Government’s heavy thinkers are now wondering if they’ve overstepped their own law
It should be obvious by now that some law enforcement – county sheriffs elected by the people they serve rather than police chiefs appointed by politicians – are strong constitutionalists. As such, they risk defying state, city, county and municipal puppet masters. That is not to say that your local PD rank and filers are also election campaign volunteers. Not in the least. Cops are cops despite the shape of the badge they courageously wear on their chests or the color difference in their uniforms. But the political realities are different. Politicians are elected, too, but primarily by citizens who, apparently, are more interested in those making law than enforcing it.
Color me khaki. That’s the uniform I once wore. Yet, both guardians can be characterized as the men and women in blue and together we are the people’s servants. But the core philosophy of sheriffs and their deputies as opposed to cops and their ranking officers is based on rights and not wrongs; rights being those given to us by the Founders rather than to enforce the law-breaking wrongs that some citizens think belongs to them. While the laws applies to everyone equally, sheriffs see the law not as legislative direction forecast as regulation but rights as established by the constitution.
What began, for example, as the Sanctuary Cities concept to allow undocumented immigrants charged with law-breaking in California to avoid being sent back to their countries of origin at first escalated into a political gunfight between liberals and conservatives. Liberals loved the idea as an incentive to build up a more favorable vote base. Conservatives despised the idea as planned political strategy.
The rush to judgment over gun rights versus gun control suddenly became one of the realities of freedom versus prescription, i.e., what’s given as opposed to what’s wanted. Politicians by their nature want to dictate what’s wanted in the sometimes unchallenged atmosphere of the board room.
The continued pressure for more gun control that allowed such advocates to take advantage of the unarmed majority’s indifference about guns and turn it into flashing warning signs that spelled DANGER! in no uncertain terms put constitutionalist gun owners at a disadvantage. Sheriffs saw this as political infringement of citizens’ rights which they swore to defend as opposed to laws which must be enforced. Therein lies the difference between the police badge (or shield) and the sheriffs’ deputy’s 5 or 7-point (the seven points of honor) star. Enough.
More importantly, the Sanctuary Cities movement caught the eye of Sheriffs, first probably, in Washington state over the two anti-gun ballot initiatives I-594 in 2016 and I-1639 in 2018. Some Washington state Sheriffs saw this as challenging gun rights. Without political backup in liberal-dominated legislatures, the sheriffs took a stand: questionable laws generated by contemporary politicians with reelection axes to grind versus historical rights written by the authors of the Constitution. Thus, Illinois gun owners, stymied by controlling Cook County (think Chicago) politicians who favored more restrictions on citizens’ gun rights, took up the mantra of California’s immigrant sanctuaries. Washington state Sheriffs followed. Now half of New Mexico’s Sheriffs are adopting a similar strategy. Even proud gun control Maryland has now joined the fray. And it’s working. Gun control legislatures are asking themselves, “What have we done?”
All of this has to do with stalling gun control advancement. At some point the snail-crawling United States Supreme Court knows that it must intervene to curb the runaway stampede of municipal, state, and federal – and mostly ineffective – infringing gun control campaign. Undoubtedly, the sanctuary protection effort will have to be considered, as well, but in the meantime, there’s a certain level of fun and enjoyment to be had as we watch the liberal versus conservative tussle over Sanctuary Cities play out.