On Tuesday, March 3, the Wright County Boardroom was filled to capacity as the county board of commissioners voted to make Wright County the sixth county in Minnesota to adopt a “Second Amendment Dedicated County” Resolution, joining five northwestern Minnesota counties in adopting similar resolutions (Clearwater, Marshall, Red Lake, Roseau and Wadena).
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution calls for “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.”
As the Minnesota Legislature discusses the potential of creating tighter gun control regulations, resolutions like the one Wright County was asked to adopt have been sent to numerous county boards throughout the state for their consideration.
The resolution came to the Wright County Board of Commissioners’ attention when it received a letter dated Feb. 19 urging the county to adopt a resolution. The letter included a sample resolution and was signed by the five legislators that represent Wright County – Sens. Bruce Anderson and Mary Kiffmeyer and Reps. Eric Lucero, Marion O’Neill and Joe McDonald, all Republicans.
The resolution stated that the county’s intent to stand for Second Amendment rights, and, within limits of the United States and Minnesota Constitutions, oppose any future efforts to restrict those rights and using any legal means necessary to protect those rights. It also stated that the Wright County Board of Commissioners will refuse to directly appropriate any Wright County resources to enforce any mandate, policy, law or directive that infringes on the ability for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.
The full resolution can be found here: http://www.co.wright.mn.us/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/7849?fileID=16761
Almost all of the approximately 70 people who attended the meeting were in favor of the amendment adoption – only one person spoke against it. Gloria Caballero, a resident of District 1 in Wright County and a retired Deputy U.S. Marshal, said the onus was on the board to represent their constituents and adopt the resolution.
“As elected officials you have the opportunity to do what the citizens elected you to do,” Caballero said. “After weeks of speaking with Wright County residents, it is clear that we the people of Wright County want the resolution passed. We also have the opportunity to be a leader. Other counties are watching this vote today. Let us use this opportunity to grow and to send a strong message to our lawmakers in St. Paul that senseless gun control laws that ultimately infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens will not be tolerated. The American Revolution was not started because of taxes. It was started because they wanted to take our guns.”
Wright County Sheriff Sean Deringer gave his support to those who favored the resolution, saying that he shares their strong belief in the ability for upholding the freedoms outlined in the Second Amendment.
“I appreciate God, family, country, faith and the Second Amendment,” Deringer said. “I believe it is the Second Amendment that allows us to enjoy the other God-given freedoms in this great country. I will stand with you today.”
Deringer added that he has been misrepresented in Facebook groups and anonymous people unknown to him are speaking for him. He said he would be willing to talk to anyone who calls or e-mails him to explain his position, adding that, although there may have been fears that if large groups representing both sides of the gun debate came together, there could be problems.
Deringer said nothing could be further from the truth.
“This is by far the safest room in Wright County,” Deringer said. “I am not nervous about a threat of violence. It is not our law-abiding citizens that we worry about. I am proud to say that Wright County has over 13,000 permit-to-carry holders. I am proud to sign every one of them.”
Commissioner Darek Vetsch, who asked that a paragraph stating the county wouldn’t appropriate resources to enforce laws, policies or mandates that infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens be added to the resolution, said that politics have gone away from the traditional method of creating change and this resolution supports the rights of the average person, not the powerful political machines.
“Today’s action illustrates the change in our nation’s political climate,” Vetsch said. “No longer are changes started from a grassroots effort. More are starting from the top down. To preserve our Constitutional rights, we will need to make more of a grassroots effort from the bottom up to preserve the foundation of our nation. I teach my nine kids to be honest, fair, generous and to follow their pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness is a key foundation of our country. That foundation is protected by our Constitution and our Second Amendment rights are a key, invaluable part of maintaining that foundation. This effort here today is just one step we need to make as a grassroots effort to make sure that we continue to be cognizant of our Constitutional rights and to protect them every day – not just the Second Amendment, but all of them.”
The board unanimously adopted the resolution. The video of the county board meeting is available on the county’s website under the link “County Board Video” on the site’s homepage. The discussion begins at the 28:23 mark. The meeting can be viewed by clicking the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l1cWb67LSs