VCDL RallyOn Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 20, 2014, Virginia state Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13th) was the only elected official to attend and speak at a rally conducted on the grounds of the state Capitol by the radical pro-gun group Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL).

It was bad enough that the rally was staged to announce the group’s strong opposition to SB 510, a bill that would prohibit domestic abusers from owning firearms for five years following their convictions. But even worse were the comments by VCDL President Philip Van Cleave about why he was opposing the law. Van Cleave made it clear he doesn’t believe domestic abuse is a problem, saying that men who are convicted of slapping their wives around shouldn’t lose their weapons because “that’s not a violent thing.”1 Later, has described efforts to keep guns away from abusers as “silly.”2

In reality, research has proven that firearms and domestic violence are a deadly combination. Women living in homes with one or more guns are more than three times more likely to be killed in their homes, and family and intimate assaults with firearms are 12 times more likely to result in death than non-firearm assaults.3

No one expects common sense and decency from an extremist group like VCDL, but a long-serving elected official like Bob Marshall should know better.

Tell Delegate Bob Marshall: Publicly denounce VCDL President Philip Van Cleave’s domestic violence apologism.

  1. Tale of Two Gun Rallies,” WVTF, January 21, 2014
  2. VCDL President on Domestic Violence and Guns,” YouTube, January 28, 2014
  3. Fact Sheet: Intimate Partner Violence and Firearms,” Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


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