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The Feeling of HOPE, Again

We must be in the “dark days” that I’ve heard about my whole life. You know

what I mean. People will no longer be nice to each other. People will not respect

each other. People will not respect our laws. People will not tolerate each other’s

differences. People will cease to listen to one another. People will not…you can

fill in the blank.

I was raised in a time of hope, reasoning, tolerance, and kindness. When I was

growing up, I had a good sense of right and wrong early in life. My grandmother

kept the “good book” by her bed and read it every day. We all wanted to be like

her but when we weren’t, there was always a close-by switch to help us remember.

I grew up in the country on 40 glorious acres with my four siblings. My Granny

lovingly referred to us as “The Wild Bunch”. We were good kids though, and all

of us grew up just fine as my dad would say. We were all hard workers. The

country kids that grew up farming, hoeing, slopping pigs, milking cows, feeding

the chickens, and lots of other cool stuff, learned a lot from this experience.

I tell you these things in the hope of finding that you and I might have some things

in common. On Sunday afternoon, at the 2A meeting, I saw our local Democratic

party in a whole new light. I hope those in attendance left with a greater sense of

pride in our candidates this year. They all were amazing! I walked away having

learned far more about 2A and our local leadership.

Susan Stancill began the event with a few statements about herself. She made it

clear to us what it meant to be a “from here” versus a “come here” resident. From

Raleigh NC, she moved to the coal fields of Buchanan County, then here to

Washington County. That makes her a “come here”. From there, she introduced

the 2A film debut featuring four Democratic candidates, all “from here”.

After viewing the video, attendees were encouraged to group talk about what they

saw. During this interaction, many things began to happen. People were engaging

each other on the Second Amendment. People communicated openly and politely

with one another. People were respectful of each other and their opinions. People

asked questions about gun laws for home ownership and open carry versus

concealed carry.

Next, we had sound, intelligent questions asked of our four candidates. The room

was attentive. People were happy to have their questions answered thoughtfully

and respectfully. People related to Christina Clark Rehfuss’ analogy of inheriting

her grandfather’s gun to that of a mother passing down her wedding dress. People

responded when Julianne Johnson Miles discussed regulation of the AR-15 style

weapons. When asked about people that open carry a firearm and how it might

scare someone, she helped us understand that rather them intending to be

threatening, these are the same people that will be your hero should something go

wrong. People asked Josh Cumbow about the prosecution of the Washington

County deputy who murdered a family in California. People listened when Gary

Andis provided expert information on rifle types, sniper rifles, and gun

classifications. He answered questions until the attendees were satisfied.

So many positive things can be said about this event. I am certain the dark days

can be held at bay if we just listen to each other. In my opinion, Democrats should

be proud of what we are accomplishing in our communities. We have stronger

voices together. We have a very impressive slate of candidates this year. We have

wonderful leadership. I encourage you to come out and support us any way you


I constantly ask myself how I could make this an even better opportunity for

Democrats the next time around. I heard many comments about getting the 2A

video on TV so it could be seen by more people and ideas of trying to bring back

the town halls. That’s the excitement I saw in our party on Sunday. More ideas

from you, our stalwart and supportive friends, will help us become a stronger team

together. We have other Democratic issues deserving of our focus and your voice.

I for one, see bright days ahead and for now, that’ll keep the dark days at bay.

Thank you all!--Lynn Bennett


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