Sunday, January 25, 2015

David Codrea: Virginia Lobby Day highlighted effective gun rights activism

David gives an informative account of his trip to Virginia.

Wednesday, this column published the text of the speech I delivered at the General Assembly in Richmond on Monday for Lobby Day. Now that a video has been released, it's embedded above. I’d been invited by Virginia Citizens Defense League, which participates every year to promote bills that advance the right to keep and bear arms, and oppose those that restrict it. What follow is are experiences and impression from the trip.

After a drive that started in Ohio at 9:30 that morning, and took eight-hours over unfamiliar highways and connections, I arrived at the hotel in late afternoon. There was just enough time to check in, unpack, and plot the course to the VCDL pre-Lobby Day dinner meeting at a downtown hotel. Taking surface streets, I promptly got introduced to Richmond road patterns. Being prevented from making right or left turns at intersections throughout the town would thwart me throughout the trip, but there was one familiar traffic truism—jaywalkers everywhere do so with the same sense of entitlement.

That meeting was my first real introduction to the inner workings of VCDL, and it was impressive. I've participated in lots of grassroots activities before, and have to say the organization, focus and openness were all impressive. President Philip Van Cleave and other officers were knowledgeable and patient explaining what Lobby Day was about and how the day would be organized, with lists and summaries of “good” and “bad” bills, and a time-tested tactic of breaking activists into teams to make sure coverage with legislators would be comprehensive and unified in message.

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