Writers discuss city gun forum

Poor behavior at public forum

On Jan. 14, I attended the City Council meeting where the possibility of Lynchburg becoming a Second Amendment Sanctuary City was discussed. Prior to the floor being opened to those who had signed up to speak, the ground rules were presented and voted on by the members of City Council.

The audience was asked to refrain from clapping and to be respectful of others no matter their views. It was with utter disappointment that I watched as these rules were not enforced. I was embarrassed listening to the disparaging remarks, rude comments not to mention rounds of clapping that followed almost every speaker.

Had I not been there, I would not have believed that the audience could have acted in such a disrespectful manner, not only each other but to the council members we elected.

The most disappointing moment of the entire evening came when, after a young woman had finished speaking and was making her way back to her seat, she was told by an audience member to go back to where she came from. She is a resident of Lynchburg, and a U.S. citizen who happens to have been born in another country. No matter which side anyone is on, this comment is reprehensible. I honestly thought we were above this kind of discriminatory behavior, however it appears we are not.

Those who are not happy with the outcome of last week’s meeting need to exercise their right to vote, but to do so with respect for the candidate and for their fellow citizens.

STACY CRAVENS

Lynchburg

We were all played

Bamboozled!

I was one of the 1,000-plus residents of Lynchburg who attended the City Council meeting on Jan 14. The meeting was to address Lynchburg becoming a Second Amendment Sanctuary city.

I went in good faith expecting our elected representatives to actually listen to their constituents and vote with the majority of those who cared enough to attend the meeting. I never thought I would live in a Virginia where people would actually vote and protest to have their God-given rights taken away from them!

I’m not sure the exact number of speakers but I can say with pretty good certainty that the citizens in favor outnumbered those opposed by a factor of 10-12 to 1. I sat through 6.5 hours of speakers and after the speakers were done, listened to Councilman Randy Nelson read remarks that basically said as a lawyer he thought the resolution irrelevant and that he wasn’t sure it was even legal for the council to vote on resolution. I’m no lawyer, but his remarks were obviously prepared in advance and could have been read them at the opening of the meeting. This would have saved everyone involved a lot of time and trouble. Not to mention the money spent for Lynchburg Police Department to provide security for the event that lasted until 2 a.m.

The whole meeting was an obvious condescending show to make us “zealots,” as Vice Mayor MaryJane Dolan called us, feel warm and fuzzy inside. One of the funniest things about the meeting was watching Vice Mayor Dolan pull the strings of her puppet, Mayor Treney Tweedy. Several times during the meeting when the crowd would applaud, Dolan would turn to Tweedy and nod or speak and Tweedy would obediently reach for her gavel. Everyone knows about the fiasco after the last meeting and that Vice Mayor Dolan would never vote for this resolution. After seeing some of her emails and her obvious disdain for the people she allegedly represents, one has to wonder why she hasn’t been ask to resign by the council.

But ultimately the fault for Lynchburg not being declared a sanctuary city lies with us, the residents of Lynchburg.

It’s reputed that Thomas Jefferson once said, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.” If I remember correctly the last council election about 9 percent of Lynchburg registered voters actually bothered to vote. Nine percent! Our greatest right is the right to vote and 91 percent of us couldn’t bother to go fill out a simple ballot!

I remembered reading an article in The News & Advance right after Tweedy was named mayor and Dolan vice mayor in some back room shenanigans and a quote from Councilman Turner Perrow. Below is the quote from that July 2, 2018, article:

Perrow cited concerns about the “inward” focus of council and a need to focus on regional partnerships to drive business into the city and expand its tax base. He said he is frustrated with what he sees as a lack of collaboration from his fellow council members.

“The mayor and vice mayor have rolled their eyes at points that I would make or points that Mr. Helgeson would make and tune us out,” he said.

That is the government you get when only 9 percent of us vote. I would like to thank Councilmen Perrow and Jeff Helgeson for fighting for our rights, and I encourage the voters of Lynchburg to get out and vote for the next Council election (May 2020) and just maybe we can get more than two councilmen who are willing to listen to their constituents!

ALEX WALKER

Lynchburg

Falwell Jr. no ‘civic leader’

Last Wednesday, I read in the “Best of 2020” edition of Lynchburg Living magazine that Jerry Falwell Jr. has been awarded the Silver Medal in the Best Civic Leader category. Then, on the 6 p.m. newscast on WSET, I saw the same Jerry Falwell Jr. advise residentsof Lynchburg to ignore any gun safety law that might not be agreeable to them.

As a Lynchburg resident, I find these two things to be both incompatible and questionable.

WARREN CRAGHEAD

Lynchburg

You reap what you sow, governor

A word to Gov. Ralph Northam while he and his socialist Democrats plot to take away our gun rights:

You have it all wrong. Closing ranges, limiting ammunition, limiting types of guns and other measures only serve to hinder law-abiding citizens who have the right to bear arms. Legislation will not stop criminals from gaining access to guns or from unhinged people creating acts of violence.

Your stance that you want to protect individuals just doesn’t carry water. How can you condone the killing of innocent babies and then say you care about the safety of individuals? What you really want is the power to rule over the population so you can retain power. The Declaration of Independence states “ ... That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness] it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it ... .” Hence the Second Amendment of our Constitution and the right to bear arms. And that is what you are afraid of.

You were elected to represent the people of Virginia, not to rule over us like a king putting your own personal desires into law.

Governor, read our state motto and think about it! Sic semper tyrannis.

SAM BARLOTTA

Forest

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