New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | July 2, 2020

Editorial: My opinion on ‘Second Amendment sanctuaries’

By Andre Jones | January 8, 2020 10:31 am

Throughout the last month, the rise of “second amendment sanctuaries” has grown due to the declaration by county leadership. The declaration means that local counties will support people’s rights to bear arms as written in the United States Constitution and will oppose any legislation that may be passed at the state level to prohibit it. I’ve been asked my opinion on this issue and I will keep it simple; don’t attempt to strip the right of the people in an effort to control firearms.

In an editorial I wrote on Feb. 20, 2018, I wrote that gun laws are not the solution to gun control. In that issue, I mentioned that I did not have a firearm, nor have I ever shot one (something that still is fact to this very day). However, I also wrote that I see not use for the ownership of some type of weapons that pump out multiple rounds per second.

Here is what I wrote in 2018:

“Instead of focusing on firearms and how to control them, it is better that we learn how to use them and secure them in a way that allows us to live comfortably. When a firearm is purchased, a person goes through a background check to see if they can buy one. Even if they are, it is up to the seller’s discretion to allow the purchasing to take possession of it. And if you are the buyer, it is up to you to handle it with care and with responsibility. It is the owner’s responsibility to store it in a secure and safe place with extremely limited access and out of view of those who may use it for purposes that cause harm.

“Many police departments offer safety classes on how to handle a firearm. There are also secured locations where a person who enjoys firing rounds from guns can do it in a responsible way. They say guns don’t kill people; people kill people. But it’s time for us to stop living in fear and taking a person’s life because of differences.”

There are alternative ways to determine if someone should be able to own a weapon. Mental illness has been a topic of discussion when it comes to owning a weapon. Unfortunately, and speaking realistically, if a person wants a firearm, there are other channels that a person can get one illegally. In witnessing court cases, a drug addict will steal a firearm and sell it for money or exchange it for drugs. That is where we need to turn our attention to: Getting people help and keeping these weapons out of the hands of those who illegally possess them.

Firearms should be entrusted to responsible people. I have no qualms if an evaluation is done on a person to have ownership. However, that evaluation must be thorough, nonjudgmental, and needs to be repeated every certain number of years like a driver’s license.

In conclusion, when people say owning a firearm is a “God-given right”, I disagree with that. However, I will say it’s a “man-given responsibility” that should be treated like any other right we have.