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Waynesboro leaders considering Second Amendment sanctuary

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Photo Credit: AliFuat/Adobe Stock

Book it: Waynesboro City Council is going to allow itself to be persuaded to sign on to the dumb Second Amendment sanctuary movement.

Eighty people showed up at this week’s council meeting, and from media reports, it wasn’t 50/50 between the Second Amendment absolutists and the people who recognize that there’s language before the comma, but it wasn’t Augusta County, either.

Seven people spoke in the citizen comments portion of the meeting on the sanctuary subject; four in favor of a sanctuary resolution, three opposed.

Displaying tremendous collective wisdom, the council is going to give the absolutists a month to get itself organized to pack a much-bigger room.

The news is that the Jan. 13 meeting will be moved from the council chambers downtown to another venue, we have to presume the high school or middle school, which have auditoriums and gyms that can accommodate hundreds.

Which, fine.

Don’t assume it will be packed like the county high school that was the host for an Augusta County Board of Supervisors meeting earlier this month with absolutists.

Augusta County is 70 percent Republican. Even gave wingnut Corey Stewart 70 percent in the 2018 Senate race that Tim Kaine won with ease statewide.

Kaine won Waynesboro in 2018, after losing the city in his 2012 run to George Allen.

It’s a 50/50 city, is what I’m getting at here.

These sanctuary resolutions have nothing to do with protesting an actual law, because there’s no actual gun-control law to protest.

There are some bills that will be up for debate in Richmond next month, the one most in the crosshairs from the absolutists being SB 16, which would ban assault weapons.

Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith is on record saying he won’t enforce laws that he considers to be in violation of the United States Constitution, and SB 16 was his focal point in a lengthy interview with me on the topic last month.

He repeatedly insisted in the interview that the bill, if it were to become law, would require local law enforcement to “confiscate” assault weapons, which of course is nowhere near true, but makes for a great applause line standing in front of 1,800 absolutists.

Not enforcing a law that would ban assault weapons, assuming one comes out of Richmond in the next General Assembly session, and it’s safe to assume that, does make life easier for those engaged in organized crime, who have to be looking at the list of sanctuary counties, currently at 40 and growing, and thinking, there’s where we need to be doing business.

News flash: they’re already here. A local police chief told me a year ago that 75 percent of all crimes in the area have to do with meth.

I asked him to clarify: 75 percent of all drug crimes?

The clarification was: 75 percent of all crimes.

A ban on assault weapons gives law enforcement another tool to use to break up organized crime.

And law enforcement in this area can use all the help it can get.

Our agencies don’t have the resources that agencies in Northern Virginia, the Richmond area, Hampton Roads do, because our economy isn’t as strong, and our local governments are more focused on keeping tax rates low than they are providing adequate services.

Our police officers and sheriff’s deputies here are notoriously badly underpaid. We give law enforcement the bare minimum, and now our city leaders are going to actually seriously consider making their jobs even harder?

And for what?

To appease roughly half of us, at the expense of the other half of us who understand that the Second Amendment contains not one, but two clauses?

A key difference between the counties around us voting for these dumb sanctuary resolutions and the City of Waynesboro giving its own dumb sanctuary resolution consideration is that the counties just had elections, and Waynesboro has one coming up.

Well, there’s that, the fact that there’s an upcoming election, and then that fact that Waynesboro isn’t a Republican stronghold.

Appease the absolutists at your own peril, would be one message I’d pass on to the three council members whose seats are up in the May 2020 elections.

At your own peril, with emphasis.

Story by Chris Graham

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