At Monday's Appomattox County Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor John Hinkle proposed a resolution to make Appomattox County a First Amendment sanctuary.
The First Amendment Sanctuary Resolution that was proposed was a copy of Campbell County’s. Campbell County adopted the resolution earlier in December, and Hinkle hoped that Appomattox would follow suit.
The resolution itself was written as a response to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s recent executive order in response to COVID-19, prohibiting the gathering of more than 25 citizens. The limit is now 10 people.
Hinkle offered some background and explanation on the First Amendment Sanctuary Resolution. He said the resolution has to do with the First Amendment as it pertains to freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly.
“It has nothing to do with (face) masks,” clarified Hinkle.
Hinkle was concerned over the side effects of lockdown such as alcohol abuse, family abuse, mental health and local economics.
He pointed to a study from John Hopkins University that said there has not been an increase in the population’s overall death rate from COVID-19.
While he believed there were demographics that were more susceptible to COVID-19, he believed such individuals could be cared for without embracing a lockdown for the entire population.
The resolution died on the floor without a second.
Chairman Samuel Carter expressed his concern for possible repercussions from Richmond.
Supervisor Trevor Hipps said he was worried that citizens would feel emboldened to do things the county could not protect them from.
Hipps was concerned that the county did not have authority over the agencies that would be enforcing the governor’s order.
As it was written, he couldn’t support it but would reconsider a rewritten resolution.