Board: Second Amendment debate needs more research

Village President, Lance Van Damme 

Round two of the Second Amendment Sanctuary debate for the Baldwin Village Board was held July 14 during its monthly meeting. 

The Board heard from multiple speakers who spoke in favor of it. 

“I’m a little amazed and disappointed the Second Amendment even needs to be discussed,” said John Hiller. He addressed his work history, which included four years in the Army, nine years in the National Guard and 26 years in Law Enforcement and the connections it had with the Second Amendment. 

“The Constitution has guided me for doing my job,” Hiller continued. “The rights and liberties of our country can never be infringed.” 

Chris Gruber, who doesn’t live in Baldwin, but sends his children to Baldwin Christian School, said after joining the military his opinion on guns changed. 

“I learned how guns and weapons helped protect our country,” he said. 

Scott Miller, who started the debate last month, spoke as well. 

“By taking a stance against this resolution, as I see it, you’re not upholding your oath of office,” he said. “All we are asking is to have the Second Amendment upheld in the community.” 

When asked, Miller said the Town of Baldwin was the only one to approve the resolution. It was presented in front of the Towns of Cady, St. Joseph, Hudson, Village of Roberts and Glenwood City, with no further action taken in those municipalities.

Dave Gambel, who drew laughs when he was said from the Baldwin suburb of Emerald, opined in rural areas, law enforcement doesn’t arrive immediately when called upon. 

“One has to have a way to protect themselves,” he said. “Our way of life is being attacked on many fronts.”

The only public speaker who didn’t outright speak in favor of the amendment was Tom Posley. 

“This a political vote,” he said. “You are being asked to take a political stand. 

“This is pushing fear that someone is coming for your guns and the Second Amendment will be erased. It doesn’t happen that easily.”

Posley later asked why the Second Amendment? What about the Fifth Amendment or the 15th Amendment Sanctuary Cities?

“The Village of Baldwin should support all amendments,” he said. 

Village Attorney Paul Mahler opined it should be the Courts which decide what is constitutional or not, not your average John or Jane Doe. He further stated if the Constitution became based on one’s interpretation, “you get anarchy, you get people breaking into Congress.”

Village President Lance Van Damme then made a motion to approve the resolution which was presented in front of them. It died due to a lack of second. 

Trustee Austin Van Someren then remarked parts of the resolution should be eliminated such as the Village of Baldwin deriving economic benefit from all safe forms of firearms recreation, hunting, and shooting conducted within the Village of Baldwin. 

Board members quickly reached an agreement to table the request until the August meeting. In the interim, members will research the debate further to see what they want or don’t want in the resolution. There were some in the audience who doubted that, but Van Damme assured those cynics in the audience the issue will be on the agenda next month. 

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