POMEROY — Despite a power outage in the region Friday evening, approximately 70 people packed into downtown Pomeroy to speak in support of their Second Amendment rights.
Beginning on the courthouse steps and overflowing onto Second Street, citizens of Meigs County gathered for a town hall meeting hosted by the Meigs County Commissioners to discuss not only Second Amendment rights, but Constitutional rights as a whole. The group moved into the common please court room after power was restored, filling all of the seating area, with several people standing along the back wall.
President of the Meigs County Commissioners Tim Ihle began the meeting by explaining its purpose.
Ihle said that there are things going on in the county currently that he and the other commissioners are not happy about. He added that they have been called to do something after being elected to serve the county and its citizens.
“It isn’t about gun violence or gun crime, I don’t believe that, it is an attack on our Constitution,” said Ihle of the proposed gun legislation being discussed at the federal level.
Ihle read a proposed Second Amendment preservation resolution, asking for the approval of the citizens of Meigs County.
The resolution read,
SECTION 1: The Meigs County Board of Commissioners find that:
The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
And that the Ohio Constitution states:
Ohio Constitution: Article 1, Section 4
“The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.”
SECTION 2: Prohibition on federal infringement of the right to keep and bear arms
The Meigs County Board of Commissioners declares that all federal acts, laws, orders, rules, regulations — past, present, of future — in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violate its true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers; and are hereby declared to be an act of aggression on our Bill of Rights and a misrepresentation of the intent of Government to secure the rights of the people.
Whereby the ratification of such Amendments to the Constitution of these United States in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, must be adhered.
The Meigs County Board of Commissioners call upon the Governor and General Assembly of the State of Ohio to immediately pass an act to nullify the implementation within the State of Ohio of any Federal law, executive order or regulations restricting the right to keep and bear arms, it continues, and makes clear that the County will play no supporting role to the federal government in attacks on the 2nd Amendment.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Board of Commissioners state that no county paid staff participate in nor allow any county resources be used in the implementation of any Federal law, executive order or executive directive that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
Following the reading, those in attendance were encouraged to share their opinions on the proposed resolution.
Many spoke of the fear that the Second Amendment would just be the first step in taking away the rights of American citizens.
Carla Shuler stated that most of the attacks of gun violence occur in gun free zones. “Registration, confiscation, and extermination,” were the three words used by Shuler to describe what would possibly happen with gun control legislation.
Daniel Lantz and others thanked the commissioners for the resolution and taking a stand on the issue. While others thanked their fellow citizens for taking the time to come to a meeting such as the one taking place and showing an interest in issues that effect the county and nation.
Gary Griffith, who said he learned to shoot and hunt here in the county as a youth, said that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” He suggested that gun legislation is not the answer, but changes to other programs such as mental health care.
Some questioned what a resolution passed by the commissioners of one county would accomplish. Ihle said that while it may not change the laws if they are eventually put in place, it would allow for the county to have a voice in the ear of its legislators who can vote on proposed legislation.
Craig Wehrung spoke on behalf of the TEA Party of Meigs County stating that they were in support of what the commissioners were doing.
Meigs County Sheriff Chief Deputy Charlie Mansfield also said the office supported the resolution, going on to say that the concealed carry permit office was open.
Patty Aldridge said that education of people is key in the issue, adding that people do not understand the importance of the Second Amendment.
While the main topic for the evening was the Second Amendment, many talked about the freedom of religion and the power of prayer in making a difference in the country.
There are three types of people said Shuler, “those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.”
Those in attendance encouraged one another to make a difference in this issue and spread the word.
Ihle said the resolution would likely be on the agenda for the regular meeting of the Meigs County Commissioners this Thursday. Following passage of the resolution it will be mailed to the commissioners of the other Ohio counties, state legislators, the Governor, and national legislators. Ihle said that commissioners in other counties have asked for a copy of the resolution in hopes of passing something similar in their counties.
All three Meigs County Commissioners, Ihle, Michael Bartrum, and Randy Smith, were in attendance at the meeting.