August 1 and 2: Blacksburg "Steppin' Out"

August 1 and 2: Blacksburg "Steppin' Out"

This is a discussion on August 1 and 2: Blacksburg "Steppin' Out" within the Member Meeting Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Re-posted from a VA-ALERT with prior approval of VCDL. [Note: First person singular pronouns (I, my, mine, etc) and “PVC” reference Philip Van Cleave, President ...

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Thread: August 1 and 2: Blacksburg "Steppin' Out"

  1. #1
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    August 1 and 2: Blacksburg "Steppin' Out"

    Re-posted from a VA-ALERT with prior approval of VCDL.

    [Note: First person singular pronouns (I, my, mine, etc) and “PVC” reference Philip Van Cleave, President VCDL]

    VA-ALERT: Blacksburg "Steppin' Out" event wanted to ban guns


    As you might recall, VCDL had a booth at last year’s Steppin’ Out festival in Blacksburg. That was the event where an intolerant anti-liberty bigot assaulted and battered one of our members. Much to the woman’s bad luck, the Blacksburg PD had a booth almost across from VCDL’s booth and an officer witnessed the whole thing. ;-)

    PD took the anti into custody immediately, but the VCDL member declined to file charges and she was ultimately released.

    It was made pretty clear to those of us in the VCDL booth that the antis who were pressuring the group sponsoring the event (Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.) didn’t want us there. (However, the people attending the event loved us, with the vast majority sporting our “Guns Save Lives” stickers. We sold out of tickets for a handgun raffle in record time, too.)


    Lo and behold, DBI had a new rule for this year’s festival: NO WEAPONS ALLOWED

    Surely they didn’t add that new rule to keep VCDL out of the event? Naaaw, couldn’t be. But if they wanted the event to be peaceful, the rule should have been: No intolerant anti-liberty bigots allowed!

    Oh, by the way, notice I said “HAD a new rule.”

    Upon being told of the rule by EM John Wilburn, who is the primary driving force behind us having a booth at the event for the last two years, I contacted the Blacksburg PD. VCDL has an excellent working relationship with the PD. Basically I was told that it was up to the Town Attorney to let the PD know about enforcement of the proposed ban.

    So, my next call was to the Town Attorney, Larry Spencer. I explained the issue to Mr. Spencer, asking how the Town could ban weapons in a public area under Virginia’s firearms preemption law (15.2-915). I also pointed out that such a ban would in essence prevent some customers from being able to patronize the regular businesses in the area. The local business would certainly not look favorably on the Town restricting customer access to their businesses!

    Mr. Spencer was professional and easy to work with. He took the bull by the horns and arranged a meeting with himself, the PD, and DBI within a couple of weeks of our phone conversation.

    Mr. Spencer explained to DBI and the PD that DBI could NOT ban lawfully carried firearms at the event. He also told DBI that if they denied VCDL a table, then VCDL could simply hand out its literature on the sidewalks or closed roads in the festival for free.

    DBI relented and dropped their weapons ban. We will be watching to make sure that the ban does not appear in future advertisements or booth agreements for Steppin’ Out.

    I am pleased to announce that VCDL's application has been accepted by DBI and we will have a booth again this year. We thank DBI for doing the right thing and look forward to another enjoyable Steppin' Out festival!

    If the antis show up again this year to protest VCDL’s attendance at the event, hopefully they will keep their tempers in check and not batter anyone else.

    Meanwhile put Friday and Saturday, August 1 and 2, on your calendar to attend Steppin’ Out (10 am – 10 pm each day). Let’s pack the event and have a great time!

    VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL).

    VCDL is a non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

    VCDL web page:


    Me, DaveH, back from here on:

    In addition to a fun/interesting event overall (See: Steppin' Out - Blacksburg's Annual Street Festival ), this will a good chance to help VCDL stand up to the Antis from Virginia Tech -- who think that they speak for all of the local area. IMHO, what I think really had them so upset last year was the number of blaze orange GSL stickers folk were wearing.

    The college based Antis really suffer from "Confirmation Bias" / "In-group" Bias / "False Consensus" Bias. And the very presence of a pro-RKBA group upset their comfort level -- big time.

    We, all, tend to be put off by individuals, groups, and news sources that make us feel uncomfortable or insecure about our views – i.e., what B. F. Skinner called cognitive dissonance. The "Confirmation Bias" is an unconscious default to only those perspectives that fuel our preexisting views, while at the same time ignoring or dismissing opinions (no matter how valid those conflicting opinions are) that threaten our worldview. I believe that the internet has only made this tendency even worse. But a college town trumps all, IMHO. A closed circle of closed minds -- that like to think they are open-minded is the ultimate brooder of "Confirmation Bias" -- IMHO.

    The "In-group" Bias is an extension of the confirmation bias, our innate tribalistic tendencies make us suspicious, fearful, and even disdainful of other groups.

    Ultimately, the in-group bias causes us to significantly overestimate the abilities and value of our immediate group at the expense of people we don't really know and make us believe there is a "False Consensus" with our opinions shared by the general population. Remember the alleged 90% who allegedly support more gun-control.

    Nowhere is this more obvious than in a college town. They have a very bad case of WYSDWYS (Where You Sit Determines Where You Stand / Where You Sit Determines What You See). And they really hate having their "authority" challenged. And gun rights worldview vs. their authoritarian nanny state worldview is a major shock to their systems. A shock that they need -- badly.

    So, join us, if you can. If / when you do come by, look me up.
    Last edited by DaveH; April 2nd, 2014 at 03:30 PM.
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    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

  2. #2
    Member Array Parrisk's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    Awesome the way that was handled
    US Army Retired (2002), NAGR, USCCA, and NRA Life member

    "Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity"
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