In February of 2020 the headline in my county’s newspaper reported that a group named The Second Amendment (2A) had submitted a resolution to the County Commissioners to turn my county into a second amendment sanctuary. Basically these 2A groups are making a preemptive effort to circumvent national and state laws about limitations to the use of firearms. Specifically, the resolutions (there are different wordings) state that the county will agree not to enforce laws that the group believes violate the US Second Amendment.
Almost immediately I submitted a letter of opposition and requested a copy of the resolution. After reading the resolution, I submitted a second letter. Barb Gant, who also lives in the same county, submitted letters of opposition. Through friends, she learned of others in opposition to the resolution. Originally about 10 of us were going to meet with the commissioners as a group, then the pandemic hit and everything was postponed.
With new information about the virus and the passage of time, the commissioners agreed to meet with three of us in their chambers. Barb, who coordinated our opposition, and two other women with longer and more influential associations in the county were picked as the three. Some, who were eliminated from attending, submitted emails in opposition. We received permission for me to participate via FaceTime on Barb’s phone. All four of us made statements and a letter from a 92-year-old community member was read. Although we had strategized prior to the meeting, our strategizing had not gotten into the details of what we would be saying. I was amazed by the way our statements were different but supportive, almost like the different voices of a choir fitting together in harmony.
During our meeting we learned that the 2A group had submitted a more watered down version of the proposed resolution and we were given copies. Although that may be considered a victory of sorts, experience has taught me that victories in these struggles are momentary and fragile. In my opinion, the same forces behind this effort are constantly and unceasingly working on every level of government for the weakest laws regulating firearms and their use.
Becoming a peacemaker and determining how to fight for peace (pun intended) has been a lifelong struggle for me. In a society that reveres war and sings a song glamorizing a battle before every sporting event, it can be difficult communicating an association between firearms and the devastating outcomes from their use. Little jingles like, “The only thing protecting us from a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun”, resonate with some people. It is inevitable that conflict is going to exist. My hope is that our effort makes non-violent resolution more likely in this county. I look forward to input and support from my church support group in, what I hope is, our harmonious effort to practice and teach non-violent conflict resolution. As of this writing, there is no word on movement of the watered down 2A resolution.
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