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Friday, June 30, 2017

NRA-ILA Looking for Volunteers to Help at Tomato Festival Booth

It's time for the 39th Annual Hanover Tomato Festival! With over 40,000 people in attendance last year, the Tomato Festival brings out some of Richmond's best food, music, and activities. The NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representative for Virginia is looking for gun owners to help reach out to Virginians at the Hanover Tomato Festival and share why the Second Amendment matters this election season . With your help, NRA-ILA can engage new people in the community at this event.

July 8th, 2017
9:00am - 4:00pm

Pole Green Park
8996 Pole Green Park Ln
Mechanicsville, VA 23116

Throughout this election year, VSSA and NRA-ILA will be counting on Richmond gun rights supporters to aid in reclaiming our rights by electing the right candidates to office. Be on the lookout for more opportunities to make your voice matter this election season! To sign up as a volunteer for this event, click here.

For more information on how you can help this campaign season, contact:

Patrick DeStefano
Campaign Field Representative | NRA-ILA
(864) 680-0399

Thursday, June 22, 2017

VSSA Office Will be Closed June 27 - July 3

The VSSA Office will be closed Tuesday, June 27 through Tuesday July 4th.  VSSA Executive Director Lu Charette will be attending the Virginia State Trap Shoot during this time.  The office voice mail will be turned off as well.  If you require assistance from the office, it will reopen on July 5th.  Assistance with logging in the newly updated VSSA web site will continue to be available during this time by clicking, completing the form, and a response will be sent within 24 hours.

FBI Report on Alexandria Shooting Throws Cold Water on Calls for More Gun Control

You will recall that last week, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe used his time at the microphone to call for more gun control after the assassination attempt on several Republican congressional members in Alexandria.  It would seem from a brief FBI Report on the shooting that was just released that none of the things that McAuliffe called for would have prevented the attack.  National Review's Charles Cooke has the details:
For a start, the guns weren’t bought in Virginia; they were bought in Illinois, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. And they weren’t purchased privately, illegally, or without attendant background checks, but “legally through federal firearms licensees” that are obliged under federal law to run checks. Moreover, Hodgkinson only got the weapons after he obtained an additional possession-and-purchase license (FOID) of the sort that more extreme gun-control advocates want to see made mandatory in all states.

Or, put another way: Illinois has stricter rules than even Barack Obama endorsed — it quite literally licenses all gun-owners in the state — and those rules made no difference to this case. This is not rare. It is typical.
McAuliffe likes to talk about so-called "universal" background checks but the shooter passed background checks - twice - so, exactly how would criminalizing the private sale of personal property between gun owners have stopped the shooter in this case?  Read Cooke's full article as he provides even more details on where the gun ban crowd got everything wrong on this. But that's not really unexpected, is it.

CDC Study on Gun Related Deaths of Children Misses Key Point

On Monday, CNN and The Trace shouted almost duplicate heads to report on a new CDC study on gun related deaths of children.  CNN's read "Guns Kill Almost 1,300 US Children Annually," while Bloomberg's anti-gun mouthpiece The Trace screamed "19 Children Are Shot in America Everyday."  Jacob Sullum of and  Dr. Robert Young of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership both did a great job of debunking the study and media reports.  Let's start with the CNN and Trace reports.

The CDC study on which both of these articles are based was just published in the July issue of Pediatrics.  CNN and Trace use the study to craft sensational headlines in the hope of moving public opinion to support gun control.  Both cherry pick incidents to add credibility to their headlines.  For instance, the CNN report begins with the case of a third-grader accidentally shot in the stomach at school by another student and another describes a baby accidentally shot by his father.  You are left with the impression that these are typical situations that occur often.  In fact, the CNN article says:
About 21% of those injuries are unintentional, similar to the third-grader's case.
The Trace breaks down the different types of death and writes regarding unintentional gun deaths, that both younger and older children commonly died while playing with a gun, without telling the reader that such occurrences are rare.  

Jacob Sullum points out in his article that 78 percent of the deaths were 13-to-17-year-olds.  Of those, 53 percent were homicides, and 38 percent were suicides. Less than 4 percent were accidents involving children 12 or younger, so the examples cited by CNN are anything but typical.

Sullum reminds us that circumstances matter:
The circumstances matter, of course, because solutions that might make sense for one sort of gun death may be irrelevant to another. Safe gun storage and handling, for example, can keep third-graders from taking guns to school in their backpacks and prevent infants from being injured by careless rifle cleaning. But they cannot reasonably be expected to have much of an impact on gang violence. The authors of the Pediatrics study found that 40 percent of the homicides involving teenagers grew out of "arguments" (presumably including black-market disputes, a phenomenon created by drug prohibition), 31 percent were "precipitated by another crime," 21 percent were gang-related, 9 percent were drive-by shootings, and 7 percent killed bystanders. Some of those categories overlap.

The homicide rate among minors (17 or younger) rose by 17 percent from 2002 to 2007, then fell by 36 percent from 2007 to 2014. The suicide rate, by contrast, fell by 23 percent from 2002 to 2007, then rose by 60 percent from 2007 to 2014. Deaths from gun accidents, the scenario emphasized by CNN, fell steadily during the study period. In fact, the researchers note, "unintentional firearm death rates have been steadily declining for several decades."
It's all about driving an agenda.  Dr. Robert Young of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership told Cam Edwards of NRATV's Cam and Company on Monday that is exactly what this study is - an agenda-driven study. He told Edwards that when you look at the data on a state-by-state basis, you find there are outliers in both directions. Dr. Young said there is no causal relationship demonstrated in the data. He also said the age range is capped at 17 instead of 20 in order to help get the desired result. Dr. Young said that safe gun storage is important and something that all gun owners should take seriously. But, passing unenforceable storage or "smart gun" laws will do nothing to increase safety. 

Dave Kopel: Want to Stop Mass Shootings? Get More Guns in Right Hands

Independence Institute Director of Research Dave Kopel and attorney Joseph Greenlee had this op/ed in The Hill earlier this week that makes the case for allowing people to carry firearms.  They use what happened in the recent London Bridge attacks and several mass shootings in the U.S. to make their point:
Mass killers often select targets because of the absence of armed defenders at the scene. The Aurora theater murderer selected a “gun-free” theater, which forbade licensed handgun carry by its patrons. He had chosen not to attack an airport because of “substantial security.” The Santa Barbara murderer decided against attempting a massacre at a public Halloween party because “there were too many cops” and “one gunshot from a cop will end everything.” The Charleston church murderer abandoned his original target, the College of Charleston, “because of the security.” The Los Angeles Jewish Community Center murderer passed on three other Jewish institutions because the “security was too tight.” In Detroit, a would-be ISIS murderer, who was stopped before he could execute his plan, targeted a large church since “people are not allowed to carry guns in church.”

The United Kingdom could reduce the toll of terrorist attacks by arming and training all police officers, instead of just a select few. The result would be more jihadis stopped after 80 seconds instead of 480 seconds—a life or death difference.
Kopel was on to discuss the piece in more detail after it was published.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NRA-ILA Signing Up Supporters at Friday's Flying Squirrels Game

If you live in Richmond, you will have a chance to sign up for election volunteer activities at the June 23rd Richmond Flying Squirrels Ball Game.  From NRA-ILA:
You won't want to miss this day enjoying America's pastime with the National Rifle Association! This Friday, June 23rd, your Richmond NRA-ILA Grassroots Team will have a table at the game where the Richmond Flying Squirrels take on the Akron Rubberducks at the Diamond. 

Sporting events attract Virginians from across the state, and this will be the perfect opportunity to enjoy a baseball game, and speak to Virginians about the importance of the Second Amendment this election season! 

Click here to RSVP and find out how you can enjoy free tickets to the Baseball Game!

Friday, June 23rd
5:30pm - 10:00pm
WHERE:The Diamond Stadium
3001 N Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23230

As we move closer to this critical election in Virginia history, the NRA-ILA and Second Amendment supporters will be advocating for pro-gun candidates to make it into office. There are many opportunities for you to get involved across the RVA area. 

Stay tuned for more updates, and we hope to see you at the game!
In Victory,

Patrick DeStefano
Campaign Field Representative | NRA-ILA

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Gun Ban Groups Can't Wait to Push Gun Control After Alexandria Shooting of Congressman and Others

It took all of a little over an hour for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to use yesterday's shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, an aide, and two police officers at an Alexandria baseball field to turn it into an opportunity to push gun control.  Other's joined the fray as well.  David Frum from the Atlantic:
“Virginia: No background checks No licensing No registration No permit req’d for concealed carry of long guns Open carry long guns & handguns,” the pundit tweeted to over 450,000 followers.
Frum was completely wrong on so many levels - first of which was you cannot carry a concealed long gun in Virginia.  Concealed handgun permits are what the name states - for carrying concealed handguns.  Secondly, Virginian's have to undergo background checks when they purchase a firearm from an FFL just like any other state.  But as  Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon told Cam Edwards of NRATV yesterday, some journalists don't care; they simply want to tweet out their anti-gun talking points. Gutowski said that he was somewhat encouraged by political leaders who chose not to politicize the attack.
NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch also appeared on Fox News yesterday opposite Mark Glaze, former executive director of Michael Bloomberg's Everytown For Gun Safety and said the shooting wasn't about guns as the gun ban lobby and politicians like Terry McAuliffe would have us believe.
One more thing, the shooter was a resident of Illinois, and we don't yet know where he obtained his firearms, so all this talk about Virginia's gun laws is a bit premature. And as the CBS News article linked above states, Illinois' gun laws could also be at issue if the shooter obtained his firearms there. Illinois' gun laws are much stricter.  According to CBS News, ATF is tracing the firearms the shooter used to determine where they were purchased, which can take 24 hours.  We should know more in the coming days.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

CBS News Posts Video of McAuliffe Saying 93 Million Americans are Killed Each Day by "Gun Violence" Before Media Gives Him Chance to Correct Himself.

From the CBS News Twitter feed earlier today.  That's a lot more than are killed each year in firearm related deaths much less a day.  McAuliffe made the comment then continued talking about the nonexistent "gun show loophole" and background checks before repeating the claim a second time.  CBS posted the video a little too quick and apparently removed the tweet and the video.  A member of the press gave McAuliffe a chance to correct himself.  The CBS video did not originally include the entire comment and media exchange.

Real Clear Politics has the video of the statement and the media query that allowed him to correct his comment.

Update:  A member of the Virginia General Assembly, Delegate Todd Gilbert, showed more class than Governor McAuliffe:
Del. C. Todd Gilbert, a Shenandoah County Republican and ardent gun rights advocate, said the gun debate can wait.

“While I would love to respond to what I know the governor means by that, I think we can resume debate on this topic when we know more about what happened and when victims are not still lying on operating tables,” Gilbert said in a text message.

Virginia Primary Post Mortem - GOP Nominates Solid Pro-Gun Candidates, Democrats Nominate Gun Ban Candidates

Yesterday was Primary day in Virginia, setting up the tickets for the November statewide races.  We knew going in that the Democrat ticket was going to be stacked against gun owners with both candidates for Governor trying to out gun-control each other while all of the GOP candidates for Governor had "A" ratings .  The same was true with the down ticket races with one candidate for Lt. Governor on the Democrat side having an "F" rating and two other candidates having "?" for failing to turn in their candidate survey, while all of the GOP Lt. Governor candidates had solid voting records in the General Assembly in support of our rights.  At the Attorney General level, there was only one GOP candidate, John Adams, and he has never held public office, but his stated views are much different than the current Democrat, Mark Herring, who is running for a second term.  From Adams' web site:
Law-abiding citizens have a constitutional right to purchase and own firearms. That is not a political opinion or a policy choice. It is the supreme law of the land, protected in the Constitution. After the Founding Fathers won their freedom from a tyrannical government, they drafted the Second Amendment to ensure that our new government would never disarm its citizens. History demonstrates that citizens’ right to bear arms is supremely important to ordered liberty and freedom.

I own several firearms for sport and protection. I am an avid hunter and angler, and I love the outdoors. I am also outraged and saddened by the murderous acts of those who use guns to commit terrible crimes. Gun violence is a serious problem that demands serious answers. We must start by enforcing laws that are already on the books to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those suffering with mental illness. We also must ask ourselves tough questions about what makes people want to commit such horrific acts. But disarming law-abiding citizens is not the path to solving these problems. As your Attorney General I will vigorously defend the Second Amendment.
Herring by contrast tried to go around the General Assembly and summarily end concealed carry reciprocity/recognition agreements with 25 states.

It is clear that the stakes could not be higher in November.  The candidate elected as Virginia's next Governor will not only either sign or veto pro-rights legislation, he will determine how legislative districts are drawn in 2021 by either signing or vetoing redistricting maps.  This will have a direct impact on our rights for a decade.  Now is the time to get involved in the statewide races.  You can contact the candidates by clicking on their names below:

Ed Gillespie for Governor

Jill Vogel for Lt. Governor

John Adams for Attorney General

You can also contact the NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representative if you are interested in getting involved in NRA-ILA activities in support of this year's pro-gun candidates:

Patrick DeStefano
Senior Campaign Field Representative

Summer is the best time to get involved.  If we want to make sure pro-gun legislation gets signed into law over the next four years, we have the opportunity to do that by getting involved to elect the candidates that support our rights.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Another Successful VSSA's Crush'n Clays

This past Saturday was the 19th Annual VSSA's Crush'n Clays, the nation's longest running clay target charity event and the longest running clay target event supporting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  The day was bathed with sunny skies and participants could not have asked for a better day for this fun event.  At the end of the day, several awards were handed out to the top participants:

Crush'n Clays 2017 Winners

2017 Crush'n Clays Champion – Tim Tynan
2017 Crush'n Clays Class A Champion – Al Gale
2017 Crush'n Clays Class B Champion – Vince Lively
2017 Crush'n Clays Class C Champion – Zach Lively
2017 Crush'n Clays Class D Champion – James Berman

Team Winner

1st Place – (Magnificent 7 minus three) 138/150
Al Gale
Greg Hanson
John Murphy
Dan Piszker

2nd Place – Suburban Electric 135/150
Jim Hickerson
Mark Scott
Tim Tynan
Ashly Palles
Simon Williams

3rd Place – Piedmont Sportsmans Club 133/150
Lu Charette
Mark Charette
Andrea Smith
JR Wingfield

A special congratulations and thank you goes to all of the volunteers from VSSA and the Arlington/Fairfax IWLA, but especially to event founder and chairman, Steve Canale.  This event would not be possible without all of their hard work.

VSSA's Andrea Smith Inducted into Virginia Trapshooting Association Hall of Fame

Congratulations to longtime VSSA Board member Andrea Smith on being inducted into the Virginia Trapshooting Association Hall of Fame.  Besides serving on VSSA's Board and as the association Treasurer, and sometimes as Secretary and Treasurer, Andrea has given much of her time to the shooting sports.  From the Virginia Trapshooting Association:
Andrea T. Smith, has been selected as the 2017 inductee into the Virginia Trap Shooters Hall of Fame. Andrea has served as the PSC Trap Chair for the past 20+ years conducting both club League events twice each year as well as serving as the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) representative for our club. Her Registered ATA events are always well organized and she enjoys the added reputation as always serving the best and most elaborate lunches at any and all ATA club events in Virginia.

Always the “Lady” she also has been serving as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Virginia Shooting Sports Assoc. (VSSA), the official State Association for the NRA for an equal amount of time. Currently she serves as the Treasurer for VSSA.

She has served as the 2nd Vice President of the Virginia Trapshooting Association (VTA), as well as the past president of the Virginia Trapshooting Hall of Fame (VTHOF) and currently holds the position of VTHOF Vice President.

In addition Andrea also is a member of the Arlington-Fairfax IWLA and, as a Certified NRA Shotgun Instructor holds a position on their training team. Her efforts have been instrumental in the continued success of the VSSA/Arlington-Fairfax IWLA sponsored charity fund raising event for Saint Jude Children’s Hospital, Crush ‘n Clays, for the past 18 years. This charity shoot is the longest continuous running event of its type in the country as well as for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Her efforts to promote Trap shooting and, the entire spectrum of the shooting sports, have been recognized. We are fortunate to have this “Lady” as an active part of the PSC community.
Congratulations Andrea on this well deserved Honor!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

New Report Accuses Obama Administration of Coverup in Fast and Furious Scandal

According to Fox News, the report claims former attorney general Holder repeatedly lied to the Terry family about the weapons used in the slain border patrol officer's death.  You may recall that Border Patrol Officer Brian Terry died in a gunfight between Border Patrol agents and members of a six-man cartel "rip crew," that patrolled the desert along the U.S.-Mexico border looking for drug dealers to rob. Terry’s death exposed Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) scheme where the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them as they were transported into Mexico. However, BATFE lost track of more than 1,400 of the 2,000 guns they allowed smugglers to buy. Two of those guns were found at the scene of Terry's killing. Editor and Fox News Contributor Katie Pavlich also spoke with Cam Edwards of NRATV's Cam and Company about the House Oversite Committee hearing.