It’s 1:15 AM and I just arrived at my residence. I’ve just spent the past 8 hours in the chambers at the Prince William Board of Governors meeting. Ultimately, the decision went as predicted with a split vote of 6-2 which resulted in the passing of the resolution. However, I’m left wondering if the gesture was truly symbolic, or a cop out that is so characteristic of politicians today. As I sit here writing this, I wonder if Prince William County is truly a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.
I arrived at the meeting location shortly after leaving the office at around 5:45. Arriving well in advance of the 7:30 time, I met up with my neighbors and began the discussion of the hot topic. As this was my first ever appearance at a Board of Supervisors meeting, I did not know quite what I was in for. Obviously, this meeting was unlike anything I could imagine, with a flood of Second Amendment (2A) supporters lining the lobby all sporting the VCDL.org orange stickers exclaiming “Guns Save Lives.”
Admittedly, I was thrilled to see so many like-minded individuals out calling for action from local officials. Surely, with this turnout, the outcome was all but guaranteed. After waiting around for an hour or so, the actual chambers were opened up, and I managed to snag a chair for a front row viewing (more or less). Monitors and speakers lined the lobby for the overflow of individuals who would not fit in the chamber.
The above picture does not do this event justice. At one point, the fire marshal was restricting access because of the turnout.
PWC Sanctuary Status Public Statements
After several other agenda items were addressed, we had finally arrived at the main event. The Chair of the Board — Corey Stewart — opened up the floor for public comment. Individuals from all walks of life proceeded to give their opinions, personal stories, and pleas to the board in order to make Prince William County a Second Amendment Sanctuary.
Each person was given 2 minutes to make their case. For the most part, everyone respected the Boards decision on timing. During the roughly 4 hours I listened to testimonies, only a handful (maybe 2-3 people) spoke out against becoming a Constitutional sanctuary. Surely with this much support, PWC would decide to become a Sanctuary County, and with any luck it would be unanimous.
As the evening wore on, I found myself wishing that the vote would take place soon. Remember I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. After a seemingly never ending stream of people, the time came for the board to vote.
Voting On PWC Sanctuary Status
As with most things in politics, nothing was simple. Corey Stewart directed Supervisor Ruth Anderson (Occoquan District) to read from the proposed resolution. Again, as is typical in politics, the language had been so long and verbose, that many were trying to ascertain what we had just heard.
Following the reading and proposal by Supervisor Anderson, the motion was seconded. Among those confused by the language was Supervisor Nohe, who with a bewildered look asked Stewart to clarify what all had just heard
VIDEO COMING SOON!
Was the proposal in fact a declaration that law enforcement would refrain from enforcing any anti-gun legislation coming out of Richmond? Unfortunately, the mic on my phone was covered up and the response is indistinct (sorry guys, rookie mistake). However, the resolution did not serve to prevent local law enforcement from enforcing unconstitutional laws from the state legislature.
Shortly thereafter, the resolution was taken to a vote and passed with a 6-2 margin. Sitting Republican supervisors backing the resolution and Democrat supervisors voting “Nay.” And that brings me to the here and now.
It has been stated before by other outlets, that any resolution passed is likely symbolic. Incoming Democrat supervisors who hold the post-election majority will be gunning, pardon the pun, to overturn any decision by the sitting board. If indeed that is the case, I had hoped for much stronger language and resolve from the sitting board (see my not-so-happy face above).
Ultimately though, the motion passed, and PWC can be counted number 59 among a growing number of Second Amendment Sanctuary Localities. The silver lining is that this county is the first among the notable “Northern Virginia” counties. Here’s hoping that the remainder follow suit. Stay tuned for additional information.