By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
County proclamations recognize 2nd Amendment, Hoisington tornado
Shawn Hutchinson
Shawn Hutchinson

The Barton County Commission on Monday adopted a proclamation stating Barton County is a Second Amendment Sanctuary for the preservation and defense of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and also adopted a proclamation commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Hoisington tornado. In other business, the commission approved the purchase of Malwarebytes anti-virus software and heard a COVID update.

Second Amendment Sanctuary

Commissioner Shawn Hutchinson presented Proclamation 2021-09: A Proclamation that Barton County is a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary for the Preservation and Defense of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

“Under this adopted Proclamation, Barton County is proclaimed as a Sanctuary for the 2nd Amendment. Further, the Proclamation states the Commission does not condone the creation of any unlawful and unconstitutional statutes, executive orders or other regulations and proclamations which conflict, and are expressly preempted by, the United States Supreme Court’s rulings on the right of an individual to keep and bear arms. In addition, the Proclamation will be sent to both state and federal representatives of Barton County.”

“The proclamation is to make Barton County, Kansas, the sanctuary county for the Second Amendment,” Hutchinson said. “The reason that I think that’s so important is because, with a stroke of a pen, these people in Washington can make half of Barton county felons, overnight. What Barton County needs is not more gun control laws. What we need is fewer hypocritical politicians in Washington.”

He read the Second Amendment: “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.”

Commissioner Barb Esfeld said this was “probably one of my least knowledgeable areas,” but she had received some questions from her constituents. They wanted to know if this proclamation is only about assault rifles and whether the commission would consider proclamations supporting other Constitutional Amendments.

“The proclamation is excellent and the Second Amendment is very important,” Esfeld added.

“I don’t think it’s about the assault rifle; it’s about the Second Amendment,” Hutchinson said.

“Right now, we don’t have a law against that stuff (but) new gun legislation has landed on the President’s desk every day right now. What I wanted to do is make sure that we were proactive and letting the state legislators and the national level know where Barton County stands without even having to ask: Don’t take our rights away. This happens to be the one that’s being assaulted, right now.” He said he would support a similar proclamation in support of the First Amendment or any other amendment that may come under assault.

Commissioner Kirby Krier said history records that the sole reason Japan did not invade the United States after the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor was that they knew every household had guns.

Commissioner Chair Jim Daily agreed with Krier’s observation and invited comments from the public.

John Prescott said, “I’m all for this proclamation; I think it is awesome.” He wanted to know “does this proclamation protect us from someone changing the definition of ‘assault rifle?’ Because I don’t want to wake up tomorrow morning and (someone) say, ‘Oh, by the way, your 12 gauge shotgun or goose gun is now considered an assault weapon.’”

“This proclamation is symbolic in nature,” Hutchinson said, “but I don’t think it’s going to be all that symbolic if the national government decides that half its citizens are felons with the stroke of a pen – if they make an assault weapons ban retroactive. It would be very detrimental and a proclamation like this isn’t going to much matter (in that case) because everybody’s going to be taking up arms. To me, this is just us saying, ‘Hey, leave us alone. We don’t need more gun control in Barton County; we need less hypocritical politicians.’”

Also speaking from the audience was Crystal Cross, who asked if declaring Barton a sanctuary county means the county might choose not to abide by a future law or statute, in this case dealing with gun control.

“I would like to say that we wouldn’t stand for it,” Hutchinson said. “I’d like to say our sheriff wouldn’t enforce it, but I really don’t have an answer for that. This is symbolic in nature. This is trying to let everyone know where we stand, that we don’t want any more of our rights taken away from us.”

Cross said, “Right now, I’m not worried about an invasion from another country, and how we’d be able to arm ourselves. I’m worried about how we’re killing each other.” She mentioned proposed rules aimed at so-called ghost guns and proposed red-flag laws. As for being a sanctuary county, she said, “I’m wondering if you’re willing to promote Barton County as a sanctuary county for humanitarian reasons.”

Daily commented, “This proclamation, as Shawn said, is symbolic. It (states that) we support the United States Constitution.”

He added, “I was a cop for 42 years. There is absolutely no way that law enforcement can be at your house, and your house, and your house when you need them. You have to call. In the meantime, while it takes them, hopefully a very short period of time to get to your house, you have the right to protect yourself, and you can’t do that unless you have some sort of means by which to defend yourself against an unlawful attack. That’s what the Constitution also provides (through the Second Amendment). ... So, I am in favor of this proclamation.”

Hutchinson said the Second Amendment also means Americans are able to defend themselves from a tyrannical government.

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance

Here’s a quick look at action taken Monday morning by the Barton County Commission.

• Proclamation 2021-09, declaring Barton County is a Second Amendment Sanctuary, was approved and the proclamation will be sent to representatives in the Kansas Legislature and in Congress. (See story in this webpage.)

• Proclamation 2021-10: Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Hoisington Tornado, April 21, 2001, was approved:

“At approximately 9:15 p.m., Saturday, April 21, 2001, a funnel touched down just a mile southwest of the City of Hoisington and quickly grew to an F4 tornado. Crossing northwest through Hoisington, the total path length of the tornado was 5 miles with a maximum width of 660 yards. There were 28 injuries reported and one fatality. The tornado destroyed 200 homes and 12 businesses, while severely damaging 85 homes with another 200 homes receiving minor to moderate damage.”

Barton County Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller provided details, and commissioners commented on memories from that night. The Hoisington City Clerk was also present and thanked county officials for their efforts after the tornado.

• The commission approved the purchase of Malwarebytes anti-virus software.

Barton County manages 140 end-user computers and 12 servers that need antiVirus software, said Information Technology Director Dereck Hollingshead. The IT Department recently accepted bids to renew the Malwarebytes licenses. Specifications included a three-year service period. The commission approved the low bid for $22,382.88 from 9 to 5 Computer, based in Florida.

• County Administrator Phil Hathcock gave a COVID-19 update, noting there are currently seven active cases in Barton County.