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Deceptions and True Intentions of the so-called Million Mom March
Santa Clara MMM meeting - not "open to the public"

by Michael Pelletier

February 3, 2001


On Monday, January 29th, in the words of their press release, "The Santa Clara County chapter of the Million Mom March invites the public to attend..." their first meeting. This was published in the San Jose Mercury News, and Janet Conn, a project manager at Cisco Systems (, made an appearance on television news that morning promoting the meeting.

Featured speakers were to be San Jose Police Chief Willam Lansdowne, Los Gatos Police Chief Larry Todd, and Santa Clara County District Attorney Stan Voyles.

Silicon Valley NRA Members' Council president Daryl Davis spoke with Ms. Conn, who just days before the meeting had said that gun-rights supporters would be admitted on a space-available basis in the 200-seat ballroom, and would be allowed to sit and listen if they were not disruptive. Based on the conduct of self-defense supporters at the Santa Cruz meeting of the MMM, she had absolutely no reason to expect otherwise.

But when nearly 100 supporters of the right to armed self-defense arrived at 6:00pm, and the MMM faced the prospect of being outnumbered two to one by self-defense advocates, the rules of the game changed.

The meeting was no longer "open to the public," but instead, what Duane Darr described as an ideological "brown paper bag" test was administered at the door. Just as in the Jim Crow south, where you were denied entry if you were darker than a brown paper bag pinned to the door, here you were denied entry if you were less than an enthusiastic supporter or member of the MMM.

One woman, who lost her cousin to the infamous "Night Stalker" serial killer in Los Angeles, and who as a result believes that every woman deserves the choice to use firearms in self-defense, was told, "you're not the kind of victim we're looking for." She was rebuffed even after she offered to pay $20 and join the MMM just to get in the meeting.

Another woman was asked by Janet Conn to turn off a tape recorder she was using to record the meeting.

What are they afraid of the public finding out, I wonder? Based on these comments from an anonymous attendee of the meeting, it would appear that it's the utter hypocrisy of our public officials:

"The second speaker, Chief Lansdowne, was easy to understand -- he seems to change his firearms stance based on the audience he is speaking to. At this MMM meeting, he used many superlatives describing the MMM efforts to pass strong anti-gun ownership legislation. He also spoke of his efforts to shut down gun dealers and gun shows in the San Francisco East Bay while chief of police in Richmond. When he spoke at the Silicon Valley NRA Members' Council this past year, he strongly supported the firearms group."

Chief Lansdowne is the former Chief of the Richmond, California police department, which is being sued along with the Contra Costa county Sheriff by Jim March over discriminatory practices, cronyism, and racial redlining in the issuance of concealed carry permits.

"Chief Todd was the third speaker. He talked about strategy in passing gun control legislation. He said the MMMers should not vote for all gun control proposals, but rather vote for selected bills. He says the goal is to eliminate the gun culture in the this country, and that it needs to be done slowly, to avoid angering the people who disagree with gun control. Chief Todd is a member of several police organizations, and active on their respective gun control policy committees. He said it is good to have a mixture of doctors, police and victims as part of the MMM contingent. I found it odd that he also thought it was nice that people were rising up against gun control like people did in the '70's against the Vietnam War. Again, for those who care, he wore his shield on his left breast pocket while making the presentation in a gray jacket and tie. If he appears in public on duty in this outfit, he was in uniform while making this presentation."

[ For a flyer to pass around about Police Chief Larry "Oath Breaker" Todd, choose one of the following formats, and send it far and wide:  .html - .pdf ]

Chief Todd is one of the more outspoken gun-haters in our region of the country. However, he has the distinction of running a department that recorded the actual commission of a grisly murder on a 911 tape, while the unarmed victim was waiting for the good guys with guns, Chief Todd's employees, to arrive.

Chief Todd says that the goal is to "eliminate the gun culture," hmm, where have we heard that before? Ah yes, Hitler's goal was to eliminate the Jewish culture in Europe. And indeed, he proceeded towards that goal slowly and behind closed doors, to avoid angering the people who disagreed with it.

Who says that the gun-banners haven't learned anything from history?

With respect to the "in uniform" question - California Government Code section 3206 reads:

3206. No officer or employee of a local agency shall participate in political activities of any kind while in uniform.

"Assistant Santa Clara District Attorney Stan Voyles was perhaps the most inflammatory of the speakers. He presented the facts and statistics that the MMM uses to justify its cause. He cited numbers showing gun homicides in the US versus other industrialized countries. He reiterated that over 3,000 children are killed with firearms each year in the US. He then went on to contrast those values with numbers killed in wars. Voyles then illustrated that the weapon of choice in California for a majority of crimes was the handgun. Then he went on the offensive against the NRA and stated that what the NRA has to say about the Second Amendment amounts to fraud. Could the MMM's be planning a new law suit strategy against the NRA? He went on to claim that there are no court cases supporting the individual ownership interpretation and that NRA has abandoned any Second Amendment arguments to oppose gun control."

The firearms rights contingent is being accused of "fraud" while he's calling 17, 18, and 19 year-old gang members "children."

He's accusing us of "fraud" when the MMM claims in their flyer - - that 77% of all incidents of school violence involve guns, when the study they cite - - only touches on DEATHS, not "all incidents," and the 77% is out of 281 incidents over 8 years, or 75 millionths of one percent of the 47 million public school students.

"MMM Founder Mary Leigh Blek was the next speaker. We could not stay for much of her presentation. However, we found it strange that she is a professed Republican yet a huge supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton and efforts to pass stronger gun control legislation in the US Senate."

Who's REALLY being fraudulent, I wonder? Who was really lying to the 50 attendees of that meeting, District Attorney Stan Voyles, Mary Leigh Blek, or the 100 people standing 100 yards away from the hotel entrance on the public sidewalk, carrying signs that read "Armed Women Prevent Rape?"

I can't adequately express my pride at being associated with the crowd of stalwart self-defense supporters who braved the chilly night air for three hours to stand out on the sidewalk in front of the Marriott holding signs and waving at honking passerby.

These people, individuals of all races, from all walks of life, are the true patriots. And though they were not allowed in to the meeting to hear what their elected public officials had to say, and indeed were not even allowed on the property of the hotel, working together we scored a victory for freedom and against those who would conspire behind closed doors to take away our right to choose.

Predictably, press coverage was minimal - Channel 11, even after being called and told of the hundred assembled freedom advocates in front of the hotel, did not show up. Channel 4 took some tape, but aired a cursory report the following morning. Reportedly, the Mercury News was there, but I have yet to see a report on the exclusion of the public from this meeting.

What's important to note is that California has had some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation, nearly every point of legislation that the MMM calls for, yet the leading tool of choice for criminals here is still the handgun.

The failure to recognize this fact leads me to conclude that the efforts of the MMM in California are not primarily about crime and violence prevention, but rather nothing short of a cultural war against law-abiding gun owners. Where will this lead? Certainly not to less crime and violence.

The insights gained at this meeting are valuable, as they help us know what we are up against -- a deliberately slow, systematic, destruction of the law-abiding gun-owner's way of life through stealthy and innocuous legislation crafted behind a rope barrier, an idealogical litmus test, and closed doors, in a meeting that was fraudulently advertised as "open to the public."

When you are standing in line for the showers, it's too late to object.

We need to get active, loud, and involved. Join your local NRA Members' Council in California - If there's not one in your area, start one! Don't wait for someone else to take action before you "have time" to defend your freedoms.

Stand up against the systematic destruction of the "gun culture," *your* culture! Get in the game, because Chief Todd sure is.

Michael Pelletier
Self Defense is Common Sense

For a flyer to pass around about Police Chief Larry "Oath Breaker" Todd, choose one of the following formats, and send it far and wide:  .html - .pdf.

For more information about the gun bigots falsely calling themselves the "Million Mom March," feel free to read any of the following: