PDA

View Full Version : Gun-rights advocates stage protest at Norfolk council meeting


StukaJr
08-29-2007, 3:12 PM
Gun-rights advocates stage protest at Norfolk council meeting

http://media.hamptonroads.com/media/content/pilotonline/2007/07/gun500x324.jpg

By HARRY MINIUM, The Virginian-Pilot
August 29, 2007

NORFOLK

More than 100 gun-rights advocates, most carrying handguns on their hips and wearing buttons saying "Guns Save Lives," came to the City Council on Tuesday night to protest what they called harassment of law-abiding gun owners by city officials.

The protest was called by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights group, after Chet Szymecki of Yorktown was arrested in June at Harborfest for carrying a gun.

Szymecki was arrested for violating a city ordinance banning guns at Harborfest - an ordinance that officials now acknowledge violates state law. City Attorney Bernard A. Pishko said city officials were unaware of a state law prohibiting localities from banning guns.

Carrying a weapon openly is legal in Virginia, even at a large gathering such as Harborfest. Once city officials realized their error, the charges against Szymecki were dropped.

"We made a mistake," Councilman Barclay C. Winn said. "It was unintentional."

Most who came to protest didn't appear to believe it was an innocent mistake.

"You know it was illegal," said Dave Vann, who drove from Falls Church to speak. "You arrested someone, and now it's going to cost you dearly."

Szymecki, a Navy veteran, said he was manhandled and hurt and that his wife, Deborah, his three children and two other children who accompanied them were traumatized. He said he has hired Norfolk attorney Stephen Merrill.

An emotional Deborah Szymecki told the council that after several police officers were done handcuffing her husband, she was left without money or the keys to the family car.

Others rose to describe incidents in which they said they were questioned and often handcuffed by police for simply carrying a firearm openly.

"Apparently you have some officers who don't understand the law," said the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Philip Van Cleave of Midlothian.

The meeting drew more rowdy as it continued, with speakers receiving thunderous applause and some expressing disgust for the council. Some used unsavory terms to describe the police.

Councilman Paul R. Riddick left the meeting as gun-rights advocates began speaking, he said, in protest of their protest.

Kim Barton, who would not say where she lives, tried to speak but was told by Mayor Paul Fraim that she couldn't because she had not signed up to speak.

"I want to hear what she has to say," Vann said.

Fraim replied, "I'm running this meeting " and informed Vann his time to speak had expired.

Harry Minium, (757) 446-2371, harry.minium@pilotonline.com


http://media.hamptonroads.com/media/content/pilotonline/2007/08/gunmeeting.html

If only California had something like this:

"Szymecki was arrested for violating a city ordinance banning guns at Harborfest - an ordinance that officials now acknowledge violates state law. City Attorney Bernard A. Pishko said city officials were unaware of a state law prohibiting localities from banning guns.

Good for Virginia, wishful thinking for Kalifornia - still, something to think about .

RRangel
08-29-2007, 4:49 PM
Maybe they have something there. Not a bad idea.

Annie Oakley
08-30-2007, 9:57 AM
Has anyone considered an annual gun-rights rally near the Capital in Sacramento? Would it even get support from gun owners? Just something to think about.

M. Sage
08-30-2007, 5:55 PM
Councilman Paul R. Riddick left the meeting as gun-rights advocates began speaking, he said, in protest of their protest.

IMO, as a Councilman he doesn't have the right to do this. It's his job to sit there and listen.

I'm not sure how well a protest would work here. I have a feeling we'd get painted with a broad brush by MSM...

Annie Oakley
08-30-2007, 6:16 PM
What about Second Amendment appreciation day with BBQ, bands, firearms accessories, and wearing apparel for sale in Capital Park? Would gunowners do something like that?

M. Sage
08-30-2007, 6:17 PM
I'd be up for that. Sounds like a good time.

CavTrooper
08-30-2007, 6:30 PM
2A DAY sounds great! or how about a whole "A" day with each represented, some with small booths, some with large booths, displays, speakers, the whole 9! I think it would be a benefit to the cause, reminding folks that support the 1st or whatever thier preference is, that each amendment is equally valuable and deserve equal support! I can see it now.... hippies, artists, rednecks and Jesse Jackson, all holding hands and singing.... lol, I cant even finish without laughing!

M. Sage
08-30-2007, 6:32 PM
"Bill of Rights Day." Sounds like a winner to me. :D

...over at the 4A booth: "I have some really interesting literature in here, but unless you've got a warrant, I'm not showing it to you." :p

Annie Oakley
08-30-2007, 7:09 PM
You guys are funny. You always make me laugh.:D

CitaDeL
08-30-2007, 9:06 PM
Constitution Day is September 17th (falls on a Monday this year)
The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15th (A Saturday)
April 19th commemorates the Battle of Lexington (in 2008, a Saturday)

And of course, there is Independence Day on July 4th. (in 2008, a Friday)

If anyone is really serious about such a rally, Im game on a number of different levels.

Parag
08-30-2007, 9:57 PM
Don't forget "Curse Congress Day", every April 15th.

-- Parag

StukaJr
08-31-2007, 10:47 AM
Well, according the the article, Virginia has "a state law prohibiting localities from banning guns" - or as I understand it, local ordinances cannot overrule the State Laws... Quite opposite in California or so it seems...

I'd be up for a rally, if there is a large enough group...

bulgron
08-31-2007, 11:07 AM
Well, according the the article, Virginia has "a state law prohibiting localities from banning guns" - or as I understand it, local ordinances cannot overrule the State Laws... Quite opposite in California or so it seems...


Uh, I must be missing something. I thought in CA local municipalities could NOT overrule the state. Isn't this why a recent gun ban in SF got thrown out in court?

M. Sage
08-31-2007, 6:07 PM
Exactly, it's called preemption. California has this in regard to firearms laws and a few others.