By MARINA WATERS
Washington County has officially declared its support for the Second Amendment.
On Monday night, the Washington County Commission approved a resolution declaring support for the Second Amendment in a 12-2 vote. Commissioners Jodi Jones and Larry England were opposed. Mike Ford was absent.
Before the 14 commissioners cast their votes, Jones made a motion at the beginning of the meeting to table the resolution. Jones referred to Rule 8F in the commission’s rules of procedures, which says “meetings of the board are not an appropriate forum to make political statements regarding federal, state and other jurisdiction action that do not directly affect county government.” Jones’s motion failed in a 6-8 vote, with Bryan Davenport, England, Jones, Freddie Malone, Gary McAllister and Jim Wheeler voting to table the resolution.
“This resolution brings an illusion that we are doing something important and that is all,” Jones said. “I would ask that we table it.”
As for the citizens of Washington County, 13 of them took to the podium to express support and opposition to the resolution. Three of those speakers were Science Hill students who urged commissioners to vote in opposition of the resolution.
“My peers and I make up a targeted subject to mass gun violence and despite each school, student and statistic that falls victim to shootings, those in power have failed to support their youth population with legitimate action,” one student, Karissa Korman, said. “After 12 years as a student in Johnson City and an active member of our community, I urge you to keep our students in mind when you vote.”
Others also felt the county resolution addressed a state matter.
“What exactly are we afraid of that we would re-conduct state business using county money?” Jonesborough Resident Myra Elder said. “Informed Washington County voters already know there is no threat to the Second Amendment in the State of Tennessee. Friends, if we start making governing decisions because we’re afraid of haints and boogers, we have lost our way.”
Others citizens, like Warren Lake, wanted the county to show state legislators they supported the Second Amendment.
“You’re saying the county shouldn’t necessarily be telling the state ‘This is what we feel. This is how we’re going to act in the future.’ That’s the way I think it should work,” Lake said. “The state shouldn’t be telling the county what’s going on. The counties should be letting the state and the state should be letting the federal government know how the people feel.
“It’s the rights of the people and we need to stick up for that.”