On episode 177 of The Urban Shooter Podcast, along with my usual joviality, I got the opportunity to interview the president of a successful pro-rights group called the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). On the show, Philip Van Cleave spoke candidly and proudly about the group. I entitled the whole episode VCDL so you can find it later if you ever want to. They have been around since 1995 and involved in skirmishes that matter to residents of Virginia. This local assembly of pro-gun people have made an incredible impact in their state by doing what grassroots movement do.
Driven by their desire to keep the U.S. Constitution from being maligned and misinterpreted by defending the Second Amendment the VCDL has done more locally for the rights of gun owners in Virginia than anyone. I have witnessed their work and except for their own small celebrations they have received little public acknowledgement. I wish to give my brothers and sisters in arms a big thumbs up from where I sit. I appreciate them because they are aggressive but not disrespectful. They are apolitical but focused. It’s amazing to see a organization move as effectively as this one does without as many resources as some have. It is a testament to the power of the American people.
The VCDL holds small rallies and restaurant open carry events that draw good numbers. They are good at communicating and rallying their members and have progressed from the fax to Facebook. They move with the effectiveness of a small guerilla group. I have seen them at all pro-gun events with the familiar hunter orange buttons proclaiming simply but effectively that Guns Save Lives. They are the “boots” on the ground that politicians and money hungry national organizations wish they could control. Several states have adopted their template. One of the notable things about the group is simplicity. Even their website is no frills. It is easy to navigate and demonstrates that sometimes we can get too obsessed over style versus content. The substance is there. You will also notice the absence of mention of well known national pro-gun organizations on the site and in our dialogue. Donations to sponsor their events come largely from members and gun show coordinators. This speaks volumes to me as a reminder to all who seek to fight for your rights must do so without the support of traditional groups that have budgets, an image, and may be more interested in maintaining the status quo than helping you win your fight. Even though we have many pro-rights groups out there, the price of freedom is still depending on how much you are willing to defend it.
Grassroots organizations like this are what made this country one of the greatest nations on the planet. Boots on the ground is how our country was founded. Those same boots are how we defeated tyrants. This is how we will continue to defend the freedom our forefathers have died for. Thank you VCDL for all you do for gun rights in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It’s the people that are praised here. They just all seem to come from the same state.
Visit www.vcdl.org and see for yourself.