Sunday, March 10, 2013
Sheriffs and 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." Those twenty-seven words enshrined in the Constitution by our founding fathers clearly give us the right to own firearms in the protection of God-given liberty.
Most Americans agree with the right to bear arms. According to a recent Rasmussen survey, 65% of Americans see gun rights as "a protection against tyranny." Among those 65% are thousands of uniformed local and state police officers who see real criminals on a daily basis who not only have not properly registered their firearms or submitted to a background check; regardless of what liberals and the Obama Administration try to jam through Congress, they’re not going to succeed.
As the Supreme Court affirmed in the 1997 case Printz v. United States, county sheriffs are the chief law-enforcement officers in their jurisdictions, with more authority than even federal agents. As such, sheriffs work for their constituents and must comply with their oath to defend both the United States and state constitutions, not do the bidding of out-of-control politicians in Washington who apparently recognize no limits on their power.
So elected leaders, such as Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, Jackson County, Kentucky Sheriff Denny Peyman, Milwaukee County Sherriff David Clarke Jr., and others are speaking out against Obama’s campaign against gun ownership. Almost 300 sheriffs from across the country and at least 13 state sheriff organizations have announced their opposition to President Obama's proposed gun control measures, pledging to defend the Second Amendment within their jurisdiction. That number is increasing on a daily basis.
While some liberal legal scholars find ambiguity in the unusual wording of the 2nd Amendment, most state constitutions are very explicit in allowing citizens to own guns. For example, the Ohio Constitution states “The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security[...]," while Delaware’s Constitution goes further: “A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use.”
However, with the Executive Branch under control of Barack Obama, and too many liberal Democrats in Congress, our Constitutionally-protected rights are under attack
Using the senseless carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut as a vehicle (remember Rahm Emanuel’s comment that you should never let a crisis go to waste?), gun control advocates have shamelessly stood upon the graves of innocent children to promote their misguided political agenda. President Obama has already taken immediate steps to limit legal gun usage through constitutionally questionable executive orders; he promised more limitations during his recent State of the Union Address.
In Congress, the anti-gun efforts are lead by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who recently announced proposed legislation that would ban 157 makes and models of military-style “assault” rifles, pistols, shotguns, and semi-automatic weapons. In addition, she proposes to outlaw fixed ammunition clips that can hold more than 10 rounds and ban civilian variations of military combat model firearms.
Feinstein was the author of the 1994 assault weapons ban (which expired in 2004) and had access to plenty of data which suggests crime rates did not drop during the ban. Murder and violent crime rates never went above what they were in the year prior to the ban sunsetting. Most policemen will gladly tell you that criminals almost always use handguns.
Our rights are in jeopardy. Police officers, while they serve our communities proudly, cannot be everywhere at once, and law-abiding citizens must have the ability to protect their families before help arrives. It is time to support our police officers by standing up to President Obama's anti-gun agenda.