Congrats to the Putnam County Commission for making the county the first in West Virginia to pass a hot, new resolution that does absolutely nothing.
Tuesday, the commission officially made Putnam County a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary City.” That doesn’t mean an individual is any more or less likely to encounter gun violence in Putnam County. Nor is it a preserve, where enthusiasts can see rare, endangered firearms.
It simply means no one can infringe upon Putnam County residents’ constitutional right to bear arms as outlined in the 2nd Amendment — something no person, organization or government agency could do before the resolution either, because it would be unconstitutional.
It must be nice to receive money from the gun lobby just to think up and craft meaningless resolutions to offer wholesale to municipal and county governments across the country. Putnam’s legislation was modeled after a county in Virginia, where these “sanctuary” resolutions have been adopted as if they’re the cure for hepatitis C, after the state legislature there introduced some gun control bills.
So, sure, state governments can and have crafted tougher gun legislation, but they certainly do not ban gun ownership for law-abiding citizens. Virginia’s attorney general has opined that these resolutions wouldn’t hold up in regard to superseding state law, anyway.
Gun violence is a serious problem in America, whether it be a mass shooting or the much more common wounding or death from a firearm in a domestic dispute, accident or suicide. Federal and state governments have taken precious few initiatives on the topic, for fear the gun lobby would turn on them, despite the fact some modest forms of control — expanded background checks, red flag laws and bans on high-capacity magazines — are actually quite popular with the American public.
No one is orchestrating a mass confiscation of firearms in West Virginia or anywhere else in the United States. The federal government can’t even agree on basic proposals after the most devastating massacres, and lets the issue fade into the background until the next one occurs.
Meanwhile, the gun lobby peddles in fear and incites controversy where none exists. After all, you can’t boost gun sales if no one is panicking.
So, salutations to the pioneers of the Putnam County Commission, the first government agency in West Virginia to swallow the bait. Many others are sure to follow this courageous endeavor in meaningless designations.