More than 100 folks turned out for the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League picnic Saturday afternoon and evening in Green Hill park, including yours truly and Zach.
The intermittent downpour started almost as soon as folks gathered — fortunately they had arranged a shelter (although the volunteers who cooked got soaked in the rain).
There was no shortage of welcoming and friendly folks there, almost all of them carrying .45-caliber, .40-caliber and .357-caliber (and other sized) pistols.
VCDL President Philip Van Cleave (his photo is on the left) made the trip from Chesterfield, and Al Steed Jr., a VCDL board member who lives in Bedford, was there too.
The best part was getting to meet regulars on this blog, such as Dave Hicks and John Wilburn and the regular who goes by “Jack” (photos of all of us are below). VT Hokie, her husband and daughter were also there. She seemed surprised to see me.
They’re all nice and intelligent folks and it was fun breaking bread with them. They even introduced me, and gave a round of applause.
The purpose of the picnic was to demonstrate that carrying guns Roanoke County parks is legal, in spite of a clumsily worded law that might lead many people to believe otherwise. The law bans firearms “as expressly prohibited by law” but because there’s no law that expressly prohibits them (for most people), they’re not actually banned. Or something like that.
(In fact, a state law the VCDL worked to enact prohibits localities from banning firearms on most public property, with a few exceptions such as in courthouses).
It was Jack who noted this: What if the law banned black people from parks, “as expressly prohibited by law” but there was no law expressly prohibiting blacks? Do you think that would confuse people, and get some of them upset?
Those weren’t the exact words, but it’s the gist of the point. The laws are complicated and it’s not unusual for even cops to be confused by them.
Here’s the pic of me with Dave Hicks and John Wilburn.
Here’s a question that budding provocateur Zach put to Dave Hicks, just before we left:
“Don’t you think the world would be a better place without guns?”
Dave hardly batted an eyelash and came back with something like: “Not if they had skipped inventing guns and had invented nuclear weapons first.”
Thanks for the fun time, guys!