From the VCDL Alert sent out last night:
Good for them!VCDL's Gun Dealer Legal Defense Fund -- help fight Mayor Bloomberg's
scheme to cripple Virginia firearms dealers. See: http://www.vcdl.org/index.html#DefenseFund
To unsubscribe or change your email address, please follow the
directions at the end of this message.
It's 3:45 AM, I'm still wired, there could be 'type-os' in this
(sorry). I simply don't know what better sums it up than "!!WOW!!"
There were way over 100 VCDL members and supporters at the Manassas
City Council meeting tonight.
The Manassas City Council members were clearly shocked by the numbers.
The Mayor led off by saying that he could not remember ever seeing
such a large crowd for **anything** they had done before!
I brought 40 'Guns Save Lives' badges that were distributed in
minutes, leaving over half of the people without a badge. :-(
We not only filled up all the seating (100 seats - about 95% of them
VCDL members), we lined BOTH walls and ran out into the hall!
A good portion of the members were open carrying during the meeting.
No uniformed officers in sight (but there were some plain clothes
officers in the audience).
I led off, taking 10 minutes to describe the situation, describing
the problem with officers who would abuse their power to coerce the
restaurant owner to kick the 7 innocent gun owners out, and calling
for the SEVERE reprimand or FIRING of Officers Chad Hyland, Rickey
Clodfelter, and Tina Pannell. Hyland and Clodfelter for their total
disdain for law-abiding gun owners and coercing the restaurant owner
into kicking out the gun owners, and Pannell because as a SUPERVISOR
she should have known better and put a stop to the 'kicking out the
good guys' situation. I did say that a demotion would be acceptable
for her, but that she clearly was not an acceptable supervisor.
When I was finished, the Mayor read a letter from Chief Skinner,
saying, fairly enough, that he couldn't comment as there was an
active investigation into the matter.
I was followed one speaker after the other for over 1.5 hours - each
person getting three minutes!
The speakers were all superb, showing City Council, in no uncertain
terms, that none of us are 'assclowns.'
Also THREE of the 7 gun owners at Tony's that fateful night spoke.
The Mayor was very congenial and several speakers made a point of
thanking City Council for making the audience feel 'at home' (but
still asking Council to fix the problem at hand). We had speakers
come from over 200 miles away and a good share were Manassas
After the meeting, 30 of us headed over to a local IHOP for a meal.
Everyone was jubilant - as we all had felt the power and comradery in
the City Council Room that night. For many this was their first
experience going from a gun-rights supporter to a gun-rights
activist. Caution! I don't think there is anyway to go back,
Member Matt Gottshalk was there making a professional quality video
which will be online in a day or two for those of you who would like
to see and hear key parts of the meeting. He will cut it down to 6
speakers - myself, Jim Snyder, Dennis O'Connor, and three of the
seven people at Tony's Pizza that fateful night in January. I will
send an alert when the video is ready to view.
Channel 4 (NBC) in NoVA already ran a story on the meeting at 11 PM.
The Potomac News story covering the meeting is below. It is very
well done and includes a picture to put things in perspective.
Reporter Elisa Glushefski explains the Virginia open carry laws in
the article, too - an additional bonus!
In case you are wondering about my elaborate hand gesture - I was
turning to ask all gun owners who were in support of VCDL's position
to raise their hand.
They did and, boy, was that a lot of hands in the air!
BTW, this was the single biggest turnout for a VCDL action at any
city, town, or county government meeting ever! We can turn out 60
members under good conditions, but over 100 is way beyond the norm!
Tidewater held the record when we attended a Norfolk City Council
meeting some years ago, but Northern Virginia has just thrown down
the gauntlet big time! ;-)
As long as we can turn out lots of gun owners for things such as this
and, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, do what we did so very well
tonight, we will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in
GOOD WORK, VCDL! I'M PROUD OF YOU!
Gun rights group takes case to council
By ELISA A. GLUSHEFSKI
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
More than 50 gun rights advocates protested police conduct during an
incident at a city restaurant with some calling for the firing of
several of the officers involved at Monday night's Manassas City
Council meeting. [It was more than 50, but it was also well over 100,
too. - PVC]
The public outcry comes two weeks after Springfield-resident Russ
Troxel filed a complaint against the police department about an
incident involving him and six friends who were openly carrying their
weapons while dining at Tony's New York Pizza on Mathis Avenue on the
evening of Jan. 13.
A second complaint was filed Friday by Fairfax resident Mark Anderson
who states that among other things the officers overstepped their
authority by "coercing" the owner of Tony's to kick them out after
they had already been there for nearly an hour.
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League
Inc., asked at the meeting that three of the seven responding
officers - Tina Pannell, Chad Hyland and Rickey Clodfelter - be
reprimanded or fired.
Van Cleave said that as the supervisor at the scene, Pannell should
have taken control of the situation and told the other officers that
they were legally allowed to openly carry their weapons there.
"If the police can't do this right then we've got a big problem," he said.
The incident started with a 911 call from an unnamed man who reported
that the men's guns were making him uncomfortable.
It was the initial antagonistic attitude of Hyland, who demanded IDs
from the men even though they weren't committing a crime, and the
officer's ignorance of the law that Troxel's and others said is
Troxel, who was among those who attended the meeting, said the
officers also refused to accept paperwork documenting the state's
Police Chief John J. Skinner said he would like to comment publicly
but can't because the complaints are part of an internal
The timeline for the investigation could be extended if new
information or witnesses is revealed, he said, adding that he plans
to discuss the new complaint with the investigator today.
The men say they were within their rights because Virginia law
requires that weapons be carried in the open in places that serve
And while carrying a concealed weapon requires a court-issued permit,
no permit is required to carry a gun in the open.
The manager of Tony's has said that the men were asked to leave
because of several complaints the restaurant received from regular
In Anderson's complaint, he also says that one of the officers cursed
at him "repeatedly" throughout the incident.
At least two of the officers refer to the men "assclowns" and
"retards" in intradepartmental messages and e-mails that were
obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by Mike
Stollenwerk, one of the founders of Open carry.org.
In an e-mail Clodfelter sent five of the other officers the day after
the incident, he copied the state code that prohibits patrons from
carrying concealed weapons in any place that serves alcohol and
concludes that they were legally allowed to carry their guns openly
In the same e-mail, Clodfelter also wrote: "My guess is the
over-compensating assclowns at Tony's were hyper-aware of all this,
and that's why they started crying like little babies when their
event got spoiled by the whole 'let's get the owner to tell them to
get the f-- out' thing."
Troxel and the six other men are members of a forum on Open carry.org.
Skinner said he would release the findings of the internal
investigation when it is completed.
VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL).
VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to
defending the human rights of all Virginians. The membership considers the
Right to Keep and Bear Arms to be an essential human right.
VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org