The “gun sanctuary county” movement is a small but growing campaign across a number of states that seeks to stand up against the enforcement of gun laws at the state level that local governments might disagree with.
On issues such as age restrictions and “red flag” laws, some sheriff departments or local lawmakers say that such provisions should be voluntary — and that they have a right to ignore them, Reuters reported on the issue earlier this year.
But during a meeting on the issue in Sevier County, Tennessee, on Monday evening, the issue delved into presidential politics, including commentary that many felt was bigoted from one of the commissioners on the county board.
Sevier County Commissioner Warren Hurst ranted about changes in society he didn’t like seeing. It’s unclear how the topic of an openly gay man running for president within the Democratic primaries might relate to the topic of Sevier becoming a “gun sanctuary city,” but Hurst nevertheless included the issue in his missive on Monday night.
NEW: “We got a QUEER running for President… the white man has very few rights.”
Watch @SevierCounty Commissioner Warren Hurst’s homophobic, bigoted outburst Monday, telling folks to “wake up”.
Mayor’s office: 865-453-6136
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) October 22, 2019
“We got a queer running for president, if that ain’t about as ugly as you can get,” Hurst lamented, according to reporting from WVLT in Knoxville. “Look what we got running for president in the Democratic party. We can go over here to [the Sevier County Sheriff’s jail] and get better people out of there than those running for Democratic to be President of the United States.”
Many applauded Hurst’s comments, but some were visibly upset in the crowd after he made them. One woman stood up during the meeting and said, “this is not professional,” before uttering an expletive and leaving.
Hurst was undeterred in his commentary, shifting to his rights as a white man, and stated that he believed he was under attack in the U.S. for the color of his skin and his gender.
“I’m not prejudice, a white male in this country has very few rights and they’re getting took more every day,” Hurst said.
The data does not support his assertions, however.
According to reporting from The Root, white people in this country are still better off on a number of categories than are people of color. And as far as who is running things, it’s still overwhelmingly white people: whites are more represented in Congress, where 81 percent of lawmakers are caucasian, as well as in the judicial system, where 89 percent of judges are white.
Prison sentences are 20 percent longer for African Americans than they are for whites for the same crime committed in the U.S., and although white individuals are just as likely as black individuals to sell drugs, blacks are 2.7 times more likely to be arrested for doing so.
In short, the narrative that whites are somehow being oppressed in this country is a mistaken concept.