By: José Niño
Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa County, has voted to become a Second Amendment sanctuary.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted in Phoenix to proclaim their county is a “Second Amendment Preservation County.” The county of about 4.4 million residents is following in the footsteps of dozens of other counties nationwide and four others in Arizona that have adopted these resolutions in defiance of unconstitutional gun grabs.
The resolution the county approved says the board supports the right to bear arms. The proposal was watered down, however, when the board took out a provision that would bar government funds from being used to violate gun rights.
Supervisor Steve Gallardo, a Democrat, criticized the pro-gun resolution. “Let’s think about this. A resolution should not be divisive," he commented. "It should not be partisan.”
Chairman Clint Hickman defended this resolution by pointing to similar resolutions passed during the last two years in states like Illinois, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia, and Rhode Island.
Gun-control activists, especially members of Moms Demand Action, took a swipe at the resolution and described it as a “black eye” for the county.
“It feels a little bit like fear-mongering,” Marie Thearle, a member of the anti-gun group, stated during the public comment period.
Garrick McFadden, a former Democratic congressional candidate who is an African-American, said the resolution doesn’t help minorities.
"There’s 30 handgun deaths in America each day. But 15 of those people are black people that are killed," McFadden remarked. “One of the things that needs to be done is reaching out to your constituents, not just the ones that came up to you and said they fear their rights are being infringed.”
Although these resolutions are mostly symbolic, they reflect gun owners’ growing resentment with out-of-touch state legislatures and a federal government that has been derelict in its duties to protect gun rights.
Arizona is one of the most pro-gun states in the country. Since adopting Constitutional Carry in 2010, the state has set the standard for pro-gun states across the nation. It’s work to empower law-abiding gun owners has earned it an exemplary first place ranking according to Guns & Ammo magazine’s list of most gun-friendly states.
If there’s going to be an uprising against the gun control status quo, Arizona will likely be the epicenter of it given its deeply rooted gun culture.
José Niño is a Venezuelan-American political activist writing from Fort Collins, Colorado. Contact him at [email protected].