Officials not considering 2A sanctuary

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

The Dubois County Commissioners are not considering any 2A sanctuary resolution at this time.

Both Commissioners Chad Blessinger and Elmer Brames don’t think the county should pass such a resolution and have not seen anything new to change their minds.

“We’re not passing a 2A ordinance at this time,” Blessinger said at Monday’s commissioners meeting. “Today, hopefully, gives some clarity that we’re not likely, as a board, to do things differently than what we said we were going to do before.”

Brames agreed. “I don’t agree with making any (2A sanctuary) statement to that effect,” he said, “whether it’s broad or whether it’s narrow.”

Commissioner Nick Hostetter still supports the county enacting a 2A sanctuary resolution.

“As far as being a sanctuary county, it just sends the message that that’s what we intend as a county to do,” he said. “As a county, we intend to abide by the Constitution from here forward.”

Prior to the commissioners discussion on Monday, resident Dr. Richard Moss talked to them. While Moss agrees with the county becoming a 2A sanctuary county, he believes it should go beyond that. “I would say a sanctuary for the Constitution” he said, “with emphasis on the First and Second Amendment.” He referenced the executive orders that were in place limiting the number of people who were able to gather together.

“We don’t want that to happen,” Moss said. “We are defenders of the Constitution, and defenders of our civil rights and civil liberties.”

Moss also talked about the lockdown due to the virus and the effect it had on the county and residents.

“There was a great harm perpetrated on all of us,” he said, “and I would particularly say the children, who even today are forced to wear these diapers on their faces.”

He explained to the commissioners that he didn’t agree with the statewide executive orders enacted by Gov. Eric Holcomb and asked the county to consider not following an executive order beyond 10 days unless it has the support of the State Legislature.

“I want to protect our county the best we can,” Moss said.

Blessinger mentioned that multiple people contacted him, and most of them were opposed to the resolution. Hostetter said he believed the majority of the county would support a resolution.

Blessinger doesn’t disagree with the content in the resolutions Hostetter has presented to the commissioners. “I would think that everybody (public officials) considers themselves as a constitutional elected official, that we want to go by the Constitution,” he said.

His concern is that if the county passes a 2A resolution, the public might interpret that to mean that county officials have the ability to determine which laws are and are not constitutional.

He doesn’t want a resident to go out and break the law as a result of the county passing such a resolution.

“I don’t have the authority to make the determination of which law is constitutional and which law is not,” Blessinger said.

Brames doesn’t think the commissioners should discuss this at every meeting, especially since the resolution is no longer under serious consideration.

“It’s counterproductive,” he said. “It stirs the pot every time it gets brought up. It should go away for a while, until something changes to cause us to want to revisit it.”

Hostetter said the commissioners should still be open to listening to any resident who wants to talk about the topic.

“I don’t want to shut the door to it,” he said. “If somebody wants to come to our next meeting and speak about it again, pro or anti, let them speak. That’s what we’re here for.” The other commissioners agreed.




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