Council should have listened to residents
There has been much complaint that Lynchburg City Council has not held open forums on many issues. These complaints led the council to agree to an open forum on the proposal that Lynchburg designate itself as a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.” An approval would then align Lynchburg with the more than 100 Virginia cities, counties and localities that have done so in the face of the governor’s recently proposed gun control laws.
The forum was held Jan. 14 at the large E.C. Glass High School auditorium, which was filled almost to capacity, with reportedly over a thousand people. The newspaper reported that 120 or more citizens signed up to speak. The meeting opened at 7:30 p.m., and the speaking went on without interruption for six hours into the small hours of the following morning, with the overwhelming majority speaking in favor of the proposal.
But immediately upon the conclusion of the speaking, City Council voted 5-2 against the proposal, and against the overwhelming desires of the majority of the citizens present who showed their support by signing the petition, by their “Guns Save Lives” stickers and by the majority who spoke in favor of the proposal.
It is disappointing that these five council members had evidently already decided upon their negative vote before the meeting, disregarding the expressed will of the citizens.
OK, let me get this right. According to the Jan. 16 issue of The News & Advance, the president of Lynchburg’s largest university reported that he said he would support law enforcement officials who might choose to ignore possible new gun laws, duly enacted by our elected officials.
Really! If true, I believe that any such actions should be unlawful themselves. As a former police officer, I was sworn to protect citizens and uphold the law, whether I agreed with all of them or not.
It is up to the courts to determine the constitutionality of any law, not university presidents with a political agenda. Any behavior to the contrary, including the encouragement of law enforcement officers to disobey new laws, should be condemned.