From Phillip Van Cleave – VCDL – Virginia’s Only No Compromise Gun Rights Organization
THE POWER OF UNITED GUN OWNERS IS UNDENIABLE
We had a huge turnout tonight at the Craig County Board of Supervisors meeting! We filled the room. We also sent a massive onslaught of emails two days ago. The effects of all of your efforts was noticeable.
The first thing that the Board of Supervisors did was to amend the minutes of their previous meeting to indicate that no one on the Board wanted to have the Pott’s Mountain range closed. The minutes (and a witness who as at that previous meeting) said that one of the supervisors did indeed discuss shutting down the range with the Board. However, the Board was not walking, but running, from that position. All of them.
And let me take my hat off to an excellent public servant – National Forest Ranger Cindy Schiffer. Also hats off to all the National Forest Rangers.
Ranger Schiffer was polite and very professional when she addressed the Board of Supervisors. She said that the National Forest Service had no intention of closing the range. She noted that the Forest Service had done a sound test when the range was opened and found that the sound of shots monitored on a nearby road was quieter than the cars passing by on that road. She said they did have some problems with trash and they would consider closing the range on Tuesday mornings to allow time for them to pick up the trash. She also said that if the Board of Supervisors really felt there was an issue with sound, the Forest Service could plant some conifer trees. However the range is free, so the Forest Service didn’t want to spend any unnecessary funds on such things.
After Ranger Schiffer finished I talked to her outside the meeting room and thanked her for standing with gun owners and providing a valuable service to the citizens of Virginia. I also told her that VCDL was in the process of organizing volunteers who would help with the range clean up. (EM John Wilburn has volunteered to head up such an effort.) She said she would be grateful for any help she could get.
There is also a problem with some vandalism at the range. If you see anybody vandalizing the range, call the Craig County Sheriff’s department, who patrol the forest as part of their duties.
After I finished speaking to Ranger Schiffer, I headed back into the meeting because I still wanted to address the Board of Supervisors.
IT GOT UGLY FOR A FEW MINUTES
They finally called for pubic input and I stepped up the microphone.
As soon as I finished identifying myself and began to address the issue of the Board of Supervisors trying to affect the right of citizens to use the Potts Mountain shooting range, the chairwoman, Ms. Harrison tried to shut me down, saying that I needed to make an appointment to make a presentation to the Board.
I said I wasn’t making a presentation, but simply addressing an issue that was in front of the Board.
She continued to interfere with my message to the Board. I believe that she just wanted me to shut up and let the issue just go away.
Some of the VCDL members in the audience at that point stood up and said I could use their time to speak. Ms. Harrison said it wasn’t about time.
Finally, Ms. Harrison relented and I addressed the Board. I told them that ANY attempt to discourage the Forest Service having that range was unacceptable and would betray Virginia gun owners. Most of them nodded their heads in agreement and one of them wanted to look anywhere, but at me.
Having got the point across, I stepped down from the podium. At that point a resident stepped up and gave them hell for even thinking about closing or reducing the range’s hours.
Bottom line: the range is safe! Thanks to all who helped us protect that range, especially those who flooded that hearing!
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