given, the media and anti-gun politicians have spun the issue in such a way that many believe this is not true.

Let's be clear ... The only thing this bill would have done is outlaw private sales, provide a framework for universal registration, and set the stage for ultimate confiscation.

Thanks again to all of our members who contacted their Senators and Delegates about this bill.

Thank you for being part of the struggle to protect and enhance our rights!

Read more at The Roanoke Times.

Gun control bills fail in House subcommittee

Last night, in a meeting packed to the doors with VCDL members and supporters wearing 'Guns Save Lives' stickers, the Militia, Police and Public Safety subcommittee put an end to a number of anti-gun bills that had been introduced this legislative session.

The bills to fall included one which would have allowed localities to ban guns in libraries, one that would have made it harder to acquire the necessary training to receive a concealed hand gun permit, and a complete ban on private sales.

Richmond Democrat Joe Morrissey made a scene during the meeting when he pulled a semi-auto rifle from under his desk and held it aloft with his thumb inside the trigger guard. I suppose one cannot expect anti-gun advocates to observe even the most basic gun safety rules.

Read more at NBC News.