As expected, commissioners in Smith County, Texas overwhelmingly approved a resolution to declare the community a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” on Wednesday, with residents speaking out in favor and opposition to the measure before the vote was cast.
The majority of the speakers were opposed to the resolution. Many shared personal experiences of violence or intimidation by people they believe should not have had access to firearms.
“This resolution is a frivolous waste of money,” said Nancy Nichols, president of the Democratic Club of Smith County. “We have the Constitution, we have the Second Amendment and we should stand by that. That’s what we should remember at the poll.”
Nichols also shared of a story of being threatened by a neighbor, saying this type of rhetoric empowered him to use his guns to intimidate others.
I’m really sorry that Nancy Nichols had a horrible neighbor, and if she was truly threatened I hope she pressed charges, but there’s nothing in the resolution that empowers people to threaten their neighbors with a gun.
Michael Tolbert asked commissioners why they weren’t putting forth resolutions in support of other amendments. He offered them several to consider, including one that would resolve that political contributions are not free speech, citing the Supreme Court case Citizens United as an example of unreasonable violations of the First Amendment.
I hate to break it to Tolbert, but he’s the one wanting to violate the First Amendment. The Citizens United decision allows for individuals to pool their resources and compete in the marketplace of ideas with billionaires like Michael Bloomberg. Sure, he can still outspend us, but it’d be even worse if gun owners couldn’t combine our cash to try to level the playing field.
Others said it was necessary to clarify their Second Amendment rights or thanked Phillips and the court.
“I’m compelled to quote the late, great Frank Zappa that ours is a nation of laws, poorly written and randomly enforced,” Rudy Wright said.
“A lot of people have spoken about their experience with guns and even in the worst of the experiences cited, I can’t help but think that if only I or some other person with a good heart and mind, a calm soul and a weapon were present, all those bad experiences could have been stopped.”
I’ve never met Rudy Wright, but any man who quotes Frank Zappa in defense of the Second Amendment is all right in my book.
In the end, the Smith County commissioners approved the resolution 4-1, making it the seventh “Second Amendment Sanctuary” in the state and the second county in Texas to adopt the measure this week. Parker County, just west of Fort Worth, approved their resolution on Monday, and while I’ve heard no concrete plans for other counties in the Lone Star State to adopt similar language, I imagine we won’t have to wait long at all before word gets out about another community in Texas that’s ready to take a stand in support of the right to keep and bear arms.