Oregon sheriff takes a stand to defend gun owners

| January 20 2013
Christopher Cook

Following up from Are sheriffs the last line of defense for gun rights? . . .

Linn County, Oregon, has now joined the stand:

 

9 comments
phoenixlaw
phoenixlaw

So let me get this straight - this sheriff has taken it upon himself to decide which laws are Constitutional and which aren't - is that correct?  Silly me, because I have always thought that was the job of the judicial system.  And also, just what does he plan to do to prevent enforcement of a federal law?  If he attempts to prevent enforcement of a valid federal law, he himself could well be the one on the wrong side of the law. Sounds a little like anarchy to me.

Brian1961
Brian1961

 @phoenixlaw 

"...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Seems to me that it is the government that has acted against this amendment by infringing on the rights of the legal owners of firearms.

 

Try looking at the statistics and see how many of the gun related crimes were perpetrated by people using legally purchased firearms, and how many of these criminals used stolen or illegally obtained weapons.

 

By eroding the rights of people to bear arms to provide for their own defense, the government is setting up all neighborhoods to be soft targets and all of us to be easy victims.

 

Read up on your history to see why the 2nd Amendment was included.  The founding fathers wanted to have a standing army that would be ready for the country's defense at a moment's notice, but they also knew the danger of having an army at the control of tyrants.  As a way of providing defense against this happening in America, and for the protection of the states and individuals in the event of attack while our military was otherwise involved, they gave the people the right to bear arms.

 

If this was just a sign of the times, they would not have included the amendment.  However, they knew from history that the people needed a way of defending themselves from enemies without and within, so it was included specifically to protect against both tyranny and foreign aggression.

phoenixlaw
phoenixlaw

 But, I repeat - it is the mandate of the Constitution that the Courts determine which laws passed by Congress meet Constitutional standards.  If every individual citizen was free to decide which law he or she felt compelled to follow, our country would soon fall into complete chaos and anarchy.

Econ101
Econ101

 @phoenixlaw So you condemn the civil rights marchers of the 1950's and 1960's?  They were very much "in the streets" demanding natural God-given rights.  What should they have done instead in your high-minded view?

 

That aside, I didn't know the Sheriff was already "in the streets". Thanks for englightening me and everyone else.  I'll watch for it in the news.

 

I'll also watch for your next bit of condescending sophistry on this subject, Israel, or something else, delivered from your lofty perch of unearned moral superiority.

 

Have a nice day.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @phoenixlaw  @Econ101 

 

In a state of nature, you have a natural right to life, to labor for your survival and betterment, to freedom, to self-ownership, to property, to defend oneself and one's liberty, etc. etc.

 

The purpose of legitimate government is to secure those rights, and to modify them to the least degree possible in order to achieve some basic objectives like neutral, third-party security and adjudication of disputes, and possibly some infrastructure and other public goods. Thus, we agree to said moderation of our rights in order to achieve certain social aims.

 

But that does not mean that the original natural rights go away. The natural rights are still paramount, even over the Constitution itself. The Constitution, albeit a brilliant political document, is not perfect, and it has not always been able to protect people's rights perfectly. And when it has failed, the Supreme Court has not always been a reliable force for protection of those rights (to wit, Dred Scott, Korematsu, Wickard, Plessy . . .).

 

I have my natural rights. Even if the government or other forces alienate me from the enjoyment of my rights---they kill me, imprison me unjustly, seize my property without cause, disarm me, etc.---I still have the rights themselves. And among my rights is the right to resist when such injustice occurs. Yes, according to the legal framework, we have a process, but it is still the right of anyone and everyone to resist injustice, or to refuse to obey unjust laws.

 

But even with that said, part of the process does include sheriffs, state legislatures, governors, states attorneys general, etc. The courts are not the only recourse. The Framers gave us a federal system with multiple divisions of government and numerous competing centers of power for a reason---to create balance, to provide checks, and to prevent or mitigate massive lurches in any one direction.

 

I am near certain that you do not feel that the current situation rises to the level of an injustice that would justify resistance by sheriffs, states, individuals, etc., and that is your right to believe so. That is not a debate I will get in with you. But I do think it is essential to dispel the notion that man's law (The Constitution, or any other legal framework) in any way trumps natural law. It does not, and when man's law exceeds the social contract and violates natural rights, that law ceases to be legitimate. At that point, just about any form of resistance is acceptable, even if it violates the existing process as created under man's law.

 

I would jot be surprised if you disagreed with that too, and there is little more than I can say, other than by stating that if a majority vote for a politician that introduces a bill saying that you and I must die, or must have our left arm severed at the elbow, and a legislature passes it into law, it may be legal, but it's not allowable.

 

Again, I know you don't think this situation rises to that level, but that is the principle in operation.

phoenixlaw
phoenixlaw

Oh please - get off your high horse.  All I'm saying is that there is a right way and a wrong way to challenge a law.  The right way is through the judicial system.  The wrong way is in the streets. 

Econ101
Econ101

 @phoenixlaw Why is Sheriff Mueller ineligible to be the citizen who leads the challenge?  Because 1000 miles away, "phoenixlaw" has unilaterally declared him to be "hot-headed"?  Is the sheriff not a citizen?

 

The sheriff's letter is clear to all but those who will not see -- the new laws conflict with his oath of office to support the Constitution. That's *his* view even if it isn't the view of "phoenixlaw".

 

Perhaps you should start an initiative to change the oath of office for law enforcers?  Maybe you'd like law enforcement to remove all reference to the Constitution and instead have sheriffs take an oath to enforce "the law" no matter what?

 

That's how law enforcement works in those other countries I offered as examples. Your way of thinking is their way of thinking. You might be more comfortable there --as long as you follow every Big Government dictate to the letter.

 

Sheriff Mueller is showing a bravery that neither you nor I have.  The difference is that I regard the spirit of that bravery with awe and respect, especially on MLK day. You simply condemn it out of hand. So be it. Go live with your pretend moral superiority.

phoenixlaw
phoenixlaw

 @Econ101 Certainly citizens should challenge laws they feel are unconstitutional or unjust,  but the proper place to do so is via the court system, not by some hot-headed sheriff unilaterally taking it upon himself to decide a law's constitutionality.

Econ101
Econ101

 @phoenixlaw And just how do you think courts make the determination of what is Constitutional and what is not?

 

News flash: They resolve cases brought before them by people with the guts to challenge the law in question.  Courts don't spontaneously review laws and make rulings -- they react to test cases.  

 

You may feel compelled to follow every dictate of government, no matter how tyrannical, but don't expect everyone else to do the same. It takes some bravery to challenge laws and face the consequences.

 

Have you ever been that brave?  Or do you just out-gas on websites like this one?  How did we get Jim Crow laws reversed?  By people with your slavish devotion to Big Government?

 

I really think you might be happier living under a more dictatorial regime -- Cuba, maybe?  Venezuela?  Argentina?  Saudi Arabia?  Or even North Korea?  People there know their place, right?