Highland County Supervisors Adopt Second Amendment Resolution
The newly installed members of the Highland County Board of Supervisors held a public meeting in the Highland High School gymnasium Wednesday night to hear public comment on adoption of a proposed Second Amendment resolution. Roughly 300 local citizens were in attendance. Kenny Hodges was the first person to take the podium after presenting the board with approximately 650 signatures from registered county voters in favor of the resolution, Mr. Hodges read the text of the proposed resolution. It calls for the county to not spend public funds on the enforcement of laws that unconstitutionally violate Second Amendment rights and to oppose those restrictions through the courts, if necessary. Over the course of the next hour and 15 minutes, 18 speakers followed Mr. Hodges to the podium, all but one of whom urged the Board of Supervisors to adopt the resolution. Virginia State Trooper Todd Brendel had this to say:
When you think about the amount of money it’s going to take to actually come into these law-abiding citizens’ homes here behind me and actually take something from them, and I’m pretty sure that everyone behind me is not going to go quietly. And I think it’s a definite overstep by our government here in Virginia. I’m thinking that y’all will do the right thing and vote to adopt this resolution. And I think it’s a great thing for this county.
Several of the speakers stated that the impetus behind the grassroots effort was fear that the General Assembly’s new Democratic majority will pass legislation during the current session to limit the rights of Virginians to own and use firearms. Speakers made reference to bills currently under consideration that substantiated this fear.
Reverend Elizabeth Pyles, pastor of McDowell Presbyterian Church, was the lone voice in opposition to the groundswell of support for the resolution. She expressed her appreciation for the public hearing, noting that it was democracy in action. She also conveyed her love for the people in attendance and throughout the community, while respectfully voicing her reasons for opposing the resolution.
Although the Reverend Pyles’ was the only voice in opposition to the resolution at Wednesday night’s meeting, county resident Curtis Seltzer had made an appearance before the supervisors at Tuesday night’s regular board meeting. He urged the supervisors to consider carefully the adoption of the resolution. Seltzer noted that the proposed resolution effectively called on the Board of Supervisors and the sheriff to determine the constitutionality of the gun-control laws duly passed by state and federal legislatures, thereby usurping the courts’ role in making that determination. Seltzer said that any act of violence resulting from the Board’s and or sheriff’s decision to not enforce those laws would amount to malfeasance and subject the county to significant financial exposure.
After considering comments made during the regular supervisors meeting and public comment Wednesday night, newly elected and first-time supervisor John Moyers made a motion to table consideration of the resolution. Moyers’ motion was met with a raucous objection by the assembled crowd, who made it known they wanted an immediate vote. Supervisor Harry Sponaugle countered the crowd’s objection that the Board wouldn’t be bullied into making a decision without being allowed to give the resolution due consideration. This was followed by more raucous objection from the crowd. The supervisors then huddled, briefly discussed the resolution and voted in short order to adopt it.
This is Mickey Frank Thomas for Allegheny Mountain Radio.