Dare commissioners pass Second Amendment resolution
Published 8:42 am Sunday, February 9, 2020
Dare’s Board of Commissioners on a 6-0 vote passed a resolution supporting the U.S. Constitution and with particular emphasis on the Second Amendment.
Some 25 citizens approached the podium. Some spoke passionately; others quietly. Some had prepared remarks; others did not.
While some speakers avowed the issue was divisive and partisan, other speakers denied those charges.
Speaking in favor of the resolution were 10 citizens. Fifteen spoke against the resolution.
The resolution, championed by board Vice Chairman Wally Overman, was simplified from a longer one presented by Rob Rollason on Jan. 21.
This resolution called the Second Amendment “the vital protector of these freedoms.”
Several speakers challenged that assertion, stating that the morning’s very exercise of First Amendment rights was the higher value.
N.C. Rep. Bobby Hanig, a resolution supporter, led off public comment by reading the Second Amendment, which he called “our God-given right to defend ourselves from a tyrannical government.”
Browny Douglas, speaking as a “remnant son of the American Revolution,” quoted Thomas Paine: “the most formidable weapon against errors of any kind is reason.”
Douglas continued: “The resolution put forth here today in no way alters the actual wording or affronts the protective intentions of the Constitution. It is my opinion that if the Dare County Board of Commissioners votes to express its support for the Constitution of the United States and in particular the Second Amendment that this Board of Commissioners will have unequivocally exercised correct reasoning.” Douglas is the chairman of the Dare County Republican Party.
Randy Knight, of Manteo, said the “Second Amendment is the protector of the Bill of Rights.”
Regina Gibson, of Kill Devil Hills, called herself a “second amendment defender.” She said “I’m in favor of this resolution.”
At least two resolution supporters also supported the Second Amendment sanctuary movement, which is not part of the approved resolution.
Susan Merrill, the first person to speak against the resolution, asked “what does it mean?”
She also queried “is this the way we want our community to be labeled?”
Laura Singletary asked “why is it needed?”
Several speakers picked up on the resolution’s title: “Resolution in support of the Constitution of the United States of America,” the inference being that in opposing the resolution, speakers did not support the Constitution. Opposition speakers said “I’m a patriot” or “We’re all Americans.”
At the close of public comment, the commissioners continued with the agenda.
The resolution was listed as Agenda Item 10.
Overman moved for adoption of the resolution. Commissioner Rob Ross seconded the motion.
One by one, the commissioners offered reasons for their support.
Commissioner Steve House said he didn’t see divisiveness. He said the majority of people he spoke with favored the resolution.
Commissioner Danny Couch said, “The resolution is as bland as it can be.”
Overman said the resolution sends a message that North Carolina is not Virginia, where controversy over gun legislation brought protesters to the state capitol. He said the resolution is “an affirmation of the rights in the Constitution and in particular the Bill of Rights thereof.”