On Monday morning, February 4, the Board of County Commissioners in Pitt County adopted two resolutions aimed at re-asserting the rights pronounced in the Second Amendment.

The first resolution, “A Resolution to Preserve and Defend the US Constitution and NC Constitution,” passed by a vote of 6-3, with the Democratic members of the board opposing it.  Melvin McLawhorn stated that he refused to support such a resolution because he trusts President Obama and the administration and their motives.  “It’s about the kids. We have to protect them.”  Commissioners Beth Ward and Tom Johnson also both publicly opposed the resolution. They asserted that they saw no action on the part of the federal government that would endanger the Second Amendment’s protections.

The second resolution, entitled “A Resolution to Protect the Privacy and Security of Law Abiding Gun Owners in North Carolina,” passed by 7-2.  Newly-elected Republican Commissioner Tom Coulson gave an impassioned explanation for his support of this resolution.

Both resolutions were drafted and introduced by Commissioner Glen Webb, who also serves on the Pitt County police force.

Only two Pitt residents spoke during the public comments period, Diane Rufino and Bob Griffin. Both are active in the Tea Party and GOP and both spoke strongly in favor of the resolutions.  Diane began by quoting Mr. Bill Kennedy, director of the NC Tenth Amendment Center: “The Second Amendment was not written to protect the rights of hunters…. It was written to protect the rights of the hunted – whether those that are hunting us or our family are common criminals or a tyrannical government that no longer respects the Constitution, the Rule of Law, or our God-given rights as human beings.”  She went on to add:

The resolution is an extension of the oath that you took to support the Constitution of the United States and the State of North Carolina. As we all know, the Constitution created a government of limited and defined powers so that we can enjoy our God-given or Natural Rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence. One of those most fundamental right is the right of self-protection. It’s in the same paragraph as the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  As if the government wasn’t limited enough in its scope, the states banded together and demanded further restrictions on those powers – and those were the 10 amendments known as the Bill of Rights. As the Preamble to the Bill of Rights explains, the amendments were a further restriction – “restrictive clauses,” as they were termed – on all other powers delegated to the federal government.  And we must honor the intent of North Carolina, which was one of the states which took the lead and would not adopt the Constitution until those restrictive clauses – the Bill of Rights – were added. 

        Standing up for the Second Amendment, or any of the other amendments comprising the Bill of Rights, is not a Republican or Democratic issue…. It’s an American issue. Requiring Americans to register themselves as gun-owners and their firearms, have a photograph taken, have fingerprints on file, and submit to psychiatric evaluations when the government defines what classifications of free speech are considered dangerous is a prerequisite for government confiscation, which then is the prerequisite for subjugation. Americans are free.”

She ended with these words: “Local officials, like yourselves, are the citizens’ last line of defense against an overbearing government that is showing increasing contempt for the Bill of Rights. In trying to be reasonable, and perhaps in trusting the motives of government, we have so far tolerated the intolerable. But it has to stop here because the Second Amendment is what we need to protect all our other rights.  I urge you to please adopt these resolutions and I urge all my fellow citizens to stand up for their Second Amendment rights. Speak now or forever lose your piece.  (and by piece, I mean your firearm.)”   Diane borrowed the last line from a piece by Dr. Dan Eichenbaum.

Glen Webb   (Commissioner Webb defending his resolution.  Commissioner Melvin McLawhorn, a strong opponent, on the right)

Commissioner Webb explained that he drafted the resolutions in such a way as to get as much support as possible from his liberal board members, which hold the majority at the moment. The texts of the resolutions are as follows: 

A Resolution to Preserve and Defend the United States Constitution and North Carolina Constitution

Whereas: The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states “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

Whereas: Article I, Sec. 30 in the NC Constitution states “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

Whereas: Our rights are given by Our Creator and listed in the Constitution of the United States as a limit to government; and

Whereas: A Militia when properly formed is in fact the people themselves … and includes … all citizens capable of bearing arms; and

Whereas: “well regulated” meant, that the militia i.e. the people must be well equipped; and

Whereas: It being “necessary to the security of a free State” meant that the right of the people to bear arms was, and remains, the ultimate barrier to government tyranny; and

Whereas: The lawless are unaffected by prohibitions to law abiding citizens natural rights; and

Therefore: The Pitt County Board of Commissioners resolve as representatives of the people to defend the 2nd Amendment and Article I, Sec. 30 of the North Carolina Constitution and will not consent to unconstitutional laws, executive orders, or foreign/domestic tyranny.  Furthermore, the Commissioners call upon the Governor and General Assembly of North Carolina to pass legislation that will guarantee the protection of our God-given right to the defense of liberty and our persons for all North Carolinians; and

Be It Further Resolved, the County Manager be directed to see that no county paid staff participate in nor allow any county resources be used in the implementation or enforcement of any Unconstitutional law, executive order or executive directive that infringe on the God-given right to self-defense.


A Resolution to Protect the Privacy and Security of Law Abiding Gun Owners in North Carolina

Whereas: the people of this state have an inherent right to privacy; and

Whereas: the vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens; and

Whereas: owning a firearm for the defense of one’s person, home, family and liberty is not the exercise of government privilege, but of God given right; and

Whereas: the public disclosure of gun owner’s personal information has resulted in slander as well as victimization by criminals; and

Whereasthe public disclosure of gun owner’s information also exposes a citizen who has chosen not to own firearms to risk of victimization by being identified by exclusion as unarmed; and

Whereas: law enforcement, detention staff and correction officers have become targets of threat and intimidation following the release of their personal information as gun owners and;

Whereas: 40 states and the District of Columbia have taken steps to make information concerning gun owners private, and only 10 states, including North Carolina, continue to treat gun owner information as a public record; and

Whereas: no public interest is served by the release of the personal information of private citizens that have committed no trespass of law; and

Therefore: The Pitt County Board of Commissioners resolve, as representatives of the people, to defend the safety and privacy rights of lawful citizens.  Furthermore the Pitt County Board of Commissioners call upon the Governor and General Assembly of North Carolina to enact legislation protecting gun owners from undue and unwanted release of personal information by exempting said information from the public records laws..

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