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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:23 PM
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Default CRPA issues Cease and Desist Letter to savecrpa.org

As I told Gene, the topic is NOT forbidden at all, feel free to discuss.

Several CRPA members started a website called 'savecrpa.org' using both the name and logo of the CRPA.

Today the CRPA Board of Directors received copies of the Cease and Desist letter sent to the principles of the 'savecrpa.org' website regarding their use of the name and logo.

I received this letter as a member of the CRPA BoD and took issue with both the use of the name 'Calguns' in the letter and the part pointing out that some of the individuals involved had connections to CGF as well.

The letter can be found here: http://savecrpa.org/files/crpa_savec...ist_051412.pdf

Frankly I think this was a bad move by CRPA, it does nothing but bring 'savecrpa' in to the spotlight and make CRPA look heavy handed.
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:27 PM
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Lame
  #3  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:27 PM
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You can't stop Darwin! Let the CRPA go. These struggles to save a orginization allways end badly. They would do better to spend their energies elsewhere.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestryll View Post
Frankly I think this was a bad move by CRPA, it does nothing but bring 'savecrpa' in to the spotlight and make CRPA look heavy handed.
it's also frivolous, with it's only intent designed to chill discussion and stop attention brought to crpa's failings.

Kestryll, do you feel it's a bad thing to bring 'savecrpa' into the spotlight?

Last edited by rysmithjr; 05-15-2012 at 11:39 PM..
  #5  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:32 PM
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Paul, you make a number of affirmative statements relating to the alleged "use of the [CRPA] name and logo" in your post.

Could you clarify if you agree with the legal reasoning in the CRPA's Cease and Desist letter or if you're simply repeating the allegations contained therein?

-Brandon
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:36 PM
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Kes, as a Board Member of CGF, have you considered resigning from the CRPA board at all? Your thoughts would be nice to hear as the owner of this forum.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:36 PM
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I'm curious if anyone reading this thread thinks there is any commercial use occuring on SaveCRPA.org or are confused between SaveCRPA and CRPA?

You see, the trademark act and the ACPA don't apply to non commercial speech about trademarks. Also, I'm not so sure that "CPRA" has a mark in "CRPA" since crpa.com goes to the Connecticut Recreation and Parks Association...

More news on this soon.

-Gene
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  #8  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:39 PM
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See:



vs.


-Brandon
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  #9  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:45 PM
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So when it comes to something petty law suits or the threat of a law suit is filed quickly. How much money does all of this cost btw?
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:47 PM
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You know the really sad thing about this all is that somewhere BRADY is Laughing!
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:47 PM
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Wow. What a BS allegation, and what a BS C&D letter. Save CRPA clearly distinguishes itself from CRPA, and nowhere on the website does it suggest any kind of affiliation, except that its current members are ex-board members of the organization who want to to move it in the right direction. Also, since when did CRPA get to co-opt the California flag and claim trademark rights therein?

I especially like the sentence "it is beyond debate that the activities of Save CRPA violate the Lanham Act." As if that's supposed to carry any weight. What a laughable letter - I've only followed this whole drama casually, but it just goes to show how desperate the current leadership of CRPA is.

Pathetic.
  #12  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Get3CoffinsReady View Post
So when it comes to something petty law suits or the threat of a law suit is filed quickly. How much money does all of this cost btw?
Over $20k to get rid of Gene and Brett; oh, and for them to figure out the Bylaws were not legal (just like Gene said).

See "legal" expenses: http://savecrpa.org/files/2012_budget.pdf

-Brandon
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  #13  
Old 05-15-2012, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvenSoul View Post
You know the really sad thing about this all is that somewhere BRADY is Laughing!
The only thing Brady is laughing about is how ineffective CRPA has been in cooperating with other gun rights groups
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:55 PM
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This is the first I've heard of this drama, and I don't really know anything about it. It's just discouraging. It almost feels like, "mommy and daddy, please stop fighting." I hope this gets figured out and resolved quickly. Seems too late for "cleanly."
  #15  
Old 05-16-2012, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taperxz View Post
Kes, as a Board Member of CGF, have you considered resigning from the CRPA board at all? Your thoughts would be nice to hear as the owner of this forum.
Fair question.

Yes, I did consider it on several occasions.
To be honest those times had very little to do with anyone else resigning or not being reappointed, it's been more cases of frustration when meeting resistance to new ideas or efforts. At times I've wondered 'Why in heaven's name am I even trying!?!' Other times I talk to people who seem to really get it and want to move forward.

In the end the reason I have chosen to stay for the time being is that I'm not convinced that things can't be improved and that changes can not be made from the inside.
I really dislike giving up on things and I know for a fact that there are people on the CRPA Board who understand the need to change and grow with the times. Because of this I am compelled to keep making an effort until I am convinced, not by other but by my own experience, that there is no chance to improve things.

I've never turned a moving car by pushing on the fender from the outside but being inside I might be able to nudge the steering wheel a bit.

This is not to say I think it is going to be easy or immediate, it's going to take work and patience. Not infinite patience but at least a little bit.
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  #16  
Old 05-16-2012, 12:12 AM
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it just seems stupid to me
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  #17  
Old 05-16-2012, 12:12 AM
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It's beyond debate that the "SaveCRPA" logo is a parody of CRPA's logo.
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  #18  
Old 05-16-2012, 12:22 AM
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Paul,

Let's talk patience and investment.

How many hours have you invested into reforming CRPA?

What documents have you produced?

What drills have you created or led?

What laws and precedent have you analyzed? Where is it published?

What bylaws did you evaluate and map?

Have you ever wondered who and what provided the foundation for you being elected?

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  #19  
Old 05-16-2012, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdberger View Post
It's beyond debate that the "SaveCRPA" logo is a parody of CRPA's logo.
I would argue that the SaveCRPA logo is more of a nominative fair use, rather than parody. Parody typically involves an actual trademark use, but done so in a manner to poke fun or provide humorous social comment. It's very tricky to fall under this exception, and I'm not sure I understand the humor in the addition of "Save" in "SaveCRPA".
  #20  
Old 05-16-2012, 12:29 AM
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the letter all comes down to alleged Lanham Act violations. Has anyone seen any sign that savecrpa has tried to confuse or deceive consumers into thinking they were the crpa, or that the domain was only bought in an effort to sell it back to the crpa at a profit?
  #21  
Old 05-16-2012, 1:05 AM
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The Lanham Act drama is very humorous. The allegations/auras about perceptions (told to the lawyer by CRPA, who I'ms sure really hasn't investigated deeply)
is that CGFers are supposedly stirring the CRPA drama to take CRPA monies.

This is funny - if it weren't sad - because...
  • CGF has fundraising generally adequate for our work. Our CGF fundraising generally happens in an unstructured fashion and
    correlates, time-wise, with cases being filed, defendants being defended, and/or people getting their guns back, charges
    dropped and/or payments from gov't entities/agencies to settle bad cases (like our Calexico PD matter yesterday, where
    ~$40K was paid out, retraining was required, and a Factual Finding of Innocence was granted.)
    .
  • If CGF needs to access more funds and/or use extended efforts in a case of (likely) national signfiicance [or highly substantive in
    CA] we can partner with SAF.

    Why would we trifle with CRPA for this? Illogical, useless. It also shows that people making such allegations "just don't get it".
    .
  • CGF is a legal defense, etc. entity as a 501c3. It can't do real politics except thru legal processes. That's c4 stuff.

    CGF board members are individuals who also are and have been CA gun activists and recognize the need for a formal, useful state
    organization that can be highly politically active (as well as who runs sanctioned shooting sports activities).
    .
  • One would expect more reform and progress toward increased activism in past 4+ years than the sole replacement of a troublesome
    legislative staffer ~4 years ago. Admittedly, the replacement is the excellent CRPA legislative liaison, Tom Pedersen, who backs our
    NRA liaison (Ed Worley) 100% - and who both have their own unique skills & specialties for a broader presence in Sacramento.

    One would think that the CRPA could do One Good Reform Thing Per Year.... adoption of the parallel NRA board elections bylaws
    would be a start, then thinking about a PAC, then thinking about integrating support of hotter shooting sports (cowboy action? 3gun?)
    etc. Even with One Good Thing Per Year, we could be getting somewhere. And not even that much in any particular order...
    .
  • Various CGF board members who were on CRPA board even when separating from CRPA board membership reiterated that....

    1. members should remain members to have a voice; even
    joining could be useful to again have a voice, as dropping
    out completely makes (former) members irrelevant.

    2. we have encouraged people to continue to donate to the
    separate CRPA Foundation, who is doing valid legal work
    and has NRA oversight/coordination. In fact several of
    us reiterated that if for whatever reason they did not want
    to donate to CRPA, they should instead donate to the
    CRPA Foundation.
    .
  • The CRPA Executive Committee and Exec Director do not 'run' CRPA in the sense of telling the Board what to do. The Board
    tells the 'upstairs' what to do.

    Have you ever heard of a corporate board threatening suits of its directors or trying to stifle its directors speech? No credible
    corp. has ever done that [outside of some violative behavior like insider trading, etc.]

    CRPA needs to recognize it's not a club and that Board relations etc are parallel to the corporate world - the latter has profit/value
    as its goal or desired outcome, while the former is supposed to have gun rights and promulgation of all aspects of shooting as its
    goal.


    Do please also note that the lawyers in this matter ARE NOT GUN LAWYERS, this is a separate organizational matter involving
    external corporate counsel.
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Last edited by bwiese; 05-16-2012 at 1:24 AM..
  #22  
Old 05-16-2012, 1:20 AM
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Nice post, Bill.

...oh, and I'm still waiting for my copy of the letter. Apparently my email server refuses to accept threatening missives (an unusual quirk, I'm sure) so only paper copies will do.
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Last edited by jdberger; 05-16-2012 at 1:23 AM..
  #23  
Old 05-16-2012, 1:30 AM
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Kinda weird we're all spending money to fight each other... when we should be fighting anti-gunners.
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Old 05-16-2012, 2:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E Pluribus Unum View Post
Kinda weird we're all spending money to fight each other... when we should be fighting anti-gunners.
A lack of effective statewide org is a major problem that must be fixed. CGF is not meant to be a long term organization.

There would be no fight here if CRPA leadership hadn't done the stupid thing.
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Old 05-16-2012, 7:21 AM
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It's laughable that CRPA attempts to claim "their" logo / trade IP is being infringed upon when a large percentage of that logo is essentially the flag of our state (public domain). Equally ridiculous is the reference to "cybersquatting".

CRPA's tactics and understanding of Internet law remind me of a circa-1999 AOL user who gets bent out of shape by somebody making fun of their precious kitty-cat picture.
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Old 05-16-2012, 7:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvenSoul View Post
You know the really sad thing about this all is that somewhere BRADY is Laughing!


But you forgot to include LCAV, CSGV, and I'm sure others...

Once again CRPA is short sighted and alienating membership.
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Old 05-16-2012, 7:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E Pluribus Unum View Post
Kinda weird we're all spending money to fight each other... when we should be fighting anti-gunners.

Bingo!
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Old 05-16-2012, 7:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestryll View Post
In the end the reason I have chosen to stay for the time being is that I'm not convinced that things can't be improved .
Good on you!
That is NOT an easy decision.

My choice was far more simple, to renew my membership or not. I was encouraged to maintain my membership, by people HERE, so I did. I did so in the hope that the CRPA would align with what California Gun Owners REALLY want. To align with the direction of CalGuns.

I wish success!

United we stand, divided we fall.
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Old 05-16-2012, 7:55 AM
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I'm not a CRPA member, so I don't have a dog in this fight. I will tell you from an outsider's point of view, it looks like

I don't know much about what went on with the CRPA BoD, but I know that the people that were "ousted" from the board are people I respect. Gene Hoffman and Bill Weise have done a lot for our fight and we are all in debt to them.
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Old 05-16-2012, 9:14 AM
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Sounds like its time to just make a clean break from the CPRA. The old men in charge don't want to represent the next generation of gun owners. Yes, there is an established organization there that could be used as a framework in building the next big CA gun owners association, but it's becoming clear that it's not worth the fight.
Discretion is sometimes the better part of valor. If we need a membership based association to represent us then maybe it's time to start The CalGuns Association.
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Old 05-16-2012, 9:30 AM
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The old guard can only stay around so long...
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Old 05-16-2012, 9:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E Pluribus Unum View Post
Kinda weird we're all spending money to fight each other... when we should be fighting anti-gunners.

Our costs of litigation are less not only on gun front but in other matters esp in 'interesting' cases.
Lawyers like 'interesting' cases they can win easily.

The real travesty is that CRPA members' dues are being used for this nonsense to have 'protected
species' on the Board.

Reforms in certain operational areas, once made, could offset these costs
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Old 05-16-2012, 9:38 AM
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Here is a more simple way to understand things. It cuts through the CRPA-crap better, and I am TELLING YOU ALL these things as the person who talks to everyone, and tried to stay neutral on things. I can't stay neutral any longer.

ALSO - like I said on Facebook, I mostly spend my time working on Oakland anti-violence stuff. I have lived in East Oakland for 10 years, and I am working with the churches, with OPD, with people who are still in the lifestyle here on the streets, with the NGO's, etc. . . If I had the reputation for blowing smoke, it would not only end my "career" - it could literally end my life. So, I have learned just to be honest.

Please believe me that what I write is the truth.

1) Our coalition is TOTALLY winning here in CA.

2) CRPA was a problem group for a number of years, due to the lobbyist that they had previously (not now), and some problems within leadership.

3) They have a new lobbyist who is a standup guy now, BTW.

4) BUT - as the right gets restored in California, there is a BIG GAPING HOLE for a true FORWARD THINKING civil rights membership association or group that can help train THOUSANDS of people, across the state. These new, younger shooters, are buying guns and are just now learning how to use them. If we do not train folks on safety and their rights, we face major problems down the road. People need access to this training, especially in this state, since we don't really even "have" a gun culture here, yet.

5) CGF / CGN simply can't do this, we do not have the resources and are not structured the way that a "shooting club" would be structured.

6) SO, individual members of CRPA, some of whom were also connected to other groups, started pushing for change. Some stridently, some quietly. BUT ALL WITHIN THE RULES. WE ALL WANT POSITIVE CHANGE.

7) We want the structure to be better, and we want the mission to be better.

8) This is OUR RIGHT as members, and as board members, etc. . .

9) AN ENTRENCHED FACTION INSIDE OF CRPA that stands to "lose" prestige as a result of any changes, simply took over the democratic process, and booted Gene and Brett out. I resigned in support, then others resigned.

10) Now, that faction is attempting to use the legal process to quell free speech, and this is EXACTLY A SLAPP SUIT. And is exactly "CRPA-crap."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strateg..._participation

Quote:
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.[1]

The typical SLAPP plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff's goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat. The difficulty, of course, is that plaintiffs do not present themselves to the Court admitting that their intent is to censor, intimidate or silence their critics.
There is no judge anywhere who will sustain anything against any of us. This is too obviously an attempt to quell speech, and political speech is HIGHLY protected. The problem is that the clients don't know this. But their lawyers do, and should be ashamed of themselves.

In fact, everyone over there should be ashamed of themselves. We were just trying to improve things, and now they are "shooting at" the very coalition that is making all the progress. Go compare which groups actually win things. . .

Just do it.

Unless CRPA sees the light, this may well spell the end of that group EVER being taken seriously, both in this state, and nationally. Forever, in people's heads, they will associate the word "crap" with the initials CRPA.

They REALLY stepped into "it" - with this one. I got one of those letters, and I don't even have to tell you what I do for a living. They appear to have enough sense to leave me out of this, for now. And it is my hope that people over there realize that there are ways to "pierce the corporate veil." What that means is that anyone behind this could stand to lose their house, and ALL their assets. Speech is a protected civil right, setting that aside, there is some common law, and some case law on this as well. Defamation and libel are examples.

I have no assets, BTW.

None.

That is by design, since it makes me a hard target with nothing to lose. . . Nearly every day in Oakland, I interact with people who are likely armed, and who would shoot me if I said or did the wrong things, or had something they wanted. So I deliberately HAVE NOTHING.

This petty BS, from CRPA leadership, is therefore even MORE disgusting to me. I do not have time for games. In my Oakland work, I deal LITERALLY with life and death, and I am now being asked to speak for groups that are connected to the churches. Last Friday, I spoke for a group that included the mothers of gun violence victims. This petty drama that CRAP is creating, is just that. Petty, selfish, little kid, drama.

And, I can speak for many people when I say we ALL have more important things to worry about.

The coalition has been spending its time WINNING. We do not have time for this sort of "CRPA-CRAP." But given our track record, do folks think we will win? Or that we will lose?

What would a bettin' man, bet?


Last edited by oaklander; 05-16-2012 at 11:58 AM..
  #34  
Old 05-16-2012, 9:44 AM
FatCity67 FatCity67 is offline
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Internal power struggles are nothing new in organizations.

This public display of pressure tactics on the many sides of this issue is disconcerting. The polarizing affects are clear.
  #35  
Old 05-16-2012, 9:47 AM
taperxz taperxz is offline
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This might be "off the wall" but, what if we got LOTS of people to send in requests for refunds on our membership dues? No I don't expect my money back. A simple online form and email for ease of sending. If enough people did this...... If this turned class action it would force change.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:05 AM
J.D.Allen J.D.Allen is offline
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I am not a member of CRPA and have not been privy to any of the issues that have been occurring. However I am also not blind and the people that I constantly see accomplishing things with real results in this state seem to be the very people that have issues with CRPA. That's enough for me. Seems like CRPA is slowly slipping into true insignificance. (Or staying insignificant, if you listen to some people).
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the question here is not whether the carrying of arms is a good idea—the question is
whether carrying arms is constitutionally protected. Objective standards and due process—not
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  #37  
Old 05-16-2012, 10:08 AM
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NoJoke NoJoke is offline
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Oaklander, there was a point in my life when I could make a blanket statement that I didn't like lawyers much....

Rock on!
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  #38  
Old 05-16-2012, 10:11 AM
oaklander oaklander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoJoke View Post
Oaklander, there was a point in my life when I could make a blanket statement that I didn't like lawyers much....

Rock on!
Thank you brother!!!

In my past life, as an actual yuppie, I wrote and spoke extensively on legal ethics, and this is why this whole thing bothers me. . .

"THEY" want to try and mess with MY reputation?

"They" won't get far.

Last edited by oaklander; 05-16-2012 at 12:14 PM..
  #39  
Old 05-16-2012, 10:15 AM
J.D.Allen J.D.Allen is offline
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As much effort, money, and trouble as it would require, perhaps its time for someone to start a NEW club type organization, more along the model of the NRA...
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"Who is the more foolish? The fool, or the fool that follows him?"-Obi Wan Kenobi

the question here is not whether the carrying of arms is a good idea—the question is
whether carrying arms is constitutionally protected. Objective standards and due process—not
Defendants’ philosophy or personal beliefs about the value of this activity—must carry the day-Alan Gura
  #40  
Old 05-16-2012, 10:30 AM
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spgripside spgripside is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oaklander View Post
CRPA could likely lose its charter, if it does not calm down. . .
My hope that CRPA can be saved is dwindling with each step the current CRPA leadership has chosen to take. I'm frustrated to the point that losing their NRA charter is starting to seem like the best outcome. These guys are clueless, and watching CRPA crumble under their watch may be required to eventually rebuild CRPA into a respectable pro civil rights organization.
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