Allow the people a public hearing

Last Tuesday, Lynchburg City Council had a packed house. The chambers were filled to capacity, the overflow room was maxed out, and the hallway was standing room only. This large group of citizens were in attendance principally due to the state legislatures tyrannical proposals to limit law-abiding citizens’ rights.

This item was not a public hearing, as only individuals that signed up almost a week earlier were able to voice their concerns in this public forum. The meeting was civil, orderly and we heard from educated citizens in a professional manner.

Council is elected to represent citizens to the government, and we hear from them both privately and publicly. The issue was raised to hold a public hearing and allow citizens a public opportunity to express their First Amendment rights. It was very odd, eerie actually, three elected council members voted against holding a public hearing. Council members Treney Tweedy, MaryJane Dolan and Beau Wright voted to not hear from the citizens they are elected to represent.

Hopefully we can learn many things from this event. Healthy dialogue is good for the unity of our community. Big issues that are obviously apparent should be addressed, and not simply avoided or swept under the rug. We would be better off to not stereotypically assume that one that owns a firearm is evil or violent. We would all be better off to enrich our civics education by studying our founding fathers. We should read and learn why the Declaration of Independence was crafted. We should read and learn how the government was established in the Constitution. We should read and learn real facts about violence and evil people. We should use these as a basis of logically addressing criminals, and not by use of emotional rhetoric to attack law-abiding citizens.

I am so delighted that Council members Randy Nelson, Turner Perrow and Sterling Wilder joined me to afford our citizens their First Amendment rights to address council about their Second Amendment rights Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

JEFF HELGESON

Lynchburg

Editor’s note: The writer represents Ward III on the Lynchburg City Council.

The citizens’ ‘safety net’

Why do liberals fear the Second Amendment? The right to keep and bear arms is as fundamental an American right as the right of free speech. Our Founding Fathers fresh off a war for indepence from a tyrannical government understood that in order for our nation and its people to remain free, checks and balances had to be put in motion for the people to defend themselves from an oppressive federal government.

The Second Amendment gives us citizens an insurance policy that should our government officials ever cross the line we can overthrow it. That is the crux that will define if the United States ever is to become a socialist nation.

Without taking away our right to bear arms, they cannot force us into submission without suffering grave consequences, and that is why liberal progressives ultimately despise the Second Amendment because it’s our safety net from them realizing their globalist dreams.

MORRIS VEREEN

Forest

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