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Virginia Citizens Defense League Sues Katie Couric For Defaming Gun Owners

Our friends at the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) yesterday announced that they have filed a $12 million lawsuit for defamation in Federal District Court in Richmond, Virginia against Katie Couric, director Stephanie Soechtig, Atlas Films, and Studio 3 Partners LLC d/b/a Epix and other responsible parties for the film “Under the Gun.”

Katie CouricBreitbart News previously reported that an eight-second pause was inserted in the film between the end of Couric’s question about gun control and the responses offered by VCDL members. The pause made the VCDL members look like Couric had baffled them with her gun control insight. In truth, the VCDL members had answered Couric immediately. 

Bearing Arms reporter Bob Owens says in the filing, the VCDL, Daniel L. Hawes, Esq., and Patricia Webb allege that the filmmakers knowingly and maliciously manufactured the fictional exchange by splicing in footage that the filmmakers took surreptitiously after telling the interviewees to be silent for ten seconds so that recording equipment could be calibrated. The filing also contains side-by-side screenshots of the film’s footage of the VCDL members and anti-gun advocates, alleging that the filmmakers manipulated lighting to cast shadows on the VCDL members and to make them appear sinister and untrustworthy.  

As Gadsden Guns owner Pat Webb, who participated in the interview observed on the Gadsden Guns blog, “We trusted that even though we’d definitely get less screentime, and our most articulate and compelling points would probably be excluded, we’d still be presented more or less honestly. Nobody expected the editorial team to do a hack job on our interview footage to intentionally make us look like uncomfortable, inarticulate mutes.” 

Couric later apologized for the “misleading” edits, but the filmmakers refuse to fix it or to stop promoting and distributing it. 

VCDL president Philip Van Cleave said, “We were horrified to see how Couric and her team manipulated us and the video footage to make us look like fools who didn’t stand up for the Second Amendment. We want to set the record straight and hold them accountable for what they’ve done. You shouldn’t intentionally misrepresent someone’s views just because you disagree with them.” 

In a question and answer section of the VCDL’s latest newsletter Van Cleave offered this insight into the lawsuit: 

Q: What does the VCDL hope to accomplish with the lawsuit?

· Hold the filmmakers accountable for misleading audiences and misrepresenting us.

· Compensate the VCDL and the VCDL members who were harmed by the film.

· Set the record straight.

· Advance our mission to defend your right to defend yourself.

Q: How is the VCDL paying for the lawsuit?

· Member contributions.

Please consider making a contribution to help hold Couric accountable and to help the VCDL defend your right to defend yourself. Unfortunately, filing such a lawsuit is expensive, but our friends at the VCDL believe they simply cannot let this manipulation and intentional misrepresentation stand.

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People like Couric need to

People like Couric need to find themselves in need of someone with a gun to defend them. This is the only thing that will bring reality home to them.