Townhall Media/Beth Baumann
As our politics become more and more divisive, the differences between urban centers and smaller communities seem to be highlighted. Smaller communities, typically rural ones well away from the urban enclaves, tend to embrace the Second Amendment in ways that more urban centers don’t.
In our current climate, anti-gun activists and lawmakers no longer bother to pretend to care about what those smaller communities care about when it comes to the Second Amendment. In Rhode Island, a lot of those smaller communities are making it clear that they’re willing to return the favor.
It isn’t on the scale of revolutionaries burning a British tax ship, or even West Warwick’s secession from Warwick a century ago. But dissension is brewing in western Rhode Island over gun rights and the region’s resentment of Smith Hill urbanites.
Following the lead of jurisdictions in eight other states, a handful of Rhode Island’s rural communities are considering declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuary communities — places where the constitutional right to bear arms won’t be infringed no matter what state lawmakers pass this session.
Town officials say they’re employing the same kind of defiance as are “sanctuary cities” that pointedly oppose the federal government’s immigration crackdown, although Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions are largely symbolic.
Burrillville was the first town to pass such a resolution last month, and on Monday night in Hopkinton, the Town Council, in a tiny town hall packed with gun-rights advocates, voted 3 to 2 in favor of a similar resolution.
“The Second Amendment is not a suggestion. It’s guaranteed, like freedom of the press, freedom of assembly,” said council member Scott Bill Hirst. “We have a degree of arrogance from state leaders … and I’m going to proudly vote to defend the Second Amendment.”
His words brought cheers from the standing-room-only audience.
As well it should have.
The comment about arrogance from state leaders is particularly true. It’s what we’re seeing. More importantly, we see it all over the country. People who have never experienced life outside of the urban environments are convinced that their solutions, the same solutions that have failed in those environments, are the solutions for the entire nation.
They don’t understand that when you have a large county and a small tax base, it’s hard for sheriffs to patrol as densely as they do in inner-city Chicago. When response time can be up to an hour or so, you don’t get to delude yourself into believing that the police will protect you. You have to face the truth that your safety is on you and no one else.
While small cities may have police departments, they’re often not heavily staffed which means those folks are in the same boat.
The last thing people in these communities want is someone who doesn’t understand their wants and needs telling them what’s best for them, especially when they know for a fact that it’s not.
That’s what much of the Second Amendment sanctuary movement is about, and it’s also why it’s so important.