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From VCDL with comments by Philip Van Cleave:

Warning! Duct-tape alert! **You are about to enter a fact-free
zone!** My comments are in brackets to put the facts into this mess.
They couldn't have got more things wrong if they had tried:

No place for guns at council sessions
The Virginian-Pilot
Last updated: 5:19 PM

The fevered words directed toward the Norfolk City Council Tuesday night by the Virginia Citizens Defense League offered another reminder of the dangerous double standard Virginia observes on firearms in public spaces.

For reasons of safety [exactly whose safety are we talking about? - PVC] citizens are not allowed to openly carry weapons into courthouses in Virginia [you can't carry concealed either - PVC], or the state Capitol [WRONG! - permit holders can carry concealed or openly at the Capitol building - PVC]. How can anyone think it is a good idea to allow someone with a serious grievance to argue with a sidearm strapped at his hip? [Well, the police do that all the time!
Is the paper suggesting that the police be disarmed if they plan on verbally confronting a law-breaker? After all that is exactly what VCDL was doing when we addressed Norfolk City Council, isn't it? - PVC]

Such logic, however, has been lost on members of the legislature ["Logic"? Oh, that is rich coming from whoever wrote this opinion
;-) ]. A few years ago, they buckled under pressure from Second Amendment absolutists and carved out an exception permitting guns in school board [WRONG AGAIN, sigh, the law covering school board meetings has not changed - PVC] and council chambers [WRONG AGAIN!
Norfolk City Council never had a ban on carry of firearms in their chambers - PVC], making pointless any protection provided by metal detectors or bag searches.

The General Assembly's concern for the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to its own chambers [WRONG AGAIN! As stated earlier, we can carry in the General Assembly - PVC]. Tuesday evening's meeting shows why.
That's when the VCDL [Well, at least they got our name right! - PVC] exploited the privilege granted by delegates and senators, showing up en masse in the 11th floor chambers of Norfolk City Hall, defiant and well-armed. [So, speaking against a pattern of civil rights violations is 'defiant.' I know where the Pilot would have come down in the 50's during the civil rights protests! And WRONG AGAIN!! Law makers did NOT grant anyone the PRIVILEGE to show up at City Council armed. Every law abiding citizen has that RIGHT. The General Assembly just insured that localities couldn't infringe upon that RIGHT. - PVC]

They had a legitimate complaint: the mistaken arrest of a VCDL member for carrying his sidearm at Harborfest. Several years ago [Several years ago? WRONG AGAIN! Try 19 years 1987!! - PVC], the General Assembly revoked the authority Norfolk relied on to enact an ordinance preventing folks from carrying guns to a municipal party, but city officials never went back and tidied up the code. ['Tidied up the code'?!? The paper makes it all sound so innocent. Just a little bureaucratic snafu. Boy, do I wish this was the person the police had put through the wringer instead of Chet. I'll bet this opinion piece would have had a very different tone. - PVC]

Some officers unwittingly tried to enforce it, and, according to the VCDL, did so far too roughly. [Unwittingly? Ah - so innocent. It took the police over an hour to come up with their 'unwitting'
violation of state law. Incompetence and/or maliciousness would be more like it. - PVC] The complaint deserves proper investigation and, where warranted, remedy and consequence. But any official inquiry would be done in spite of the VCDL's rude behavior, not in response to it. [We are talking NORFOLK here! Nothing would happen if we didn't push the issue. Where does this person live exactly?
Couldn't be in the Tidewater area or they would have known better - PVC]

The organization's members faced no threat to their lives in City Council chambers, so carrying guns to the proceedings was only meant to intimidate the people they were addressing. [Is that why the police at the meeting were carrying guns - to intimidate City Council? I carry my gun 24/7 for self-defense. Crimes can happen anywhere and at any time. Sounds like the paper would rather have us leave our guns in the car to provide a hundred criminals with free firearms to use in future crimes. Brilliant thinking, Virginian-Pilot! Why were none of these evil gun owners arrested for shooting up the place? If there was any threat of danger, why wasn't the room swarming with police, instead of just one uniformed officer by the door (and probably 2 or 3 in plain clothes in the audience? - PVC]

The show of force, combined with contempt and name-calling (Norfolk police were variously depicted as bullies, thugs and goons, while the council members were dismissed simply as bigots) was intended to provoke an overreaction from Mayor Paul Fraim, rather than to seek genuine relief or correction. Although his composure was strained, the mayor didn't take the bait. [WRONG AGAIN! The only reaction we wanted from the Mayor was to do his job by taking control of his police force and doing something with the rogues in that force! - PVC]

This kind of thing would never happen at the General Assembly. Had the members of the VCDL showed up to address state lawmakers, they would have been denied entry by the Capitol Police until they disarmed [WRONG AGAIN! - PVC], checked their weapon at the door [WRONG AGAIN! - PVC], or locked them in a car [WRONG AGAIN! - PVC].

In adopting its own safeguards in April 2004, the joint rules committee of the House of Delegates and the Senate recognized the danger of guns all over their work place. The committee banned anyone from carrying weapons into the Capitol and the General Assembly office building but their own members, law enforcement agents, or concealed weapons permit-holders. [FINALLY THEY GET ONE RIGHT!
Right at the very end, too. I hate to break the news to the Pilot (how's that for a flip in rolls?), but most of the people carrying at the Norfolk City Hall on Tuesday had concealed handgun permits anyhow, but almost everyone decided to carry openly. We can, and many of us do, carry openly at the General Assembly, too. - PVC]

For reasons dramatized Tuesday night in Norfolk City Hall, members of city councils and school boards deserve at least the same safeguards.
[Uh - what 'safeguards' would those be? Knowing that their meeting is not only protected by the police, but has the additional security provided by many law-abiding gun owners who are carrying, too? - PVC]

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Ugh. I think reading that article made my brain start bleeding. I understand that the reporter is anti-carry, but couldn't he at least contact VCDL for a quote to take out of context and maybe some relevant laws instead of coming off as an idiot and spreading disinformation among the public?
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