The Second Amendment Sanctuary movement that is sweeping the state of Virginia is like nothing I’ve ever seen in fifteen years of covering the issue, and when I learned that Amelia County supervisors were holding their meeting on Wednesday evening, I decided to make the easy drive from where I live outside of Farmville to see for myself if there’d be anybody in attendance speaking in support of a resolution. Keep in mind, no vote was being taken because no resolution had been introduced at that point, but I was pretty sure there’d be a few folks in attendance asking supervisors to declare the county a sanctuary for the right to keep and bear arms in the face of the dozens of gun control bills that are already being filed in Richmond.
The first inkling I had that more than a few folks had shown up came on my drive into town. Amelia Courthouse, which is the county seat, is a pretty sleepy little town where the businesses on the courthouse square shut down at 5 p.m. Yet as I approached the small downtown area, I noticed that cars were parked all along the street. When I actually was able to see the courthouse, I was stunned to see hundreds of residents of Amelia County gathered outside the courthouse where the supervisors meeting was already taking place.
I had to park several blocks away, and by the time I arrived, Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League was finishing a few spontaneous remarks to the crowd about the importance of continuing the momentum by showing up at the capitol for Lobby Day in January. After he finished speaking, I was able to make my way through the crowd to ask him what he thought about the huge turnout, which packed the meeting room inside the courthouse building and spilled out onto the front steps and lawn.