Last night, the outgoing chair of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors engineered a farce (or maybe I should say hoax) on a grand scale. He misled the citizens of Prince William County into believing that he would bring to the board a resolution that this county would not abide by any possible legislation that in his view would limit the “rights” of gun owners.
He told us all, and more importantly the media, that Prince William would join several other counties in the Commonwealth as a 2nd Amendment “sanctuary.” He carefully worded his initial draft of the resolution, safely avoiding a statement that Prince William County would defy any properly approved legislation at the federal or state level.
After successfully stirring up the passions of our community and bringing media attention to himself, he acknowledged that his originally drafted resolution would not receive enough votes to pass. At least one incumbent supervisor stated publicly that she would not vote for the original draft; two others were known to have concerns with its wording.
So, after creating a circus atmosphere at our county’s seat of government, fomenting division in our community in a way that he has become infamous for, and modifying the original resolution, at around midnight last Wednesday, the board passed a resolution by a vote of 6-2 that says essentially, “the Prince William Board of County Supervisors supports the 2ndAmendment to the Constitution of the United States.”
It is important to note that the inflammatory word “sanctuary” does not appear in the document that was approved.
Also, it was heavily edited to concede that the board has no authority to enforce or not enforce federal or state laws. That responsibility lies primarily with the PWC Police Department, the Prince William Sheriff’s Office, and the Prince William Commonwealth Attorney’s office.
So, the result is much ado about nothing…almost.
One person’s ability to create the havoc we have seen, not just during the past few weeks but throughout his 16 years as chair of the county board, is at once disheartening and enraging. The ability of a single person to foment community division instead of unity means that we must work just as hard to create a sense of community convergence despite our racial, ethnic, or ideological diversity.
president of the Prince William County NAACP