Great pro-gun letter to the editor in Roanoke Times

“Andy Schmookler’s recent article on gun control is flat out wrong (“Draw the line on weapons of war,” Feb. 21). I am not sure which history he has been reading, but events over the last 400 years do not support his conclusions. His position would be amusing if it were not for the dangerously unworkable solutions to end mass murders that he, President Obama and other liberals propose.

The Second Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting and target-shooting and everything to do with the right and duty of individual citizens to be armed so they may defend themselves, their community and their country. This right to bear arms was demanded from the newly formed central government in 1791 by “We the People” because we had just previously rebelled against a tyrannical government that, among other things, had tried to disarm us ... ”

Read the entire letter at The Roanoke Times.

VCDL-backed privacy bill goes to governor's desk

A VCDL backed bill to further enhance concealed handgun permit holder privacy protections is on the way to Governor McDonnell for his signature.

In 2009, a VCDL backed bill was passed and signed into law which prevented the Virginia State Police from releasing private details about permit holders but this bill would extend the same prohibition to county clerks of court.

Read more at ABC 13 WVEC.

Virginian-Pilot discusses doctors asking about guns

Do you want your doctor asking you or your kids about the guns in your house?

I know that I don't!

But President Obama and some doctors groups are attempting to paint gun ownership as a public health issue in their efforts to find new ways to restrict and discourage gun ownership. President Obama specifically wants to allow the question when there is a young child at home. 

Dr. Christine Matson, the Chairwoman of Eastern Virginia Medical School's Department of Family and Community Medicine, says that she asks about guns in a questionaire titled "Behaviors that may put your health at risk."  In her mind, gun ownership is in the same category as smoking, drinking, and drug abuse.

Dr John Harrington is the Division Director for General Academic Pediatrics and he admits that the goal of asking patients is to make guns "less accessible."

Read more at The Virginian-Pilot.

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.