search
top

Good News!

Fresh from stabbing gun owners in the back with the Heller Brief, the Bush administration seems to have decided to be nice to us again:

At the request of the Bush Administration and 51 members of the United States Senate led by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prohibition of firearms on agency land will be revised in the following weeks.

Victory at last.

20 Responses to “Good News!”

  1. countertop says:

    Its not that they want to be friendly or not. Its only that there is a certain amount of political capitol to go around, and if your smart, you save it until the time you can amass enough to do the most good for your issue.

    I don’t think people quite understand how the process works, and the behind the scenes maneouvering and, especially the GOA types, are too quick to convict and simply don’t know how to keep their powder dry.

    On any of these issues, we could always end up doing worst. There’s a reason that the NRA has such trouble with the GOA and VCDL types – its cause they understand the system and realize that if you pushed when GOA wanted to, then you’d get nowhere.

    GOA would rather just throw the baby out with the bathwater. Every day I’m just more and more convinced they would rather lose than win.

  2. countertop says:

    Needless to say – God Bless the NRA.

    And VCDL for getting the ball rolling on this in some sense. It actually looksl ike they are going to get us Restaurant Carry this year (passed both houses, right now on Gov. Kaine’s desk). But on Nat. Parks issue – they dropped the ball in a big way.

    Hell, they never even had the ball, they were basically off chasing the popcorn guy the whole time instead of standing on the field.

  3. Sailorcurt says:

    Yea, and it’s sure a good thing we gun rights supporters don’t throw each other under the bus, now isn’t it?

    My Response

  4. Sebastian says:

    Yeah, I saw that. There’s more information on that whole issue that hopefully she’ll be able to bring to light. I know what it is, and I can’t talk about it either. And no, it’s not information that was sourced from NRA.

  5. Sailorcurt says:

    Hell, they never even had the ball, they were basically off chasing the popcorn guy the whole time instead of standing on the field.

    And from another Virginia Resident that I’ve never ONCE seen at a VCDL meeting, rally or event. Not even the Protest Bloomberg rally in DC a while back that he said he was going to attend.

    VCDL isn’t perfect but at least we saw that this issue needed to be addressed and did what we could to address it.

    I guess we shouldn’t have even bothered. I mean. Our 4,000 members holds such sway on the national level, that fact that we didn’t get it done just demonstrates unequivocally that we’re ineffectual and worthless right? I guess we should all just go home and leave the important work for the professionals.

    Maybe if you would volunteer your leadership to VCDL instead of sitting on the sidelines talking about how ineffective the other VOLUNTEERS are…you know, those other people who all have other jobs and don’t get paid a penny to fight for YOUR gun rights…Perhaps if you had helped and let us know how terribly we were doing, we could have done something else that would have been more effective?

    But, then again, it’s much easier to arm chair quarterback than to go out on a limb and actually suggest a course of action BEFORE the outcome is already known.

    And YES. I’m defensive about this.

    I work too damn hard and spend too much of my personal time fighting for YOUR rights to take being disparaged like this sitting down.

    You don’t like the way VCDL does business? We’re an ALL VOLUNTEER organization and I hear we still have openings for new members.

  6. Sebastian says:

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting VCDL is worthless. Unlike a lot of other “grassroots” gun organizations, they’ve been very effective in many aspects of grassroots mobilization, and they should rightly be proud of that. But I agree with Countertop’s assessment of the National Park Ban. They deserve credit for getting the discussion started on the issue, but they aren’t the one’s who got it done.

    Every group needs to look at their strengths and weaknesses. VCDL’s is grassroots mobilization and local political action. Those things are important. But I’m not convinced they have the contacts or resources to do federal level lobbying effectively. That’s not a criticism, really. Few groups do have the resources and contacts to do that effectively.

  7. Sailorcurt says:

    Those things are important. But I’m not convinced they have the contacts or resources to do federal level lobbying effectively. That’s not a criticism, really. Few groups do have the resources and contacts to do that effectively.

    Well, between you, Countertop saying that our efforts were “out chasing the popcorn guy” and your significant other laughing when she could have been helping, It sure sounds like criticism to me.

    VCDL has never pretended to have the influence of the NRA. VCDL has never purported to have the “resources or contacts” to do ANYTHING effectively at the national level.

    But VCDL leadership saw something that needed to be addressed, and acted where no one else seemed willing. They went out on a limb, formulated a plan and put that plan into action.

    Our efforts may have ultimately been fruitless and the NRA may have had the “resources and contacts” needed to get something done where we failed, but we DID SOMETHING. VCDL didn’t have the ear of 51 Senators or President Bush. We couldn’t just waive a magic wand and make the Administration issue a rule change. So, VCDL leadership researched the issue and did what they thought was appropriate, followed the procedures for requesting a change of federal regulations by filing a petition for rulemaking. Granted, it’s more expedient to have the right “resources and contacts” but what is a grassroots organization SUPPOSED

    I may be fooling myself, but I refuse to believe that the NRA would have been able to get this to happen without the visibility that this issue has gained over the past few years…much of which due to the efforts spearheaded by VCDL. Had we not been pushing this already…had we not already submitted petitions, contacted our legislators and send e-mail after e-mail to get them thinking about this…would it have even happened? I doubt it.

    Do you think it’s not frustrating to us when we work so hard to get an injustice addressed for two years…the NRA completely ignoring us and refusing to help, and then stepping in and getting it done at the snap of a finger?

    If the NRA did it without any influence from the efforts of VCDL, they could have done it two years ago too. How many victims could have defended themselves during the two years that NRA sat on their collective ass and did nothing while puny little VCDL charged the hill again and again?

    And you, and Bitter are proud of that?

    So y0u both come out and publicly disparage an all Volunteer group that has, by your own admission, been one of the most effective grass roots gun rights organizations in the country, because we didn’t get something done on the national level.

    And you wonder why grassroots local groups feel a bit of rancor towards the NRA and its cheerleaders.

    We aren’t perfect, we don’t have a multi-million dollar budget, teams of lawyers, paid lobbyists and 4 million voters behind us…but we STILL do what we can and we work hard for every step we gain. I would think just a LITTLE credit would be due even when we fail. Especially from people (Bitter and Countertop specifically) who get to enjoy the fruits of the labor of the group that they are disparaging every day but can’t bestir themselves to help…only to laugh and chide.

    We failed on this issue. We didn’t get it done and I freely admit that…but to imply (and don’t deny that your post and comment make the implication) that we shouldn’t have even tried because we’re “out of our league” is insulting and demeaning to the people who work so hard, with no pay or benefits, on their own time, and at their own personal expense, to support YOUR gun rights.

    As I said in my post: I thought we were all on the same side.

    I guess I was wrong.

    “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.”
    — Edward Everett Hale

    What have YOU done lately?

  8. Sailorcurt says:

    Crap. I was still editing when I accidentally hit the tab key and submitted it.

    The bottom line is this. With all the armchair quarterbacking going on I’ll just put it like this:

    You are the President of a 4,000 member grassroots organization that sees this issue as needing to be addressed. The 800 lb gorilla is doing nothing and refuses to support your effort.

    What would YOU do?

    Give up?

    That sure seems to me to be what you’re saying.

    If that’s your advice then you can keep it.

    “…We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

  9. Sebastian says:

    But VCDL leadership saw something that needed to be addressed, and acted where no one else seemed willing. They went out on a limb, formulated a plan and put that plan into action.

    Yes, they deserve kudos for bringing that issue to the surface and trying to get something done.

    I may be fooling myself, but I refuse to believe that the NRA would have been able to get this to happen without the visibility that this issue has gained over the past few years…much of which due to the efforts spearheaded by VCDL.

    You’re not fooling yourself. It may not have been something NRA thought about if VCDL hadn’t brought it up. Like I said, they deserve credit for getting the issue going, and trying.

    Do you think it’s not frustrating to us when we work so hard to get an injustice addressed for two years…the NRA completely ignoring us and refusing to help, and then stepping in and getting it done at the snap of a finger?

    No doubt it’s frustrating, but there were mistakes VCDL made in going after this issue. People who knew how to do this kind of thing tried to explain to them how to approach the problem, and they didn’t want to listen.

    So y0u both come out and publicly disparage an all Volunteer group that has, by your own admission, been one of the most effective grass roots gun rights organizations in the country, because we didn’t get something done on the national level.

    I didn’t disparage anyone. I suggested VCDL didn’t have what it takes to lobby at the federal level. That’s not dissing them, that’s just a fact. It doesn’t mean they aren’t a useful organization when they play to their strengths. Think NRA could have gotten 200 people to show up at a town hall meeting in Norfolk to defend open carry there? I doubt it.

    We failed on this issue. We didn’t get it done and I freely admit that…but to imply (and don’t deny that your post and comment make the implication) that we shouldn’t have even tried because we’re “out of our league” is insulting and demeaning to the people who work so hard, with no pay or benefits, on their own time, and at their own personal expense, to support YOUR gun rights.

    I didn’t say VCDL shouldn’t have tried. But when people tried to help them, they shouldn’t have developed an ego about the whole thing.

  10. straightarrow says:

    Horseshit! the ego thing here is the NRA’s.

    They are perfectly willing to let someone else do the heavy lifting, break the constraints of inertia, then when the ball is rolling run around in front and claim the credit.

    Shame on you, Bitter, and Countertop and the NRA.

    I don’t blame Sailorcurt for being angry. You just pissed down his neck and tried to tell it was raining.

  11. Sebastian says:

    For the record, Bitter and Countertop have done more for the cause than anyone else in this comment thread, including me. You have no idea who these people are in real life. No idea. So let’s leave it at that.

  12. straightarrow says:

    Just don’t piss down people’s neck and I’ll be glad to leave it at that.

  13. JNS says:

    That’s rather an ironic accusation, coming from you, straightarrow. You seem to delight in being a contrary asshole who pisses down the necks of people on a regular basis. Half of your comments on this blog basically boil down to, “You’re not a REAL gun supporter like I am, you’re full of shit!”

    While I have read comments and posts here that I have disagreed with strongly, no single other poster on this blog has come close to the level of stupidity you exhibit on a regular basis. One must wonder if you continue to post here for any purpose other than a contrary nature, as you have made your feelings clear long ago. You are now simply a more persistent version of Jadegold, albeit a more embarrassing version as you claim to be on our side. Your intoxicating blend of arrogance, irrationality, stamina, and support of the rights of gun owners almost makes me wonder if you are some sort of Brady sock puppet, a cunning caricature meant to discredit the average intelligent gun owner.

    You have single handedly caused me to actually question my views against gun control personally, because knowing that people like yourself that have such a painful aversion to any form of logic or reason are walking around armed is terrifying, should any sort of emergency break out.

    You continually claim to be a nice guy, totally non-violent, yet in comments before on this site you have admitted to angrily threatening bodily harm for totally childish reasons. This leads me to believe you are either actually the one full of shit and talk big on the internet to make it sound like you’re some sort of tough guy, or you’re so dangerously self deluded that you cannot see the paradoxical nature of your statements.

    The most recent example I can remember is where you stated that you basically threatened an old boss just because he mentioned that the company rules stated he could search your vehicle. Taking a stand and leaving in a situation like that is the right thing to do. Threatening someone is an action on par with the maturity of someone that’s around a quarter of your age. Someone whose first instinct is to threaten bodily harm and then who has poor enough impulse control to actually go through with vocalizing it is clearly of questionable mental stability.

    In the end, I can’t bring myself to support more gun control, no matter how terrified I am by a few obviously unhinged individuals. I will instead put my faith in the existing system of making sure that the mentally unstable do not have access to firearms, and hope that one day they will be able to properly classify you among them.

    I know your first instinct will be another of your thoughtless monkey scribblings that you attempt to pass off as a comment of reasonable discourse. Please, I implore you, save the internet a little bandwidth and refrain. Nowhere in your rambling, incoherent response would you come close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. We would all be dumber having read it. I award you no points, and may The Flying Spaghetti Monster have mercy on your soul.*

    *Apologies to Adam Sandler.

  14. Sailorcurt says:

    But when people tried to help them, they shouldn’t have developed an ego about the whole thing.

    Well, I can’t speak to that definitively because I’m not an insider at VCDL any more than I am at NRA…I’m just a lowly footsoldier who does what I can…but as far as I’m concerned, those accusations are nothing more than hearsay and a further effort to undermine VCDL. If you have some evidence of VCDL refusing help, I’d love to see it, but feel like I know Phillip well enough to say that that just doesn’t sound like the route that he’d take. I’ve never seen him turn down a good idea or turn away an offer of help. And, by the way, some low-level NRA insider telling a low-level NRA apologist “this is what I heard…” does not constitute “evidence”.

    You’re right, I don’t know who Bitter or Countertop are and I don’t know what, exactly they do for the cause because they remain anonymous and don’t post about what they accomplish. Must we little people just assume that everyone who hides behind a pseudonym and doesn’t talk about the good they accomplish is some high level elite that we should bow down and swear fealty to?

    Sorry, but the only thing I have to go by is what they say on their blogs. They both are excellent writers and commentators but as far as actual accomplishments? I sure haven’t seen anything substantive…unless every NRA apologist gets credit for every NRA accomplishment regardless of their lack of physical involvement…then I’m quite impressed. Heck, I’m quite impressed with myself as an NRA life member…all I have to do is defend them through thick and thin…even to the point of stabbing other gun rights organizations in the back, and then I too can claim that I’m an effective activist. All from the comfort of my own computer without actually having to ever inconvenience myself with little things like…you know…actually DOING anything.

    I didn’t go to law school. I chose, instead, to spend 21 years of my life defending our nation in the armed forces. Phillip was a cop and is now a private businessman. That’s the story of virtually ALL the VCDL members and leadership. Just common folk foundering along doing the best that we can…with very little help from the “elites” who would consider themselves our betters. But at least we’re in the game…and, yes, it does bruise my ego when I see other Virginians sitting on the sidelines booing those of us who are actively working for their benefit.

  15. Sebastian says:

    You’re right, I don’t know who Bitter or Countertop are and I don’t know what, exactly they do for the cause because they remain anonymous and don’t post about what they accomplish. Must we little people just assume that everyone who hides behind a pseudonym and doesn’t talk about the good they accomplish is some high level elite that we should bow down and swear fealty to?

    Who is asking anyone to swear fealty? I’m suggesting that people ought not accuse them of not doing anything for the cause. None of us know each other in real life. That’s not suggesting you have to bend over and kiss anyone’s ass. It’s suggesting that none of us have enough information to know what anyone else has accomplished. All of us blog anonymously for professional reasons, not related to this issue, not because we’re trying to hide from the readers.

  16. Bitter says:

    Help me understand, SailorCurt, why your instinct is to assume that people who, by your admission, communicate so effectively on these issues and the activism surrounding them do nothing if you can’t clearly see it in your direct vision. I know that we all recognize your efforts with VCDL even if we haven’t personally witnessed it.

    No one is saying you’re a peasant as you like to claim in your comments. As I said in my response to you at my site that we’ve actually been citing people like you as the strength that VCDL can really play on to be even more effective in the future.

    In fact, you say:

    “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.”
    — Edward Everett Hale

    This is a good policy, in general. But, was Hale opposed to putting one’s energy and efforts where one can create the most value? That’s actually the overarching theme in this discussion.

  17. straightarrow says:

    Whoa, JNS, you said “You continually claim to be a nice guy, totally non-violent, yet in comments before on this site you have admitted to angrily threatening bodily harm for totally childish reasons. This leads me to believe you are either actually the one full of shit and talk big on the internet to make it sound like you’re some sort of tough guy, or you’re so dangerously self deluded that you cannot see the paradoxical nature of your statements.”

    I have never claimed to be non violent. I have been violent and I used to be very good at it. What I did claim is that I never used violence against anyone not trespassing me. And I have said very few people would believe me capable of violence because of the manner in which I usually comport myself. I never said nobody had seen it in me. Some people have tried to kill me, rob me, and beat the hell out of me. I have been shot twice, cut a few times and survived. I survived because I prevailed because I didn’t childishly dismiss prudently applied violence as unacceptable. In all but one of the instances referenced above I was unarmed. In the instance where I had a pistol on my person, I never pulled it or used it even though there were three locals who didn’t like construction workers and had already beaten three of them down ( one at a time, of course). They didn’t get it done the fourth time. Oh, yeah, that also ended the attacks on unsuspecting workers at the power plant.

    As for the rest of your rant, you haven’t said anything logical, except you don’t like me. Ok, I can live with that. The logic of that is that you aren’t obligated to like me or to pretend you do. But that dislike does not equate to a rebuttal of anything I may have said.

    The one specific you cited was about a boss I refused to allow to trespass my rights. You’re damn right, I’ll fight over that. If you won’t, that speaks more to your character than mine. As it was, and you know this because I said so in that post, that my employment there ended and nobody was physically harmed. Up until he understood my position he and his security people were prepared to force the issue and do what I would not allow despite my protests. The belief that he had a personal downside is why he didn’t break into my car, or rather have his security people do it. He had told them to go ahead when I refused to unlock the car for him.

    I do not think my position was unreasonable and if you do, I have deep sympathy for anyone who must depend on you.

  18. countertop says:

    I had a longer post prepared, but I decided to just ditch it.

    I guess what I’m wondering is how you can think I am completely dismissive of VCDL when I stated, right at the top of my comment:

    Needless to say – God Bless the NRA.

    And VCDL for getting the ball rolling on this in some sense. It actually looks like they are going to get us Restaurant Carry this year (passed both houses, right now on Gov. Kaine’s desk).

    With “this” being the issue of National Park carry.

    I have no problem with Philip Van Cleave. He’s done a heck of a job – first of rescuing the organization from irrelevancy and then of marshaling his sizable volunteer army (and it is sizable – its one thing to have 4 million members, its another to get 4,000 people to actually drop what they are doing and come out and lobby or protest) to achieve real results.

    Within the state, they are untouchable and put the NRA’s efforts to shame.

    But on a national front – WHICH IS NOT THEIR SPECIALTY – they simply weren’t effective. Perhaps its because its an all volunteer organization. Or perhaps its cause they just didn’t have the experience or contacts to get the job done. I think a large part of the problem was that they are too closely aligned to GOA and looked to GOA for advice and guidance in how to repeal the National Park gun ban and/or adopted GAO style tactics..

    Ultimately though, I think each of these led to the lack of a comprehensive strategy on how to achieve repeal of the National Park gun ban, and the resources to follow through on the strategy, from the get go.

    I could go into more detail, but frankly I know the Brady Bigots occasionally read this blog and I don’t want to give them any more intelligence. If you want, SailorCurt, I can email you further offline.

    But lets just say this, the problem isn’t Phil. Your right, he’s always eager to accept help and does a heck of a job. The problem is that some of the volunteers who have taken leading roles in VCDL campaigns are nut jobs. And nut jobs – and needless to say the GAO – are toxic to any hope of political success.

    Regarding the timing on when each organization got into this first – well, I think your both wrong – or at least by my recollection you are.

    I first heard of the idea/effort from VCDL. I’d say that was about 5 years ago, maybe longer. If my memory serves me correct, VCDLs first petition was filed in 2003. At the time it was pretty clear the organization didn’t have a long term plan for lobbying this thing, and I think that was evident in how DOI treated it. When I delivered a copy of it to the White House, I was told this would make a great 2nd Term project – and indeed it is (going back to my first comment on holding your fire until the time is right).

    Regarding the NRA, they ran a story on the need to repeal the National Park ban shortly after, in the lead up to the 2004 presidential election campaign. I believe it was in one of the Free Hunter magazines, but I could be mistaken. The story was very well done, and provided significantly more context and understanding on the history of the ban as well as its inconsistent application (it listed a number of National Park Service properties where it wasn’t in effect) than VCDL did. This was the first time I had heard of the effort from the NRA, but it was very clear that they had spent a good deal of time understanding the general field they were about to (or had already) engage in.

  19. Bitter says:

    I believe NRA was working on it earlier than the story, Countertop. I can see where this is something the would save rallying the troops for until the end when comments are needed. I don’t think they’d want to worry about sending in the troops for stuff like this when they were trying to rally them to keep the AWB from seeing the light of day. Once that was confirmed, then, by your timing notation, it would be time to steer the conversation to what we want.

top