No it isn’t what you think.
I, name, do solemnly swear, that I will support the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution and Laws of the State of Oregon
-Sheriff’s Office Oath
Okay it has taken me awhile to get around to this, but since it keeps making headlines and causing major debates among friends then I’ll go ahead and jump in.
But first my disclaimer-
I know some are going to yell at me for some of the things I say. But this is my opinion and doesn’t have to be anything more than that. Do me a favor and read through the whole entry before blasting me for writing it. I love listening to other people’s opinions, but I’m a bitch when I’m yelled at.
So apparently there are quite a few Sheriffs and law enforcement officers in other positions that are stating that they will not enforce a law that they believe is against the Constitution. On the surface this sounds great. I expect my cops, family, friends, and everyone else to stand up for the Constitution…when it is in danger.
However I do not see a danger over the issue of guns. The federal government is not trying to take away all guns. They aren’t even talking about making all guns illegal. If there was a push for repealing the Second Amendment I would be behind the Sheriffs who sent out those letters stating they would not enforce those laws. This is the secondary point to my post.
So far all I’m hearing is that the White House wants universal background checks and to ban the selling of assault rifles. As far as I know that doesn’t make it illegal to own one. You just can’t buy one at Bi-Mart or your local gun shop. Sounds fairly reasonable to me considering the only thing an assault rifle is good for is tearing through the flesh of humans. (I’m not going to get into the hunting part.)
What really gets me is this next bit from a local Sheriff:
Any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the President offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Linn County Oregon.
Stop and think about this for a moment. This Sheriff took an oath not only to uphold the Constitution but also the laws of his State, County, and Country.
He didn’t add- if I feel like it. He didn’t add if it is popular. He didn’t add if I deem the laws correct and just.
Now I don’t want mindless police who enforce the letter of the law (I’d have more speeding tickets if that was the case) but I do expect my cops to enforce all laws…even if they don’t agree with them because that is what they signed up for. That is what they do. Basically by taking the stand that they are most of these Sheriffs are breaking the oath that they took.
I find that disturbing…and a little frightening when they add that they won’t let Federal officers enforce those laws within their counties.
I’m fine with them stating a personal opinion. I encourage it. But I think it is wrong to use your position (any position) to make a statement that says you are basically going rogue.
Now I know that this is mostly posturing and a lot of crying from left to right and back again. But when institutions like police start getting involved and throwing out words like ‘not enforcing’, ‘illegal’, and other hot button words I tend to shake my head.
Is it really worth it to lose people’s faith in your ability to do the job?