West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
PO Box 11371 | Charleston, WV 25339-1371
Defending Your Right to Defend Yourself

April 23, 2010


Welcome to WVCDL-ALERT's new, updated format.  We encourage you to forward this e-mail to all your friends, relatives, and other concerned citizens who support our individual right to keep and bear arms for defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use, as protected by the state constitution and the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Forward this email

To help us implement our upgraded e-mail system, please take a few minutes to update your profile by clicking the "Update Profile/Email Address link at the bottom of this message.  The information you provide helps us serve you better.
WVCDL does NOT rent, sell, or give away our mailing list. 
We appreciate your assistance.
WVCDL 2010 Legislative Candidate Surveys Released
WVCDL has published and sent to all candidates for the state Senate and House of Delegates our 2010 Legislative Candidate Survey. This is the second election cycle in which we have conducted a legislative candidate survey (click here for the 2008 surveys).
One thing you will find very quickly when you read our surveys is that are very specific and detailed. WVCDL does not need to reinvent the wheel: we already know that 80+ percent of candidates for elected office in West Virginia claim to be pro-gun. Unfortunately, West Virginia's gun laws do not reflect a genuine legislative commitment to honoring, both in the letter and spirit of the U.S. and state constitutions, an individual's right to keep and bear arms.
This is where you get involved. WVCDL tests candidates' commitment to gun rights by going to the heart of the real legislative issues facing West Virginia gun owners. Both in 2008 and this year, I have received numerous calls and e-mails from legislative candidates who have said they took the NRA candidate survey. That's good.
As a legislative candidate myself, I participated in both the NRA and WVCDL surveys.  Both the NRA and WVCDL surveys ask important gun rights questions. However, the NRA and WVCDL don't ask the same questions.
Some questions in the NRA and WVCDL surveys were similar. For example, the NRA posed a question about the right to carry on state college & university campuses in which they said as part of their background information on that question: "NRA believes a person with a permit to carry a concealed firearm should be able to carry that firearm concealed anywhere he or she has a legal right to be, except in certain 'sterile' high-security locations." WVCDL has several similar questions: Question 12 (eliminating grandfathered municipal ordinances), Question 13 (preempting state agencies, including state colleges & universities), Question 15 (reducing scope of courthouse carry ban), Question 16 (repealing the State Capitol carry ban), Questions 17 & 18 (exempting, either in whole or in part, concealed handgun license holders from the prohibition on carrying on school property), and Question 19 (expressly providing concealed handgun license holders an absolute right to carry in all state & local government-owned or operated buildings or other premises, except in "secure restricted access areas" with specified, airport-style security measures).
However, the WVCDL survey asked several questions dealing with several issues that have experienced extreme difficulty in the Legislature, such as closing public access to concealed handgun license records, removing legal impediments to greater reciprocity with other states, and (new for 2010) Alaska/Arizona/Vermont-style right to carry (either openly or concealed) without a license.
On the other hand, the NRA asked a couple of good questions on Sunday hunting and legislation on the right to carry and store firearms in parking lots that has passed in several other states, which WVCDL's survey did not cover.
In sum, the gun rights movement is not a monolith. the above should be a clear illustration of why legislative candidates who seek gun owners' votes cannot just answer one organization's survey to the exclusion of another.
Some candidates have complimented me on the thoroughness and specificity of the WVCDL survey. Some have grumbled about its length (which I easily concede, but it is a necessity). However, the WVCDL Legislative Candidate Survey is our single best opportunity to both educate candidates on our issues and put them on the record on where they stand. Right now, while candidates are asking for our votes, is the best time for us to make our concerns theirs and force them to earn our votes. Although we did not do so in 2008, we will at some point get enough candidate participation to have responses from a majority of members of the House & Senate Judiciary Committees--as well as of each body as a whole--to give us the means of authoritatively contradicting false claims of inadequate support for our bills to merit committee hearings. With your help, we can get enough participation on our survey this year to give us the tools for the 2011 and 2012 to unclog the legislative backlog that has made our 2010 survey so lengthy.
The current problems West Virginia gun owners face stem largely from some incumbent legislators who claim to be pro-gun when seeking our votes, but immediately either become indifferent to our concerns or turn around and stab us in the back once reelected and safe for another 2 or 4 years. With your help, we will separate the wheat from the chaff and make West Virginia's gun laws truly reflective of a state where over 80 percent of Legislature bends over backwards at election time to present themselves as pro-gun.
Because we are continuing the process of identifying the truly pro-gun candidates and the impostors, it is vital that each of us insist that all our Senate and House candidates complete the WVCDL survey. It is simply not enough for a candidate to claim to be pro-gun, or to have a good rating from the NRA, etc.  Two years ago, Governor Machines' campaign sent us a letter refusing to answer our survey and claiming how wonderfully pro-gun he is. Rather than see a few meaningful gun rights issues in his legislative agendas, the only headline-worthy action he has delivered was the Good Friday Massacre.
For these reasons, I am highly suspect of any candidate who tries to tell me they're pro-gun but won't take the WVCDL survey--and you should be too. Depending on the district and the field of candidates, it is not necessary that a candidate be in lockstep agreement with WVCDL to be the "pro-gun" candidate in that race, but that a candidate demonstrate a sincere interest in learning about our issues and delivering his or her honest opinions about those issues. A candidate who won't level with the voters about specific legislative issues and seeks cover under general platitudes cannot be trusted to promote our interests once elected.
So, what can you do?
First, take a look at the responses to the WVCDL 2010 Legislative Candidate Survey of the candidates for the Senate and House of Delegates.
Next, if there are candidates in your area who have not responded, contact them and urge them to tell you where they stand by completing and returning the WVCDL candidate survey.
I note that many candidates who have not yet responded have indicated plans to do so, but until they actually do so, reminders from you, their prospective voters, are needed.
At this point, neither am I prepared to publish individual candidates contact information, nor do I think it would be fair to do so.  However, both the Democratic and Republican parties have lists of their respective legislative candidates and links to their web sites.  WVCDL has phone numbers and e-mail addresses for most candidates and can provide your candidates' contact information privately, upon request.
Now is the time for you to get involved and help us set the table in this election year for two years of legislative success--or not.  The choice is yours.
Who Needs a Gun in Charleston?
Wednesday April 21, 2010
Police investigate overnight robberies
by Ashley B. Craig
Daily Mail staff
Police are looking for clues after two unrelated armed robberies occurred in Charleston overnight Monday.

The first incident occurred about 9:45 p.m. Monday outside of Red Lobster on Cross Terrace Boulevard near the Southridge Centre.
Robert Childress, 32, of Charleston was leaving the restaurant when a red early '90s model Chevrolet Camaro pulled up and a man jumped out pointing a gun at his chest, Charleston police said.

The man told officers another man also got out of the vehicle and demanded cash. Childress told officers he gave the men an undisclosed amount of cash and one of the men punched him in the face before getting back into the car.

The two men, both described as white and about 5-foot-6, fled the scene in an unknown direction, police said.

The other incident occurred early Tuesday morning on the city's West Side.
Rosemary Foye, 36, just stepped off a KRT bus at 1 a.m. in the 300 block of Elm Street when she was approached by a man wielding a knife, police said.

The woman told officers the man approached her from behind and pulled the knife, demanding her purse.

A second man then appeared from a nearby alley, also struggling with the woman for her bag.
The two were eventually able to wrestle Foye's purse away and fled on foot, officers said.

Foye went to a nearby house and called for help. She described one of the men as being a white male about 5-foot-8, muscular and wearing a white T-shirt and blue jean shorts.

The other male was described as about 5-foot-7, thin, wearing light-colored jeans and a red hoodie.
Anyone with information about either incident should call the Charleston Police Criminal Investigation Unit at 304-348-6480.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.craig@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.
Bloomberg Gang Gearing Up for New Gun Control Push
Mayor "I bought my last election" Bloomberg of New York is now pushing hard for Congress to destroy gun shows across the country.
Just in case you think the threat isn't serious, here is what is in store for America if the Mayor gets his way in Congress:
  • Details of the sale, such as the type of gun, the SERIAL NUMBER, and any other information the Attorney General may want must be provided for guns sold by private sellers.
  • Any person selling a gun, be it just walking around with a gun, or having purchased a table to sell a gun, must be registered with the gun show AT LEAST 30 DAYS BEFORE the show and the gun show must provide PERSONAL INFORMATION about each private seller to the Attorney General.
  • Private sellers must show photo ID to the gun show operator and sign a log book with personal information.
  • The feds will now have TRUE GUN REGISTRATION information in a database - GOODBYE FREEDOM!
  • If you make a mistake in all of this, you can get up to FIVE YEARS in prison.  The gun show operator also can be put in prison for paperwork mistakes.
  • Gun show operators will have to register with the U.S. Attorney General.
  • The Attorney General can make up regulations at will for controlling gun show operators.
  • The Attorney General can charge a fee, no limit set, for a gun show operator license.
  • Gun shows must get permission from the Attorney General 30 days in advance of any show to be able to have a show.
  • All sales must go the the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
A barrage of ads and commercials is starting immediately, attempting to push Congress to pass this legislation!
The full bill can be seen here.
"Closing the 'gun show loophole'" is the gun-grabbers' next step on the road to outlawing all private sales, registering all guns, and eventually outright confiscation.  In Question 23 of the WVCDL 2010 Legislative Candidate Survey, we specifically ask legislative candidates to pledge to not vote for any of these schemes.  If the candidates in your area have not responded to the WVCDL Legislative Candidate Survey, please contact them today and urge them to do so.
Gun-Control Activists Launch Lobby Blitz
April 20, 2010

By Bennett Roth
Roll Call Staff

Gun-control proponents, outspent and outmaneuvered on Capitol Hill, are pushing back this week using the anniversaries of two high-profile tragedies to make the case for legislation that would close gun show loopholes.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D), is expected today to unveil a lobbying blitz to prod Congress to approve legislation that would require background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows.
The group will launch a six-figure media campaign that includes both national cable and selected state advertising spots as well as an online petition drive.
"The truth is the conventional wisdom is just wrong that you can't do a gun issue," said John Feinblatt, Bloomberg's chief adviser for policy and strategic planning. He cited polling that shows support for closing the loophole and added that both President Barack Obama and his GOP opponent Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) pledged to close the gun loophole during the 2008 presidential campaign. [JM: I am confident the people of Arizona will have the final say on August 24.]
"The mayors are ready to say, 'Now is the time to do it,'" Feinblatt said. "This is not a gun-control issue. It is a crime-control issue."
The announcement comes on the 11th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado and days after the third anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech.
Lori Haas, whose daughter was killed in the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, said requiring the background checks is a "middle-of-the-road position to take," one that has already been approved by 17 states. [JM: Actually, only 5 states have gun show-specific laws. 3 states--CA, MD, and RI--completely ban private sales while several others have other private sale restrictions that are far less restrictive and invasive than the proposed federal law. However, the most important number is 33: the number of states that do not infringe on our right to engage in private, occasional, intrastate firearm transactions.]
Haas, a spokeswoman for the victims' families, said that even though the killer at Virginia Tech, a university student, did not buy a firearm at a gun show, "the connection to Virginia Tech is we know what happens when guns get in the wrong hands." [JM: He acquired them through a licensed dealer that was already subject to all the background check and bureaucratic paperwork requirements that did nothing to stop a madman.]
The group Virginians for Public Safety sponsored an ad this week in the Richmond Times Dispatch that urged the state's Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb to back legislation. Haas also said she is scheduled to talk to Warner about the issue this week.
In Colorado, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, which also helped in the Virginia media campaign, underwrote an ad in the Denver and Boulder newspapers calling on Sen. Mark Udall (D) to sign on to the gun show bill. The state's other Democratic Senator, Michael Bennet, has already agreed to co-sponsor the legislation introduced by Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).
In the House the measure is co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), whose husband was killed and son severely injured in a shooting on the Long Island Rail Road. [JM: It is a shame Castle is getting a free ride in his bid to win the final 4 years remaining in the term of the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Vice President Biden. If I lived in Delaware, I would vote for anyone but this opportunistic panderer.]
The latest lobbying effort, however, comes at a time when the political climate has grown increasingly inhospitable for gun-control forces. The Democratic leadership has not been eager to push gun-control measures that they fear could generate a backlash for lawmakers who represent more rural or conservative districts.
Furthermore, anti-gun-control groups have been increasingly bold in pushing their agenda. They recently convinced the House leadership that the only way they could muster enough votes to pass a bill granting the District of Columbia a voting Representative was to include a provision that would largely gut the remaining gun-control laws in the District.
Other gun-rights groups have become more brazen in their public demonstrations, with one organization encouraging participants to bring their guns to a rally Monday in a national park in Virginia just outside of D.C.
In 2009, anti-gun-control groups spent almost $5 million on federal lobbying compared with the $261,000 that gun-control groups spent, according to a CQ MoneyLine analysis of lobbying disclosure reports filed with Congress.
The top-spending gun-control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund, spent $123,00 last year, most of which was paid to the Democratic lobbying firm the Raben Group.
The National Rifle Association, the biggest anti-gun-control group, shelled out $1.9 million on lobbying in 2009. It was followed by Gun Owners of America, which spent $1.4 million, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, which spent $1 million.
"It is a very powerful lobby. They are very good at what they do. They are good at intimidating lawmakers," said Tom Mauser, the spokesman for Colorado Ceasefire, whose son was killed in the Columbine shootings. [JM: We don't threaten or intimidate anyone. We just promise most congressmen that if they ever vote for this, they will never win another election, and enforce that promise at the ballot box.]
Even though Colorado voters approved a referendum that closed the gun show loophole in 2000, Mauser said the surrounding states have not, meaning that guns purchased by people with criminal records are still coming into the state.
An NRA spokeswoman said Monday that the group did not want to respond to the latest lobbying effort by the mayors until it had been officially announced.
However, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action has posted on its Web site a rebuttal to what it called "the Gun Show Myth."
The NRA said official firearm dealers are required to conduct background checks on those buying guns at shows. Only a person who is not a dealer can sell a firearm from his personal collection without conducting a background check. The gun group said less than 1 percent of criminals obtain their guns from gun shows.
"Many legislators have proposed to restrict gun show sales, but their proposals would simply create a bureaucratic nightmare - shutting down the shows while leaving criminal markets untouched," the NRA statement said.
In 1999, the Senate included a provision to close the gun show loophole as an amendment to a juvenile justice bill. The legislation passed by one vote, with then-Vice President Al Gore casting the tie-breaking vote, but the provision died in conference.
While the measure has languished, advocates for the bill say the public is on their side. They cite a survey done last year by Republican pollster Frank Luntz for the mayors group that found 69 percent of NRA gun owners favor the background checks at gun shows.
They also argue that moves by some of the most conservative gun groups, such as bringing guns to political rallies and into Starbucks, could backfire.
"It will actively help our side when people see how extreme it is getting," Mauser said.
James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
Founder, Past President, Legislative Director, and General Counsel
West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
Join Our Mailing List
In This Issue
WVCDL 2010 Legislative Candidate Surveys Released
Who Needs a Gun in Charleston?
Bloomberg Gang Gearing Up for New Gun Control Push
Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List