Going Rogue: Should Law Enforcement Defy Gun Control Laws?

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Former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack. (Photo: )

Former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack. (Photo: SPLCenter.org)

Here’s the situation:

Hillary Clinton is President of the United States. She’s appointed an anti-gun justice to the Supreme Court, and the Court has ruled 5-4 that the Second Amendment no longer protects one’s individual right to keep and bear arms.

Congress, which has been taken over by the anti-gun contingent, immediately passes a law similar to Australia’s mandatory gun confiscation scheme. The bill orders local law enforcement to aid in the confiscation of all semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines capable of holding 10 or more rounds.

You’re a sheriff in one of your state’s rural counties. You’ve taken an oath to defend the Constitution and uphold the law, but you also believe every American has a right to keep and bear arms. What do you do?

If you’re former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack—founder and head of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA)—, you defy the law and protect your constituents’ rights.

The mission of the CSPOA is to “Protect, Serve, Uphold, and Defend each citizen’s Natural, Unalienable Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness as outlined in our Bill of Rights, and our Constitution.” Naturally, one of the rights they aim to “protect, serve, uphold, and defend” is the right to keep and bear arms, and they’re willing to defy the law to do so.

The Second Amendment is especially important to the CSPOA’s founder. Mack earned national recognition when, as a sheriff in Arizona, he challenged the portion of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that commanded state and local law enforcement to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the federal government does not have the constitutional right to force state and local officials to aid in the execution of federal law.

Speaking of the trial, Mack told the Washington Post that “the government was forcing me to participate in a gun control scheme that I knew was unconstitutional. When all law enforcement is forced into that position by state or federal legislators, which one do we side with? And I believe there is a proper way to conduct oneself in knowing the difference between enforcing stupid laws and enforcing the principles of the Constitution.”

Mack has continued to fight for the individual right to keep and bear arms, telling the Post that any gun regulation violates the Second Amendment. He founded the CSPOA in 2011 to organize and educate sheriffs and police officers who are willing to uphold what he sees as the proper interpretation of the Constitution.

According to the Center for Public Integrity, Mack said that if 600 or 700 sheriffs join his organization “everybody in this country has at least two or three places in each state where they can go for refuge, find a true constitutional sheriff who’ll tell the federal government, ‘You’re not going to abuse citizens anymore.’”

Millions of gun owners across America share Mack’s support for the Second Amendment and his dislike of gun control measures. But not all scenarios are as cut-and-dry as Hillary’s plan to confiscate the nation’s guns.

Here’s another hypothetic dilemma.

You’re a Florida county sheriff. Your deputy arrested a man at a traffic stop because he found the man carrying a loaded .25 caliber pistol without a license. Florida law stipulates that unlicensed concealed carry warrants a third-degree felony charge, so the deputy booked the man in jail.

Florida law is clear on the matter, but the Second Amendment says the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” What do you do?

If you’re Liberty County, Florida, Sheriff Nick Finch, you let the man out of jail and white out his booking record. And if you’re Richard Mack, you recruit other members of the CSPAO to support the Florida sheriff.

In his interview with the Post, Mack defended the CSPAO’s tactics, alluding to the Alabama police officers who enforced racial segregation or Nazi soldiers who committed genocide.

“The cop who arrested Rosa Parks said,” according to Mack, “‘The law is the law.’ The officers at Nuremberg said the same thing, ‘We were just following orders.’ Well, the court determined that following orders when you’re committing a crime, or genocide, doesn’t cut it. We say the same thing. Do not say, ‘I’m just following orders.’ Do what’s right. We stand for people being abused. I don’t care if it’s gun rights, land rights, Amish rights, the federal government should not get a free pass and we should stand against their abuses.”

Mack said he has “never advocated violence” but “when you have no place else to go, when all the courts are against you, all the legislators are against you, where else do you go? I believe to the local county sheriff…and if that means standing against the federal government, then so damn be it.”

It’s this kind of rhetoric that has place Mack and his organization under closer scrutiny.

Two lengthy articles have been written in the past two weeks, both of which have criticized Mack’s brand of civil disobedience. The Center for Public Integrity published the first on April 18, and the Washington Post published a follow-up on April 28.

The articles are by no means perfect. Public Integrity’s analysis, for example, goes so far as to draw a connection between Mack’s group and the sovereign citizen movement, which the FBI believes poses a serious domestic terrorism threat. The Center for Public Integrity fails to explain how a group whose attacks are mostly “unplanned, reactive… targeting [of] law enforcement officers” could be connected to an association composed of law enforcement officials.

The Center for Public Integrity also presents the Nick Finch case as clear-cut, despite the fact that Finch was acquitted of misconduct and even won back pay as well as attorney fees. They do not explain how a jury could have acquitted Finch if he was so clearly guilty of violating the law.

That being said, the articles’ critical tone is not entirely without merit.

Mack’s stance on federal vs. state law, for example, is strangely inconsistent. His insistence on the supremacy of states’ rights doesn’t align well with his support of Sheriff Finch, who was charged with violating a state law—not a federal law. If state laws supersede federal laws, shouldn’t Finch have complied with Florida’s gun control measures? One would expect Mack to support Florida’s right to determine its own gun policies, but he clearly came down on the side of federal law (i.e., the Constitution). It isn’t clear whether Mack believes state law or the Second Amendment should take precedence in such circumstances.

Mack and his supporters also fail to address Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Article III vests the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts with the “judicial power of the United States” that extends “to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution.” In other words, according to the Constitution Mack claims to revere, federal courts are the only entity with the authority to interpret the Constitution. Neither the Constitution nor state law vests county sheriffs with such interpreting authority.

But this authority is precisely what CSPOA sheriffs claim when they refuse to enforce a law the Supreme Court has decided is constitutional under the Second Amendment. When they decide a state law violates the Second Amendment, they are enforcing the law according to their own interpretation. While I would say their interpretation is the correct one, the Constitution does not authorize them to administer it. Mack doesn’t address these issues anywhere on the CSPOA website or his personal website. How do Mack and his supporters square their love of the Constitution with their disregard for Article III?

A few disclaimers are in order at this point. I am not a constitutional lawyer, and I don’t pretend to have a complete grasp of Article III or its case history. And it is entirely possible Mack and the CSPOA have addressed the Article III objection, and I simply missed it.

Still, every high school government student knows that the Constitution charges the federal courts with interpreting the Constitution. If the CSPOA wants to maintain (some would say gain) its legitimacy, it has to address this basic objection. Second Amendment advocates in some countries would like nothing more than to vest their local sheriff with Constitution-interpreting power. I know mine would make my life much easier. But that’s not how the Founders imagined our system of government, and that’s not how the law works according to the Constitution.

In many ways, the problem goes back to the Supreme Court itself. Activist Supreme Courts have interpreted the Second Amendment to allow a level of regulation and restriction the Founders never anticipated. These interpretations depart so sharply from the clear language of the Second Amendment that Mack and his sheriffs believe they can do a better job. Maybe they could, but the Constitution does not authorize them to do so. Unfortunately, the only way to reverse Supreme Court decisions is via subsequent Court decisions (or a constitutional amendment), which is why the upcoming presidential election is so crucial.

Some believe the next president will have the opportunity to appoint three additional justices. Because the Courts interpret the Second Amendment, an anti-gun majority on the Court could wreak havoc on the individual right to keep and bear arms. If you care about the Second Amendment, it’s critical to vote in November for whichever candidate will appoint pro-gun justices (obviously, not Hillary).

At the end of the day, Sheriff Mack, the CSPOA, and Second Amendment advocates all want the same thing: less regulation, more freedom. But some strategies are more effective (and constitutional) than others. When law enforcement officials disregard the law, they set a bad precedent for other officials who may have radically different views. The slope to anarchy is a slippery one. Sheriffs who refuse to enforce gun laws one day might decide to disregard freedom of religion laws the next. When not even the sheriffs obey the law, why should the citizens?

Unjust laws have always been an unfortunate side effect of free democracy. But democracy also gives the people a way to address these laws effectively, safely, and legally. This presidential election, we have an opportunity to stack the Court in favor of gun rights for generations to come. Let’s make it happen.

About the Author: Jordan Michaels is a new convert to the gun world. A Canadian immigrant to the United States, he recently became an American citizen and is happily enjoying his newly-acquired Second Amendment freedoms. He’s a communications professional, a political junkie, and an avid basketball fan.

{ 110 comments… add one }
  • Johnny July 20, 2016, 10:21 am

    Steven, you are probably the most intelligent Human on earth. Wen you were in the service, were you the ONLY one in STEP?
    You should just listen to YOURSELF. Most people like YOURSELF is just “EAT UP” with self importance. You have given me
    a lot things to consider. More so…How Damn STUPID you really are!

  • Steven Schreibstein July 19, 2016, 4:35 pm

    Some of the eloquent, articulate and well-reasoned arguments in the comments on this article have led me to reconsider and soften my thoughts about firearm ownership and the Government that we all serve. I do think the Government does extend the right to private firearm ownership within certain limitations and that we as subjects of that Government can own firearms. Weapons of war and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices obviously should be restricted and the Government should only allow police and military to possess such dangerous weapons.

    Still, I hope you all enjoy being in prison for treason.

  • Randall Slack July 17, 2016, 9:43 am

    It does not matter if the Supreme Court ruled against the Second Amendment , Bill Of Rights or and other part or in whole the Constitution.
    The bottom line is WE THE PEOPLE OWN THE CONSTITUTION IT IS OURS TO DEFEND!!
    We should never advocate violence but when you have no place else to go, when all the courts are against you, all the legislators are against you, where else do you go? If that means standing against the federal government, then so damn be it.
    This is the same tyranny that our Founding fathers had to fight against and it is starting all over again.
    Will it be the 3 percenters again that will rein in an out of control Government??

    • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 3:54 pm

      Your description suggests that the entire U.S. government is against you. All the duly elected representatives of the people of the U.S. are against you. So, naturally, inasmuch as YOU couldn’t possibly be wrong – it must be THEM! So you shamelessly spout treason, like the trecherous dog that you are. Well, come ahead, you traitorous scum. We’ve dispatched turncoats like you before. I side with the United States – every time.

      • JoeUSooner October 28, 2016, 3:35 pm

        Steven, you have a remarkably strange definition of the word/concept of “treason.”

  • Jay July 16, 2016, 8:13 am

    The second amendment is one of the most infringed upon rights on the books! Just since 2000 we have over 300 gun Controls laws, around 20,000 regulations and laws, which vary from State to State and those of the federal level which all got started in 1934, National Firearms Act of 1934, in the name of public safety. It was we the people who have allowed this to happen and once the government has got their foot in the door it has just snowballed from there, the government will and does use all at their disposal to psyops the public into thinking its for your own good and it has worked! Since obama passed HR4310 in Dec. 2012, sections of this bill expressly allows the use of propaganda domestically, as long as there is some possibility that at least one non-US-citizen will eventually receive the communication.
    This bill not only opened the door to legalization of the dissemination of propaganda in America, but also legalized covert infiltration of media organizations by government agents, even the creation of media outlets that legally operate entirely as government fronts!

  • Leighton Cavendish July 15, 2016, 9:50 pm

    They better look for illegal aliens while trying to find all those illegal guns and magazines…that’s all I have to say.
    No way to kick 12 (more like 20) million illegals out of the country…but we will go look for 1 BILLION guns and magazines…
    LMFAO!!

    • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 4:06 pm

      Well, you could always put the “Illegals” in someplace where their numbers could be counted – recorded. Some place to concentrate the illegals. Round them up and put them on trains – guarded trains, of course. Build a couple of hundred “Camps” for the purpose. That project would employ millions of “Legal” Americans. And even after the camps were built, and the aliens were concentrated there, there would have to be tens of thousands of camp guards. Maybe we’d call them Special Services Troopers. And there would have to be a whole new investigative organization to FIND them, to root them out. After all, they are everywhere throughout the country. It would have to be a very serious, dedicated group of sleuths. We might call them the “Government Extra-national Search, Tracking And Police Organization. Our new Leader, Trump would love that plan.

  • DaveGinOly July 15, 2016, 8:25 pm

    Wait a cotton-picking minute there! It can’t possibly happen like that here. State citizens have rights protected by their State constitutions (as well as by natural law). Congress has limited authority over State citizens and their property. Federal gun control law operates via the interstate commerce clause. Australia (and other countries like it) have national governments that can dictate laws to all citizens. Congress has limited powers, with almost none of them touching State citizens. Congress has no more authority to order State citizens to turn over their firearms than it does to tell them to paint their houses blue. Although they may throttle firearms distribution through commercial avenues (via their legislative jurisdiction over interstate commerce) they can’t confiscate property of State citizens, especially when State constitutions protect their citizens’ rights both to arms and to property, and more especially when State authorities have specifically acknowledged that these rights are protected. Congress can’t simply steamroller the protections guaranteed by State constitutions.

    Many people don’t know it, but even Prohibition did not allow Congress to reach private citizens. Prohibition, although authorized by an amendment to the federal Constitution, operated via the interstate commerce clause. Prohibition prevented the commercial manufacture of alcohol for (presumed) interstate distribution and sale. The amendment also authorized the States to impose their own, similar prohibitions on intra-state manufacture and sale of booze. The authority of the amendment didn’t address the private manufacture and personal consumption of alcohol, both of which remained legal during the Prohibition era. Congress and the States both understood that was beyond their authority, even with a Constitutional amendment. A similar amendment (or the repeal of the Second Amendment – which would legally do exactly nothing, it’s not the source of the right to arms) with regard to firearms would fail to reach those arms already in the possession of State citizens. A statute passed by Congress, or an executive order, would have even less force for lack of subject matter (personal firearms/property ownership) authority.

    • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 1:57 am

      Never before have I seen a man so wrong for so long on so many things. Apparently, when it comes to constitutional law, political science and even the recognition of reality, you score zero on all counts. This is no doubt due to a medical condition known as Anal/Cranial inversion. Please report to your nearest psychiatric hospital.

  • Larry Koehn July 15, 2016, 7:25 pm

    There is no doubt in my mind that the government will find plenty of military and police who will turn on the citizens and willingly violate the Constitution. Germany had no problem filling the ranks of Gestapo and SS forces and neither will the USA. The only hope will be enough armed citizens that wont give them up without a fight and there are more of US then THEM. You don’t have to kill them all just the one or more that you can get. Are you willing to die for your freedom?

    • Robert July 16, 2016, 2:52 pm

      Larry, one reason the Germans (Nazi Party) had no trouble recruiting men for the Brown Shirts is because they indoctrinated them in the schools. Much of what is happening here in the U. S. Same with the Gestapo and SS Corps. However if you dig into the history of that war and how the populace felt you will see that the government recruited regular army troops through threats of going after their families, etc. A lot of German men did not want to be in that war. I know a lot of military and policemen and none of them, at present, would try to take away our legally owned arms. I know police chiefs that said that if we defend ourselves against national government unconstitutional laws or rules we have a Second Amendment right to do so. Some where I live said they would quit the police force because they foresee a real blood bath if that would come to pass. Plus the military does not have enough forces to take away anything. They are 3 million and we are 80 million. I don’t think most of the, 97%, would try such a foolish thing. They have better weapons some say. Then why are they still fighting undermanned and under equipped terrorists in Afghanistan? Case rested. Steven made some reference to thinking on “old” ideas for natural law. Before anyone argues that, I suggest you get a copy of Stephen Halbrook’s authentic book “THAT EVERY MAN BE ARMED – The Evolution of a Constitutional Right.” It isn’t taught in colleges but is historically correct. Steven is the result of a college degree. They learn words so they can insult people without using gutter language but are utterly indoctrinated by the progressive professors who pollute our children’s minds with his point of view and our country’s history. Which they do not teach anymore.

    • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 1:58 am

      Are you willing to languish in Federal prison for treason?

    • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 4:09 pm

      I certainly hope you are, because if you make one move against our country – you will.

  • Tripwire July 15, 2016, 3:53 pm

    I had no idea the correct spelling of “Horses Ass” was ” Steven Schreibstein ” Guess my lack of edakation led me to this ignernt place.
    Go away you troll, you are doing nothing but aiding the enemy.

    • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 2:08 am

      During the Vietnam war I fought the enemy, you gutless little jerk. What were you doing, running your mouth? Aiding the enemy? To you “the enemy” is our American government. That makes you a traitor. And you are a witless fool as well.

      • Robert July 16, 2016, 11:46 am

        Steven, I am 82 years old and remember the Nazi and Japanese aggression at that time. If you examine the Declaration of Independence you will see that instruction that when government becomes tyrannical through the creation of laws, rules and government intrusions onto your liberty and freedoms, which they have no right to do, we the people are instructed to end that government and create a new that embodies those things written about in the first documents. If you believe the feds have a right to do anything they want you had better reread and study the Constitution closely. I have consulted constitutional authorities on this and know whereof I speak. Finally, thank you for your service during the Vietnam War (police action). That was another action taken by our federal government that history has proved was entirely unnecessary. We had too many of our young men die for a useless cause. If we go to war we have to do as Gen. MacArthur said, fight to win {not sustain}.

        • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 2:10 am

          Robert, do not waste your golden years examining ancient documents that enjoy no currency here in the 21st century. The prisons are full of misguided “students” of the Bill of Rights, the constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The police DO NOT CARE about this arcane scholarship, and nether, case law indicates, do the courts. The time of unfettered freedom is long over in America. Recent studies indicate that we are the least free – the LEAST FREE of all 92 democracies in the world. In general liberty we rank #22, ten years ago we ranked #18. We rank equally low in Happiness, Vacation Time, Public Education, savings, wages, health, longevity, literacy and infrastructure. We have not been a “democracy” for a long time. We are demonstrably an Oligarchy, and we have the largest (and continually widening) gap between rich and poor in the industrialized world. We have more people incarcerated than ANY COUNTRY ON EARTH, and the highest homicide rate in the industrialized western world.
          Yes, Robert – you lived at the right time – the good times are really over for good.

  • Kenneth July 15, 2016, 12:30 pm

    The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, therefore any law that violates, contradicts or dismisses our inalienable rights (specifically outlined in the constitution, see the Bill of Rights for further clarification) are by definition invalid and should be defied by any & all freedom-loving Americans, but especially by those sworn to protect and serve the people of this great nation. Far too often the little guy gets trampled by what some call progress, but ask you this; Have any of these multi-billion dollar corporations received or ever even asked for permission to pollute, deforest and destroy our planet, as well as starve, murder, displace and utterly disregard millions of people in their never ending quest to amass even more wealth & power? And they do so with impunity, so make no mistake, they aim to disarm the populace in order to further exploit the working-class and if allowed to do so, well then it isn’t hard to envision a future of minimum-wage-slaves without the means to revolt. While the CSPOA might not be right about everything (and who is?) I’m proud to support them and hope to see others follow suit.

    • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 2:15 am

      Your simplistic and woefully inaccurate take on laws that “are by definition invalid and should be defied” are merely “Laws I don’t like.” And there are hundreds of people in prison as we speak for heeding your advice. While you are entirely correct about corporations and their goals, that must be filed under the column: Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      • Robert July 16, 2016, 2:54 pm

        Steven, there is a distinct difference between civil disobedience and criminal activity. You ought to know that. Please don’t pursue that line. I will bury you in facts.

        • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 2:21 am

          No you won’t. Here’s a fact for you – America is the most punitive nation inn the world. With 3.5 million of its citizens incarcerated, it has the most people on earth in prison. Also the largest percentage of its population than any other country. That includes Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and other horrible places. Futhermore, I’ll wager that my extensive experience as a cop arresting people for “civil disobedience” that slid over to “criminal activity” because our Department said so. Cumulative videotape footage of innocent “demonstrators being beaten bloody and arrested must, by now, amount to countless hours of reality for you to acquaint yourself with. the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago proves the futility of your position. If you are referring to “Theoretical differences between civil disobedience and crime” Well, theories are like assholes – everybody’s got one. In the field, you will get your head cracked open – and that’s a proven fact – not a dreamy, disjointed theory.

  • Rocky July 15, 2016, 11:50 am

    Jefferson and Madison maintained, in their \’Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions\’ (\’the Resolutions of \’98\’), respectively, that the final arbiters of the Constitution are not the courts, but the States and the People (collectively, via an Art. V Convention of States).
    http://www.conventionofstates.com/

    • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 2:18 am

      It was an opinion, not a law in 1798. And it is still not a law. It is irrelevant.

  • furball19 July 15, 2016, 10:52 am

    wouldn’t it take an amendment to the constitution to change guns ownership laws? also i was not aware that governmental agencies could make laws, i thought that privilege was congresses. but wait, bummer promised change so maybe he is usurping the constitution and congress to make up laws he wants. yathink? no you don’t other wise you would not let this continue to happen would you?

    • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 11:00 am

      The answer to your sad, rambling question is no. It does not take a constitutional amendment to change automobile ownership laws, home ownership laws, traffic laws or gun ownership laws. the “privilege” that you endow to congress, [constitutional amendments,] require, additionally, the assent of the Senate, the President and ultimately, the Supreme Court. Surely there is a night school around you somewhere……

      • JELICK July 15, 2016, 2:58 pm

        You sir have a superiority complex. No doubt it comes from 42 years of wearing the badge. You’ve had some smart ass remark to every comment on this thread. And most of them have been nothing more than cerebral flatulence. You should get that condition checked. Now, on your comment here about gun ownership. Automobile ownership, home ownership, and traffic laws are not enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Gun ownership by the people, which is an individual right, is enumerated in the Bill of Rights under the Second Amendment. The language of the Second Amendment was purposefully written simply to be understood by any literate individual. The Bill of Rights IS meant to be untouchable, and the interpretation is meant to be with WE THE PEOPLE not the high court. furball19 is right, an amendment process is explicitly necessary if the Second Amendment is to be changed only after the consent of the governed is given. Who is your favorite founding father? If I had to guess, I would say it is Alexander Hamilton. He was a big proponent of the supremacy of the high court. No doubt his vision for this country has come to fruition, but it certainly is not the majority sentiment shared by his peers. LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC!

        • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 2:31 am

          “A judge can be impeached, removed from the bench and jailed.” Yes, but not by YOU. Only by the government you hate so much. I see you have labels for those who point out your foibles. You are correct, though, I am progressive, but not socialist. Are you regressive but not Nazi? I am simply an American with complex political attitudes which resist street corner pigeon-holing. I didn’t call you a “Knee-jerk reactionary,” or a “Low-information voter.” I never referred to you as a “Neo-Nazi psychopath” – as other have. I merely warned you that your stupidity can wind you up in jail. That was a service, not n insult. Geesh! Toothlesss radicals……

        • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 2:25 am

          Yes, I agree. My remarks are smart, and most of the comments are stupid. This thread is a veritable cesspool of ignorance and psychopathy. It is both pathetic and entertaining in its stultifying buffoonery and breathtaking delusion.

      • Bill Liddell July 15, 2016, 5:53 pm

        You are arrogant and disgustingly bigoted. Your approach is typical for the socialist progressives who always look down their noses at others; using insults and slanders in a pathetic attempt to win an argument or persuade by the ad hominem? Shall not be infringed is pretty absolute, and as there was no Federal gun control until 1934 it seems that folks up till then believed int that phraseology. In fact, the documentary trail of the framers and their successors touted the importance of an inviolable RTKBA. If there was a single framer or founder who felt that a universally armed populace was not necessary it’s the best kept secret in history as not a shred of it exists today. Further, the BOR was a requirement for inclusion BEFORE certain key states would ratify the Constitution. No BOR, no Constitution. So the BOR was a condition for establishing the social contract (The Constitution) and deleting any of those 10 protections might be considered as invalidating that contract. In light of that, I would say that YES a rational view of that Amendment says to eliminate it you could try to amend it away, but that it would be both dangerous and ill advised. Don’t forget that the shooting in the American Revolution began with an attempt by the Crown to disarm the colonists of their right to arms.

        “The right of the citizen to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium [guarantee] of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”–Justice Joseph Story, 3 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1890, p. 746-747.

        • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 3:01 am

          The cognitive dissonance of the Saturday scholar never ceases to amaze me. You perennially quote arcane opinions from centuries ago, meticulously and diaphanously cherry-picked to support your sophomoric assertions, blithely disregarding the realities and legalities of the 21st century. I’d be aghast to see you without a cocked hat. I see that you, like others in this virtual cesspool of ignorance favor the term “socialist progressive.” Slavish, lockstep individuality, eh? Ad hominem is the only approach possible when confronted with a bottom-feeding, knuckle-dragging semi-upright simian, sir. South Carolina’s representatives, during the constitutional convention took the position that if the proposed constitution outlawed slavery, they would not ratify it. No slavery, no constitution (to employ your idiomatic simplicity.) And so the great evi of salveryl, the detestable stain of this abomination, was protected by the constitution for another 80 years, until it was abolished by a progressive president. And between a progressive supreme court and a progressive president with a progressive senate, your protected gun fetish will join slavery in the dustbin of history. And speaking of history. Next Saturday, when you usually pick up a book (Mein Kampf?) take a look at history. The dummies never win – its always been the smart guys who prevail. Who’d’a thunk it?

          • Robert July 16, 2016, 3:08 pm

            80 years after the real signing of the Constitution would make it in 1877. Perhaps you had better look up the date It was declared in a certificate to the Secretary of State dated July 18, 1868 to have been ratified by 28 of the 37 states. Ratification was completed on July 9, 1868. The reason for the 14th Amendment was that the “progressive Democrats” of that era tried to keep the Negros enslaved by denying them the right to arms to protect themselves and their families. The Democrats tried then and are busy now keeping not only the Negro subjected by a welfare state but all other races too. Welfare, the War on Poverty initiated by Lyndon Johnson (D) was unconstitutional and remains so until this day. The Federal Government has no constitutional authority to take money from some individuals and give it to others. I suggest you go get a real constitutional law professor and he/she will set you straight on this. You will find all this information in a copy of the Constitution presented by Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, July 25, 2007.

          • JELICK July 16, 2016, 5:19 pm

            HAHA…What a TOOL!!

  • CharlieKing1 July 15, 2016, 10:23 am

    http://abc7chicago.com/news/chicago-federal-judge-comments-about-constitution-spark-impeachment-calls-/1409091/
    I support the ideals of Sheriff Mack. He’s the only one that had the balls to challenge Clinton’s background check scheme. Maybe part of the problem we are having with our Article III Judiciary is highlighted in the link I provided about an FEDERAL appellate judge Richard Posner, who believes that reading and studying the Constitution is a waste of time. There in lies the problem. If it’s just a waste of time according to this judge, then would it be a waste of our time falling in line with the justices’ interpretation of the Constitution?

    • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 11:03 am

      There is no equanimity. The judge can put you in jail. You cannot put him in jail. The judge will eat roast beef – and you, little piggy, will cry “Weee-weee-wee” all the way home.

      • Bill Liddell July 15, 2016, 5:55 pm

        Just another socialist progressive troll… I should have known. And you are wrong. A judge can be impeached, removed from the bench and jailed. Perhaps you should try a dose of reality with your demeaning diatribes.

  • Tom Horn July 15, 2016, 9:19 am

    About the state law, vs. federal law, If the state law is an unconstitutional law, federal would definitely, supersede it. And furthermore, If anyone (including appointed judges) tries to usurp the power from, “We the People,” we the people have the right under the 2nd Amendment to over-through that government (including forcibly removing a federal judge from the bench). So, a judge may be the only one able to interpret the Constitution, but if he interprets it in a manner in which to control and subdue, “We the People,” and change the power balance to, “We the Elite,” there is no reason to follow/obey this judges interpretation.

    • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 10:06 am

      With so utterly and completely misguided an attitude such as yours, it certainly sounds like there’s a prison cell in your future.

    • Tom Horn July 15, 2016, 10:08 am

      P.S. This is my junior year of highs school, civics teacher’s interpretation. This is not something radical (although, it was in the 18th century).

      • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 11:08 am

        Aha – I thought your writing was a notch above sophomoric. And so it is. You’ll find, as you go forward in your scholastic pursuits, that theories often run aground on the steps of a courthouse. I applaud your involvement and am heartened by your nascent intellect. You ask good questions – and you have the testicular fortitude to get in there with the big guys. My hat’s off to you, son.

        • Tom Horn July 15, 2016, 6:01 pm

          And, that is why my original comment is censored?

        • Tom Horn July 15, 2016, 6:27 pm

          Steven,

          Instead of the insult, how about pointing out where my sophomoric mind has clouded my true understanding of the situation, if that task is not to far below you. I see death in my future in my crystal ball, as in “Give me Liberty, or give me…” but I probably purchased a sophomoric model.

          • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 2:29 am

            Sadly, then, you are doomed, kid.

        • Steve July 15, 2016, 7:02 pm

          What is sophomoric would be your attitude to anyone supporting the 2nd Amendment as it is written and not twisted into your fascist point of view.

          By the way, the fascists are of the left. Just look at their policies and compare them to socialism, communism, and the democrat party platforms and actions.
          Of course, you wouldn’t bother to do that with your high and mighty standpoint as your overinflated fragile ego couldn’t take such a hit.

          • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 4:26 pm

            Au contrare, mousebreath. I do indeed support the second amendment. I have owned and used guns all my life. I like guns. The right guns in the right hands, taxed, licensed and registered, insured and watched – just like the 10’s of millions of cars and trucks and motorcycles gayly plying our highways and byways. I believe in background checks, permits and limits on the kind of weapons a civilian can possess. In other words, I believe in the second amendments and all the other nifty amendments as well – I merely am not a slack-jawed, glassy-eyed, bottom-feeding NRA psychopath who believes even suspected terrorists should be able to buy assault weapons. Only shamelessly ignorant right-wing morons could call Democrats “Liberals, socialists, communists, leftists and fascists” all at the same time. And what do we call you? Stupid. And you can’t fix stupid.

        • Tom Horn July 15, 2016, 8:30 pm

          Steven,
          That, “attitude,” you refer to, is called, “Patriotism,” and love of Country the way our Founding Fathers envisioned, planned, and legislated it. If it leads to prison, so be it. I will then be in good company, as many Americans, thankfully still share this attitude. Your defeatist attitude, on the other hand, verges on treason. You seem to have received your Constitutional Law credentials from the same school as President Obama, the University of Cracker-Jax.

          • Robert July 16, 2016, 11:58 am

            It is evident that Steven, if he were alive during the Revolutionary War time, would have sided with the Crown and British army. One did. His name was Benedict Arnold.

          • Steven Schreibstein July 18, 2016, 6:00 am

            “Patriotism?” Only an idiot like you would define patriotism as conspiring with others to oppose your own country. “Love of country?” Ha. I fought for this country, and shed blood for it in the military. As a police officer I protected my state and community every day of my life. My degree in constitutional law did not come from Harvard like the President’s did – but I have one. Where did you get yours, you under-educated clod? In which war did you fight? Where were you wounded? I didn’t see you in Vietnam, or Panama, Granada, Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else that required courage, obedience to orders, discipline and sacrifice. What service have you rendered your community, General Armchair? “Love of country?” “Founding fathers?” “Patriotism?” What a moldy crock of shit you hand out. I’ll tell you what you believe in – being a parasite who only takes, never gives. You want government services but don’t want to pay any taxes. You love war – in the movies – but your home is a bunker built on fear and paranoia. You speak of “The Founding Fathers” But have contempt for our Commander-in-Chief, our courts and our highest justices. You call the peaceful, the gentle, the timid among our citizenry “Liberals, socialists, commies and fags.” You despise immigrants, artists, intellectuals and institutions of higher learning. You loathe and fear anyone and everyone whose politics, sexuality, race, religion or nationality are different from yours. In other words you hate EVERYTHING THAT IS AMERICA. Yet you have the temerity, the towering hypocrisy to call yourself “Patriotic.” You are most assuredly NOT patriotic, what you are, (besides being a paranoid schizophrenic) is a small, pathetic, frightened, hate-filled little man whose teddy bear has become a gun.

  • ReasonableVoice July 15, 2016, 8:50 am

    RE: “Mack’s stance on federal vs. state law, for example, is strangely inconsistent.”
    I think the confusion may stem from Mack not making clear that We The People have the ultimate right to abolish government as clearly memorialized in the Declaration of Independence. And the inalienable rights mentioned in the Declaration are regardless of a Federal law or a state law. Further, it is not simply a “right” to obey natural law, but it is a “duty”. Read the Declaration, without which the Constitution has no binding effect.

    RE: “the Constitution does not authorize them to administer it”
    True. But the Declaration of Independence notes what can be administered by We The People who created the Constitution.
    When We The People in a plurality administer natural law, that does not mean anarchy.
    The Constitutional law sits UNDER natural law. We The People living by natural law created the Constitution to implement a government for the people’s benefit.

    RE: “How do Mack and his supporters square their love of the Constitution with their disregard for Article III?”
    See all of the above.

    RE: “Constitution-interpreting power.”
    It’s more than just interpreting the Constitution, it’s interpreting the Declaration of Independence and adherance to natural law, without which neither of those documents would have a foundation.

    RE: “The slope to anarchy is a slippery one.”
    The slope to anarchy is ignorance or apathy toward the responsibility of liberty. CSPOA does not appear to be shirking responsibility.
    Those who seek liberty without the responsibility are those who aim for anarchy.
    Those who who seek liberty but remain ignorant or apathetic are those who unknowingly aim for tyrrany(dictator/oligarchy).

    RE: “When not even the sheriffs obey the law, why should the citizens?”
    The Attorney General (top law enforcer) of the Unioted States committed a misdemeanor in her recent appearance before Congress. When not even the Attorney Generals obey the law, why should the citizens?

    2 U.S.C. 192 — Every person who having been summoned as a witness by the authority of either House of Congress to give testimony or to produce papers upon any matter under inquiry before either House, or any joint committee established by a joint or concurrent resolution of the two Houses of Congress, or any committee of either House of Congress, willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 nor less than $100 and imprisonment in a common jail for not less than one month nor more than twelve months.

    • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 10:10 am

      Get this straight – there is no such thing as “Natural law” in the American legal system. You are fantasizing again. You may be able to entertain your fellows in the exercise yard with that malarkey, but when the guards call you back to your cell, you’d better move it, boy.

      • DaveGinOly July 15, 2016, 8:33 pm

        Natural law isn’t rocket science, so you should be able to understand the concept. To put a fine point on what “Voice” has already said, constitutions of government, and other words on paper, are written/created by people – human beings. As such, they are inferior to their creators, and subject to the creators’ will – to alter or abolish the words, and therefore to alter and abolish those things established by the words. However, the human beings (smart ones, at least) realize that they can’t use their words to intrude upon the rights of others, lest they endanger their own rights. So words that recognize and protect rights are usually considered inviolate. “Natural law” is nothing more than what people consider right and just before writing it down and codifying it. It is behind every written code that is consistent with it, and is superior to the written law, as argued above.

        • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 2:36 am

          That is a bunch of religious horse manure. Know this, your vapid philosophy won’t keep you out of prison, won’t save your money, or your life if the WORDS of government (formed by man and enforced with man-made guns) cause a warrant to be issued for your arrest, incarceration and/or death. Every single police officer carries half the power of God on his hip; and he will kill you at his discretion based on the written words giving him the right to take your life – and get away with it. No “Natural law” isn’t rocket science – it is pure, unadulterated bullshit.

  • Jay July 15, 2016, 6:45 am

    “Mack and his supporters also fail to address Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Article III vests the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts with the ‘judicial power of the United States’ that extends ‘to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution.'”

    That does not give the Supreme Court or any other court, the power to eviscerate the Second Amendment. For better or worse, it must be presumed that the Founding Fathers understood that you could not take one Article and use it to make another you didn’t like null and void. Is that not common sense?

    • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 10:15 am

      No. It is your semantically impoverished attempt to set yourself above the Supreme Court while posing (unconvincingly) as a constitutional scholar. You will abide by the law of the land, or accompany your infantile contentions to prison like many beofre you.

      • Ruppert Jenkins July 15, 2016, 11:16 am

        You make many friends with that snarky attitude of yours? I doubt it.

        • Bill Liddell July 15, 2016, 5:58 pm

          He’s a typical socialist progressive psycho, who uses insults and really big words to inflate his specious arguments and inflate his ridiculous arguments.

          • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 3:18 am

            I argue on the side of the U.S. government, the most powerful, the most successful, the most altruistic government in the history of mankind. And all your petty protestations and ludicrous fantasies did not prevent Barack Hussein Obama from becoming your president (for two terms, no less.) And your fear and loathing of Hillary Clinton won’t prevent her from becoming the 45th president of our progressive republic. She will, no doubt, sweep in many other trans-gender, liberal, socialist, secularist down-ticket politicians. She’ll unflinchingly appoint lesbians, Mexicans, Muslims and fellow socialists to cabinet-level positions. But of course, the big ones will be her THREE appointments to the Supreme Court! Anti-gun feminists and vegetarians, atheists and Rastafarians! I suppose its fair to say that the gun lobby will squeal out some utterance akin to the Wicked Witch’s farewell “Look what you’ve done! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! Oh what a world. What a world!”

          • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 10:53 am

            Surely you knew that it is apothegmatic that anyone who uses really big words is a socialist psycho…..

      • DaveGinOly July 16, 2016, 12:23 am

        Jay happens to be correct. SCOTUS has said in the past that no two parts of the Constitution can be so construed so as to conflict (this is common sense).

        • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 10:54 am

          ….or we’d REALLY be construed…….

      • Robert July 16, 2016, 12:06 pm

        I never try to get negative but the above statement reflects Nazi type thinking. For instance “if you don’t like what we are doing to the law “‘off to prison with you.'” By the way Steven, have you ever visited the ovens built during WWII to not only subjugate those you did not like but destroy them? That is the ugly end of the stand you take for over all always right government.

        • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 2:53 am

          I lived in the village of Dachau, outside of Munich in the 1960’s.
          Nehmen Sie noch einen Blick auf meinen Namen , alter Mann. Ja, ich habe die Öfen gesehen. Hast du? Ich habe Verwandte, die haben die Öfen von innen gesehen, du alter Narr. Sie nicht mit mir über die NSDAP reden – nur halten Ihre unsinnige Philosophie speienden, dass niemand zuhört. You play with noonsensical semantics and arcane statistics and dates, all signifying nothing. You say the federal government has no constitutional right to do what it does? What are you going to do about it but run your mouth like an old fool? You liken me to Benedict Arnold? I volunteered for service during Vietnam, did you? I risked my life daily to enforce the law in my state for decades, did you? Or are you a Sunday patriot who fights only with his mouth, and only against his own government?

  • Reginald July 15, 2016, 6:40 am

    You mentioned in your article that all high school students know the Constitution empower the Federal courts to interpret the Constitution. I do not believe any such power is in the Constitution. The courts do this however and it equates to legislating from the bench. The courts have made up rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution ie… gay marriage and abortion.

    • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 10:18 am

      Take your idiotic judicial misperceptions into battle against the Federal courts. I’ll come see you on visiting day just to laugh at you.

  • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 5:32 am

    I am a former police Captain. I was sworn to uphold the law, and so were the men who worked for me. That did not involve a personal interpretation of the U.S. constitution. That involved enforcing the law on the books that [given] day. There is no wiggle room, no secessionist bull crap, no phony and irrelevant ambivalence regarding”states rights” vs Federal mandates. That issue was settled in 1865. Professional police officers daily disregard their own religious beliefs, political convictions, philosophical leanings and some of their fundamental instincts. He or she even neglect some of their domestic obligations and other matters of conscience, all sacrificed on the altar of professional dedication, discipline and restraint. Police work is not just a job, it is not just a profession or a career. It is a calling. This fatuous nonsense about a President Clinton obliterating the second amendment is nothing more than a red herring bandied about by a substantial lunatic fringe concerned only with fear-mongering for profit, and for personal political gain. Vote however you like, but NEVER betray your obligation to the law if the law is your job. LEAVE the job first, THEN run your mouth all you want, because President Clinton isn’t going to dismantle the First Amendment either.

    • Keith Brockmiller July 15, 2016, 7:44 am

      All I can say is, hope and pray there will be no “President Clinton” so we don’t have to find out. It came from her own mouth that she wanted to implement a law LIKE Australia’s to confiscate all private firearms. If people are fear mongering, it’s with good reason. She has given us plenty of reason to have said fear.
      Thank you for your service.

      • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 10:28 am

        You’re a gentleman, and it was my honor to serve you and yours. I’ve carried a sidearm for 42 years. And I believe in that right. I think she was just playing to her left-most base, just like Trump plays to the right. I have unshakable faith in our electoral process, imperfect tho it is. And although neither candidate is much to write home about this time out, I am confident that our system of checks and balances will prevent any great damage from being done. (But that doesn’t mean I don’t still fervently pray 😉

      • Robert July 16, 2016, 3:15 pm

        Plus Sen. Diane Feinstein of California said publicly that she would take away all weapons from the public if she could. That is documented if you look it up. And Charles Schumer, Dick Durban and Nancy Pelosi have all indicated they would do the same thing. So much for “I will defend….”

        • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 2:56 am

          Yes, that is their political position, and millions of their constituents agree with them. Isn’t democracy a pain in the ass?

    • ReasonableVoice July 15, 2016, 8:58 am

      “There is no wiggle room”
      Beg your pardon, but discretion is the better part of valor.
      And if a police officer at the lowest level does not have discretion he is under a mismanaged department.
      Your “no wiggle room” is the same crap the Nazi’s claimed – and were convicted of war crimes for their failure to wiggle.

      • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 10:35 am

        That’s an entirely specious analogy. Apparently you don’t know squat about the law. No police officer is officially given the discretion to decide which laws he will enforce [because he agrees with them,] and which he will ignore because he does not. This is not a totalitarian state, despite your paranoid delusions, and we do not burden our police with unlawful, mendacious or otherwise criminal marching orders. Your comments on what constitutes a ‘mismanaged department’ are uninformed, inaccurate and laughable.

        • Jay July 16, 2016, 8:24 am

          Police officers use their discretion everyday, an officer exercises discretion in whether to stop a traffic offender, to give a ticket, or to make and arrest. Perhaps, the ultimate discretionary application of the legal sanction is in the area of the use of force; e.g., whether to use force, the amount of force to use, etc. (Hunter 1985; Terrill et al. 2002.) Another broad form of discretion used by a police officers involves the decisions made in how distributing the officer’s time among the various service duties (Engel 2007). For example, an officer on patrol (i.e., not responding to a call), sees a stranded motorist. Stopping to assist the motorist would be a service duty. The officer can exercise discretion by deciding whether or not to stop to assist, the amount of time spent in assisting, or the nature of the assistance. A third broad form of discretion identified by Engel (2007) involves the other activities (non-sanction, non-service) that an officer performs, such as community policing.

          • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 11:04 am

            Nice try, no cigar. Your pedantic description of multi-various hypothetical patrol exigencies might seem merely a subcutaneous effort to skirt the issue, but it merges ballistically with the truth. The single animating principle for patrol prerogatives can NEVER be the officer’s political penchant, or merely a fallacious, extemporaneous interpretation of the law. Such analysis is way above their pay grade

    • Fal Phil July 15, 2016, 10:22 am

      This.
      Clearly, this is the attitude of not only police, but of the vast majority of government employees. The problem is, that humans always move toward liberty. A government that strives to restrict liberty will always cause tension. It will either have to relent or double down. Doubling down does not have a great track record. When you add to the mix that the US legal system has stratified its enforcement of laws, enforcing them differently for politicians, government employees, immigrants, and everyone else, the law, as a concept, becomes meaningless, and civilization crumbles.

      We live in interesting times.

      • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 11:44 am

        Hi Fat Phil. Your contention that “Humans always move toward liberty” is without historic foundation. Early man (Neanderthal, Cro magnon, etc.) “Moved” toward brute force and dominance of the strong over the weak. Not towards liberty. As man learned to co-operate, civilizations developed and intelligence began to rule – with a lot of help from brute force. The smart became the powerful and employed the brutes to help them control the stupid. No liberty for the stupid from the dominance of the smart and the powerful brutes they employed. But a spirit rose in man and that spirit evinced a lust for liberty – and they were led out of bondage. Led by what would be the greater bondage of RELIGION! And for a thousand years man “moved” toward religion and all thoughts of “liberty” were banished from the land. Then the smart, and the brute saw the power of religion over the stupid, the rebellious – the malcontent. And they invented their OWN religions – and the confluence of intelligence, brute strength and religion became the first GOVERNMENT. And these governments levied taxes, built shining cities and vast armies – and NO ONE “moved toward liberty.”. And SLAVERY became rampant in the land, with women and children the most helpless of all. And there were Kings and Emperors, Caliphs and Shareefs – Gods and Generals, Queens and Popes…..and starvation and torture and rape, cruelty and inhumanity, a wretched existence, a dangerous world and -NO LIBERTY anywhere! And then, with a miraculous convergence of genius and courage, intellect and vision a group of men gathered in a place called Philadelphia in 1776. For the VERY FIRST TIME a government was formed without brute force, without religion and with but one ardent belief: Freedom! But they had to fight for it. And then continually fight to keep it. Soon the land of the free had a leader – a “President” – a vast army, churches, religion, states, cities, towns ALL with courts and judges and laws of their own. Still, there was Liberty – but it was growing more like – liberty. And the centuries passed, and billions of people throughout the world lived without liberty. Billions without even the THOUGHT of liberty. To this day. To this very day. The racism, the misogyny, the homophobia, xenophobia, the suppression of the stupid are offered as vaunted planks in a political campaign for leader of the land of liberty. Yes. Liberty. We are moving away from that old idea – not toward it, Fat Phil.

        • Kenneth July 15, 2016, 12:41 pm

          Well said. I enjoyed your brief but rather accurate summary of human history as it pertains to liberty.

          • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 11:07 am

            Thank you Ken.

    • Jack Dsonice July 15, 2016, 2:19 pm

      Well Said Steven.

      If the police start interpreting the law then each police officer will have his or her own constitution to work with. No democracy can function in that way and it is call anarchy.

      While I believe that Hillary Clinton will be the next president and we will have a liberal Supreme Court and we will have some more gun control I do not see an Australian style law that takes away everyone’s guns.

      • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 3:24 am

        I certainly hope we never go the Australian route

    • FlyboyRon July 15, 2016, 4:10 pm

      God, Jelick is right: You really are a dick. We can all be grateful you include “former” in your claimed title.
      Though I don’t believe you’re always wrong in what you have said on this page, you have consistently shown yourself to be a self-important blowhard.
      I’m glad you’re not still a cop. They have enough trouble these days without you representing them.

      • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 11:10 am

        When I was a command officer, I was quite popular with the public and with my superiors, both uniformed and civilian. But alas, though respected, and sometimes feared, I was not popular with my men. No surprise there.

    • Bill Liddell July 15, 2016, 6:05 pm

      You were a Captain (if indeed you were ever an LEO and as such you are a hired underling of your employers, subject to there policy dictates, and are subject to dismissal without cause in many, if not most, jurisdictions. An elected “high sheriff” is a Constitutional Officer in most states and answers only to his constituency. He can only be fired in the next election.
      I further find your language and attitude in here unprofessional and embarrassing. No police captain I know would conduct himself in the manner you have on this forum. If you were one, you had no business in that rank.

      • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 3:45 am

        You’re welcome to your shallow, narrow and self-righteous opinion. But your ignorance is showing boldly. Your incrediblly erroneous contention that a Sheriff “Answers only to his constituents” is laughably uninformed. Sheriff Lawrence Quinlan (Dutchess County NY) was first relieved of command and control of the Dutchess County jail by order of a Federal judge and then removed from office by the Governor of New York. He was later indicted. Any Sheriff can be arrested. Neshoba County Sheriff Lawrence A. Rainey was arrested by the FBI and charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Many, many Sheriff’s have been impeached, indicted, recalled, arrested, and otherwise removed from office. There is NOTHING sacred or holy or above-the-law about a Sheriff. He’s answerable to higher powers in the state and federal government. Wake up, please.

    • DaveGinOly July 16, 2016, 12:39 am

      Then you would have fit right into an Einsatzguppen. Officials, agents, soldiers and police of the Third Reich who had your attitude are those who were tried at Nuremberg. Also, it seems to escape you that if you’re sworn to uphold “the law” then you’re sworn to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution is identified as the supreme law of the land (it says so right in the Constitution, look it up). It also says that any law inconsistent with it is no law at all (look that up too, while you’re at it). What this boils down to is, whether you understand it or not, you did take an oath to uphold the Constitution, because all law, in order to be legally enforceable, must be consistent with it. And because you didn’t swear to “follow orders,” but rather the law, that means you were responsible for judging for yourself what was and what wasn’t “law.” You took an oath as a moral agent capable of making your own judgment – if that’s not what you were doing, then why weren’t you just sworn to “follow orders”? And now back to my opening statement – you can see that “following orders” can lead to swinging from a rope.

      When I joined the Army, I was taught about “lawful orders” and “unlawful orders.” Yet none of the instructors could define those terms. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized that lawful orders are those consistent with the authority under which they are issued (this includes the Constitution) and unlawful orders are not consistent with that authority. Indeed, having no authority at all is what makes an unlawful order unlawful. They are issued unlawfully and that which is done according to them is done by color of law, that is, no law at all. And this is the “law” you would have enforced as a police officer?

      Did you ever serve in the US military? I took an oath to support and defend the United States Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Although I have long since fulfilled my obligations as a soldier, to my knowledge I was never released from my oath. I take it more seriously now that I understand it than I did when in the military, when I only dimly understood it.

      • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 11:30 am

        Thank you for your service. I too was in the Army, during the Vietnam “war.” Here is the oath I took later when I was sworn in as a police officer:
        I……………………DO SWEAR,, THAT – I WILL WELL AND TRULY SERVE – OUR SOVEREIGN COUNTRY AND STATE – AS A POLICE OFFICER WITHOUT FAVOR OR AFFECTION – MALICE OR ILL-WILL – UNTIL I AM LEGALLY DISCHARGED, THAT I WILL SEE AND CAUSE ­ OUR COMMUNITY’S PEACE TO BE KEPT AND
        PRESERVED – AND THAT – I WILL PREVENT TO THE BEST OF MY POWER – ALL OFFENSES AGAINST THAT PEACE – AND THAT – WHILE I CONTINUE TO BE A POLICE OFFICER – I WILL – TO THE BEST OF MY SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE – DISCHARGE ALL THE DUTIES THEREOF – FAITHFULLY – ACCORDING TO LAW.
        SO HELP ME GOD.

        We are then supplied with books articulating the law, i.e.: PPP, CPL, PL, V&T, GBL, PSL with monthly updates and occasional bulletins. and months of training. If we ascend through the ranks to command positions, college is requisite and courses such as Public Administration and Political Science are important, and assistance from the LEAA, Homeland Security (DHS, HSI) and FBI are available as is recommendation to attend the FBI academy at Quantico. Being a cop is a profession, not just a job, and while OJT matters, continuing professional education is the only thing that will propel you upwards through the ranks. Your Chiefs will insist that you respect “Department policy” with regard to discretionary judgements, and that policy is HAMMERED into you from day one. It always involves abandoning your personal predilictions and forbids prevarication. Nowhere, EVER are you encouraged to apply your timorous and paltry understanding of the U.S. constitution.

    • Jay July 16, 2016, 7:57 am

      Steven S. If indeed your are or were a police officer, then your first duty is to the supreme law of the land! The Constitution. If laws conflict it is or was your sworn duty to call other officers and officials out on their misconception and neglect of their duties as paid public officials! You are just what the obama administration is hoping for, those that blindly follow a job defined duty, like in Hitlers days, rather than someone with the moral back bone to stand up for what is right and this country is and was founded upon, God given human rights!

      • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 11:36 am

        Such a comment is so fallacious it is not worthy of a response except to say you wouldn’t last a day in law enforcement.
        “….your sworn duty to call other officers and officials out on their misconception and neglect of their duties as paid public officials!”
        The jaw-dropping stupidity in your statement speaks louder than any criticism possibly could.

  • Veritas July 15, 2016, 4:31 am

    Americans seem to have forgotten the last time our rulers decided to disarm the populace at Lexington things did not go as anticipated. Does Washington really believe the people who are not confined within the Beltway will respond differently to similar high handed methods?

    • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 10:36 am

      Ah – a threat of armed rebellion against the United States. I wish you could hear how ridiculous you sound.

      • Bill Liddell July 15, 2016, 6:08 pm

        “But what is tyranny? Or how can a free people be deprived of their liberties? Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety. A people can never been deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power sufficient to any other power in the state.”–Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 42-43, (1787).

        • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 3:57 am

          Your mastery of semantics is augmented by your acquaintance with Daniel Webster. I’ll bet that with enough jail time you could memorize all the “T’s” in your dictionary, Bill. The idiomatic definition of “Tyranny” in the real world is multi-various. Any school kid will tell you his teacher is a tyrant, Teenagers will say that about parents, workers about their bosses, soldiers about their non-coms or officers and of course spouses about their spouses. And that leads us to hysterical, hyperbolic conspiracy wonks also known as Saturday night constitutionalists, or simply “Gun nuts.” Have your day in court, and prepare for life under a “Tyrannical” Warden.

      • Joe McHugh July 15, 2016, 9:28 pm

        Steven Schreibstein, you have presented several thought provoking points about the Federal Government’s role regarding the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Perhaps you could enlighten me about an aspect of that amendment that has been troubling me. Specifically, what interpretation is needed for a two clause sentence that consists of words that are not ambiguous?

        I’m almost sure that I understand the intent of the Second Amendment but you alluded to past interpretations by the Federal court system. If you could cite case law that justifies anything beyond denying access of firearms to violent criminals and adjudged dangerous psychotics, I would appreciate it. I don’t believe that the Founding Fathers actually thought that these two categories of people should be allowed arms. I mean, such citizens lived even in 1789, right?
        My interest is centered on the justification of the other regulations and restrictions that the Federal and local governments imposed on private ownership of firearms.

        • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 11:56 am

          Sure, Joe. The “Founding fathers” do not run this country. Haven’t for a while now. Much like the teachings of Christ and the Westboro Baptist church, often a particular philosophy, once relegated to the hands of man, finds itself at an irreconcilable distance from its original mandate. Today’s America hardly resembles the thirteen colonies of 250 years ago; I’m confident that you would incline to that view. Muskets were not the killing machines that M-240 SAW’s are. Without affording you a full legal education specializing in constitutional law (Like Barack Obama has,), or cataloging 42 years of experience, I could only recommend acquiring an acquaintance with the field of Political Science to afford you the explanation you seek. Some scholars believe, as do I, that “A well-regulated Militia” was indeed “The people” – one and the same; as a “Militia” is expressly a “citizen army.” I think the key is in the words “Well-regulated…” This gives modern officials the green light to locally (statewide) regulate State Police, National Guard (unless Federalized) and does not fly in the face of “The people’s right to keep and bear arms.” The “Peopl” in this instance referring to members of the well-regulated militia. But you know all this. No reason to chew this old bone. President Clinton, if she is, for once, true to her word, will set forth an imperative in the DOJ to better regulate the sale and possession of assault weapons, an issue that 81% of “The people” are in favor of. Tough darts for the gun nuts down the road.

          • JELICK July 16, 2016, 5:44 pm

            Steven, you would have fit right in with Hitlers SS and the Roman Pretorian guards. I pray when you are standing in front of your Creator that He has mercy on you. You sir are a Tyrant!

      • Jay July 16, 2016, 8:30 am

        It is No threat but a duty of “We The People” to dismantle and replace a out of control government,in simple terms for you, it argues that people have the right to change a government when it abuses their rights granted to it by the people, read the declaration of Independence someday!

        • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 12:01 pm

          Are you referring to “The right, if not the duty, of “the people” to “alter or to abolish” a government destructive of rights and to “institute new government” ?

          Just you TRY it, Rambo.

  • Veritas July 15, 2016, 4:31 am

    Americans seem to have forgotten the last time our rulers decided to disarm the populace at Lexington things did not go as anticipated. Does Washington really believe the people who are not confined within the Beltway will respond differently to similar high handed methods?

  • James Green July 15, 2016, 2:59 am

    I will not give up my guns under any circumstances, not ever… end of subject!
    Captain Jim Green

    • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 10:39 am

      That’s alright, Captain. From one Captain to another – let me clue you in: They’ve been practicing on how to pry that nice, expensive gun from your cold, dead fingers….

      • Bill Liddell July 15, 2016, 6:10 pm

        If you are scared and cowed by danger, say you’re scared….
        You continue to be insulting and dismissive, even of a peer. You sound like sheeple to me.

        • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 4:06 am

          What “Danger?” Gee, I’ve faced danger in the military and frequently as a cop. I’ve been shot, burned, stabbed and poisoned and I’ve never been averse to danger, even in gunfights. Now, old and retired, why would I have anything to fear? I’m still an expert shot, I was a hand to hand combat instructor (although these days a 10 year old girl could probably kick my ass) and an Army veteran. The only thing I fear these days is a trip to the doctor’s office. As far as the right-wing’s terminology (you guys have your own language because you’re not very good with ours) “Sheeple” “Socialist” “Tyrannical” “Sovereign citizen” (the funniest of all) and other rants of the perennially discontented, it’s all such a waste of energy. The multi-racial, anti-gun society is here. Go quietly.

      • Jay July 16, 2016, 8:37 am

        Steven S, I want to be a fly on the wall when your constituents not only throw you under the bus but one of them is behind the wheel when SHTF! I know and train many police men and women and I can assure you, no matter what they say to your face or at the job you are a duck at a duck hunt, they are well aware of your kind!

        • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 12:12 pm

          I don’t have “constituents” Mr. Fly Onthewall. I am retired. A private citizen. I was very well respected by my peers and superiors for 42 years. The cops that didn’t like me had cause. I had been, at one time, an Internal Affairs Lieutenant. No cop likes IAB, but some cops hate it, and for good reason. They who hate the IAB are the thugs with badges, the sadists and bullies, the psychos and perjurers, racists, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes, drunkards, rapists, perverts, burglars, thieves, gangsters, drug dealers and murderers. THOUSANDS of these kinds of cops (and we have no shortage!) languish, as we speak, in prisons throughout the land. This is why we have the Internal Affairs Bureau. These types- your friends – stayed far away from me.

      • Mongo July 16, 2016, 10:47 am

        Steve, by this admission, you basically negate the rest of your insulting ramblings throughout this forum.

        • Steven Schreibstein July 17, 2016, 3:17 am

          Having been the investigator who rooted out sick, brutal and criminal cops, a Sheriff and a few judges (for the commission on judicial conduct) is not an “Admission.” It is a statement of pride. Policing the police is a dangerous, unpopular, misunderstood and inadequately appreciated, mostly secret, thankless job. But it is the highest service to the community of citizens. You will have no friends, make lots of enemies and go, in the main, unrecognized and unrewarded. But you will be utterly and thoroughly respected and trusted by your superiors and partners. Your vacuous rejoinder makes absolutely no sense.

  • Kyle Guthrie July 15, 2016, 2:56 am

    I’m glad to see more and more people realizing that “blind obedience” to the law is really NOT what we should be doing.

    We have strayed fairly far afield of the core precepts of what this nation stands for. If more and more law enforcement will take a stand against the very tyrannical government that we seem to be turning into too, I’ll start having more faith in my in my law enforcement to have MY back.

    Cause at this point, i seem them more as part of the problem, than the solution.

    • Steven Schreibstein July 15, 2016, 10:43 am

      No one is asking you for “Blind” obedience. Just obedience. and as far as your opinion of what the “Core principles” of this nation are – did it ever occur to you for even a second that maybe there’s a whole bunch of Americans out there who don’t agree with your definition of “Core principles?” Or what constitutes “Tyrannical?” You’re entitled to your opinion, but understand that other opinions see you as “the problem.”

  • SuperG May 3, 2016, 12:03 pm

    The Supreme Court has let the people down over the past few years, but I thought there was another Constitutional protection against retroactive confiscation?

    • Steven Schreibstein July 16, 2016, 12:18 pm

      There is no such “protection.” case in point In 1934 the U.S. government outlawed private possession of gold. Citizens were ordered to turn in any such coins, bullion or certificates. Fully automatic weapons, once legal were now confiscated, and possession of them made “retroactively illegal.” There are many, many precedents for your term “retroactive confiscation.” And you can bet there will be more in the future.

  • Will Drider May 3, 2016, 1:26 am

    Very good article! On the Fl Case there must have been more to the violation that led to the arrest for the firearm. Arrest during traffic stop for firearm: per Fl Statute you do not need CWP to have a LOADED FIREARM in your vehicle, the firearm must be encased (totally enclosed inside something) OR snapped in a holster. If its naked under the seat or sitting in the cup holder thats a no-no. Point being its not a case of getting busted with a evil loaded firearm in the car, its a firearm that is improperately secured. I don’t know if other City/County Laws were involved.

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