A city official in Virginia showed support for the Second Amendment earlier this week by bringing an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle to a city council meeting.
The move by Portsmouth, Virginia Councilman Nathan Clark came as the council fighting Gov. Ralph Northam’s gun control was to consider making the city a “Second Amendment Constitutional City” – placing it in symbolic opposition to gun-control efforts underway in the newly Democrat-controlled state Assembly.
The proposal, debated before a capacity audience in the council chambers, passed 4-3, according to the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk.
Clark’s gesture also came as the state prepares for a controversial gun-rights rally scheduled for Monday in Richmond, the state capital.
But he apparently triggered at least two members of the council in Portsmouth, an Atlantic coast city about 97 miles from Richmond.
The council critics said Clark should have told them in advance that he planned to bring the weapon – and one of them asked Clark to apologize for not doing so.
“It was a disgrace, disheartening and an embarrassment,” Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke wrote to the council Thursday, according to the newspaper. “Most of us were blindsided by the display.” Lucas-Burke was among three council members who voted against the “Constitutional City” designation. The others were Councilman Shannon Glover and Mayor John Rowe. Glover had complained of being blindsided by Clark’s gesture, the report said.
“It was a disgrace, disheartening and an embarrassment…Most of us were blindsided by the display.”https://t.co/IasFP1YTm6
— The Virginian-Pilot (@virginianpilot) January 17, 2020
Another critic was Fred Guttenberg, father of one of the victims of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting in February 2018, who accused Clark of “open intimidation” and called on him to resign.
Clark told Norfolk’s WTKR-TV that he was looking to make a point about gun rights.
The only anti-gun ppl you’ll see in Virginia on the 20th will be the government and they’ll have guns. Think about that for a second
— Colion Noir (@MrColionNoir) January 17, 2020
President Trump also highlighted the Democrats attack on the Second Amendment
Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020