For those who support the Constitution including the Second Amendment, this is a Christmas gift that will make you smile: The New York Sun writes in an editorial called The Faithful Sheriffs that the New York Times is upset that some sheriffs are declaring they will not enforce gun control laws.
The Times’s front page article begins:
GREELEY, Colo. — When Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County explains in speeches why he is not enforcing the state’s new gun laws, he holds up two 30-round magazines. One, he says, he had before July 1, when the law banning the possession, sale or transfer of the large-capacity magazines went into effect. The other, he “maybe” obtained afterward.
He shuffles the magazines, which look identical, and then challenges the audience to tell the difference.
“How is a deputy or an officer supposed to know which is which?” he asks.
Some sheriffs, like Sheriff Cooke, are refusing to enforce the laws, saying that they are too vague and violate Second Amendment rights. Many more say that enforcement will be “a very low priority,” as several sheriffs put it. All but seven of the 62 elected sheriffs in Colorado signed on in May to a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the statutes.
The resistance of sheriffs in Colorado is playing out in other states, raising questions about whether tougher rules passed since Newtown will have a muted effect in parts of the American heartland, where gun ownership is common and grass-roots opposition to tighter restrictions is high.
The Sun’s commentary on this state of affairs is a treat. Here’s the most important excerpt, but read the whole thing; it’s short and sweet.
…the responsibility of the sheriffs in respect of the Constitution is no different than the responsibility of the President or a Supreme Court judge or a Senator. They are all bound by oath or affirmation to support it. Sheriff Cooke is a smart man. He can read plain English just as well as, say, President Obama. So he has to make a decision in respect of the Second Amendment. Last time we looked, it said the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Our Washington County sheriff, Doug Mullendore, could do this too, refuse to enforce Martin O’Malley’s unconstitutional gun laws. Any sheriff can make this judgment.
And where the sheriff won’t do that, a jury can refuse to convict those charged with violations of laws they consider unconstitutional.