2 years, 10 months ago
We previously discussed Sheriffs making moral, rather than self-preserving, decisions concerning the recent threats of unconstitutional gun controls by the federal government. Sheriff Peyman is an example for others to follow, as are many other Sheriffs. In Arizona:
“Out of 200 sheriffs with whom I’ve met, I’ve only had one give me a wishy-washy answer. That one said he would try to take the federal government to court,” Mack said. “Most of them have said they would lay down their lives first rather than allow any more federal control. They also said they would do everything they could to stop gun control and gun confiscation.”
We respect the office of the President of the United States of America. But, make no mistake, as the duly-elected sheriffs of our respective counties, we will enforce the rights guaranteed to our citizens by the constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights – in particular Amendment II – has given to them. We, like you, swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.”
This is a powerful note from honorable men, the only problem to my thinking being that the constitution didn’t give me the rights enumerated therein. God did, and the founders recognized and codified them.
With the threat of new federal gun control laws and regulations looming, a state legislator wants to provide legal cover for Arizonans who do not want to obey them – and penalize federal officials who try to enforce them.
The proposal by Rep. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, makes it illegal for any public servant to enforce “any act, law, statute, rule or regulation” of the federal government relating to personal firearms or accessories within the boundaries of Arizona. It defines public servants to include not just state and local employees but also legislators, judges, jurors, witnesses and consultants who perform government functions.
Well enough. But then the equivocation begins.
Smith conceded in a conflict between federal and state laws, the federal is likely to prevail. Where he said his measure may be more effective is on any action the president takes on his own.
Obama announced he is issuing executive orders dealing with background checks, doing studies on gun violence and taking steps toward what could be new safety standards for weapons. Smith said in those cases, were the president is acting on his own with no specific law backing his position, a state law would have more effect.
No, no, no. Listen to me, boys and girls. The legislators needs to reach a moral decision point just like the Sheriffs have. This isn’t a game, and the Sheriffs have said that they will lay down their very lives. Don’t pass laws that you aren’t willing to enforce by the power of the state police and national guard if necessary. If you don’t want to put DHS agents in the state penitentiary, then don’t waste your time. You will leave yourselves with no moral authority whatsoever with the federal government or your own constituency. You will look like cowards, and maybe you are. Leave the moral tests to the real men and stay out of the way. Courtroom brinksmanship is for the faint of heart.
In the mean time, Sheriffs in North Carolina have some soul searching to do in light of the leadership shown around the country by other Sheriffs.
Hundreds of people met Wednesday evening to talk passionately about the Second Amendment and their rights to bear arms.
Three local sheriffs, including Wake County’s Donnie Harrison, took part in the minutemen’s discussions in Zebulon. The meeting came just hours after President Obama unveiled his gun control plans.
A boiling point in the meeting came about midway through. When dozens inside and dozens more outside of the Fargo Cattle Company Steakhouse bristled about a possibility that the federal government could violate their Second Amendment rights.
“I don’t think that was answered correctly, or really answered at all,” said Wake County resident Jamie Miller.
“What we didn’t hear is that it doesn’t matter what they say, we’re not going to come and get your guns,” said Wayne County resident Adam Drissel.
What those in attendance heard repeatedly from Sheriffs Jerry Jones, Carey Winders and Donnie Harrison, respectively from Franklin, Wayne and Wake counties, was very similar.
“I’ll quit first, but nobody’s going to take your guns,” said Harrison.
“I don’t see any sheriff going house to house taking weapons,” said Winders. “Folks, there’s more people here than I got deputies. I’m going to tell you that.”
[ … ]
Each sheriff pledged to uphold the U.S. Constitution, but stopped short of addressing a hypothetical scenario. Instead, they urged the gun advocates to take their passions to lawmakers.
Take note of the reasoning: ” … there’s more people here than I got deputies.” This is entirely a pragmatic demurral. It sounds as if some of the Sheriffs should join the ranks of the politicians and leave the work of men to the men.
As I said, moral decision points. When it comes down to your jobs, your safety, your livelihood and your wellbeing, what will you do?