J.D. CharlesFor The Logan Banner
February 16, 2013
The Logan City Council passed a resolution showing support for the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution at an unusually long meeting on Tuesday night in Logan.
Fire Chief Scotty Beckett said that several people had approached him and other members of the Logan Fire Department about asking for a resolution showing supports for a basic, fundamental American right at a time when many people felt those rights had been under fire by national level political figures.
Many members of the Logan Fire Department are enthusiastic outdoorsmen and have been very vocal in support of the Second Amendment and the public’s right to self-defense. For two years in a row the Logan Fire Department has been a strong presence at the annual Logan Area Friends of the NRA benefit dinner and are strong supporters of the outdoors and shooting sports.
As adopted and ratified by the States in 1791, the Second Amendment 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.” The amendment has long been held as a part of the United States Bill of Rights which protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. For many years some politicians had claimed that the amendment referred to state militias, an unusual concept given that the militia at the time it was written consisted of rebel freemen. In 2008 the Supreme Court ruled that the amendment referred to an individual’s right to possess firearms.
In recent weeks, following a shooting incident at an elementary school, national level politicians have sought to pass a host of restrictions on gun ownership. Opponents have noted that those restrictions only affect law abiding citizens and seldom have stopped anybody who has criminal intent of using a firearm to commit a crime.
In the midst of this national debate on guns and gun ownership many county sheriffs across the United States have come forward and said they will not enforce any federal legislation which violates the Second Amendment or the US Constitution. A national movement has also started among law enforcement officers and active duty members of the U.S. Military referred to as “Oathkeepers” who have vowed they will take their oaths to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution seriously and will not act against the rights of their fellow Americans.
“I have not seen anything anywhere about a city council showing its support for the Second Amendment,” Beckett noted.
Councilman Basil Ken Lee said he felt the council would agree to the resolution given that most of the councilmembers themselves also shared the strong feelings towards the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. In fact, Councilman Keno Muncy operates a retail gun store, Councilman Jay Mullins is a former law enforcement officer and other councilmembers are gun owners and have concealed carry permits.
Lee was proven right when the resolution was passed unanimously. One local member of the Coalfield Shooter’s Association present at the meeting noted that all the people sworn in on the council had been asked to uphold, protect and defend the constitution so there should be no problem with the resolution.
Several other resolutions were passed for over $50,000 in grant money to help the city on several different projects, including:
• $5,000 for community participation grants for Phase One Structure Demolition
• $1,000 for the Cal Ripken Little League
• $10,000 for the Logan Police Department and a second $10,000 police department grant
• $10,000 for acquisition and demolition Phase One Grant
• $1,000 for the West Virginia Freedom Festival
• $4,000 for the Logan Fire Department
• $2,000 for the Logan Fire Department for upgrades
“We are very thankful to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, Senator Art Kirkendoll, Delegate Rupie Phillips and others who worked so hard to get these grants for us,” Mayor Serafino Nolletti said. “Their love of their community is reflected in what they have done to make Logan a better place.”
Three positions were filled on the Civil Service Commission at the meeting. Dave Whitman was appointed to serve for four years, former Logan Mayor Gary Hylton was appointed to serve for two years and Nicky Bailey was appointed to serve for six years.