By Nancy Leedy
Published 1:13 pm Thursday, January 16, 2020
STANFORD — The conversation on gun control has been reignited across the country and Tuesday, here in Kentucky, the issue produced one of the largest crowds at a Lincoln County Fiscal Court meeting in quite some time.
Several Lincoln County citizens spoke on behalf of the dozens in attendance, voicing their desire to have the right to keep and bear arms preserved.
In a unanimous decision, the Lincoln County Fiscal Court passed a resolution declaring itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary County, making it the latest municipality in the U.S. to adopt a measure in which it expressed it would defend the rights of the citizens of Lincoln County to keep and bear arms and to “oppose, within the limits of the Constitution of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, any efforts to unconstitutionally restrict such rights.”
“I’m an elected official for you. It’s not necessarily what I want but it’s what my district wants,” said Lonnie Pruitt, Magistrate District 2. “I’ve yet to have anybody call me and say we want to do away with the 2nd Amendment. I’ve had people call and ask how I felt about it. I served in the military to protect our country. I think you should have the right to protect your home and your family.”
David Faulkner, Magistrate District 1, agreed.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a liberal or a conservative. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ or a Green or whatever it is. The Constitution of the United States 2nd Amendment says we’ve got the right to bear arms. It’s real simple,” he said before making the motion to adopt the resolution.
There was no lack of a second after the motion, with the court’s other three magistrates – Pruitt, Jeff Ruckel, District 3, and Joe Stanley, District 4 – chiming in with seconds.
Before the motion was made or a single vote cast, local citizens expressed their concerns over the 2nd Amendment being infringed upon. Each person wishing to speak had to sign in before the meeting.
Barbara Hodges, the first person to address the court, presented a poignant story to convey her concerns. She took the court and crowd back to August of 2018, relating an instance in her son Dustin’s life.
“I want to make it very clear that I think it (2nd Amendment) should never be infringed with anything and I’ll tell you why,” she began. “I have a son, Jeff (Ruckel) you know my son Dustin. He grew up here and moved out on his own when he was barely 21. My husband taught him how to hunt. He knew very well how to use firearms. We urged him to get a concealed carry (Concealed Carry Weapons Permit), which he did. He didn’t think he needed it.”
Dustin soon settled into a one-bedroom apartment in Lexington. He kept his gun in his vehicle, however, growing fear prompted him to start keeping it in his apartment.
“On Aug. 8, 2018 …. now I didn’t know before that time that there was a grown man, in his 30’s, that started harassing him,” Hodges said. “He was harassing a lot of the residents. He had especially decided to pick on my son. My son is 130 pounds soaking wet. And he started threatening him. This went on for a month. And finally one day he said to my son, ‘You’re going to be dead by this weekend.’”