The Rockin Johnny B

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sheriff's and the Constitution

Let's take a look at the constitution and gun control. Let's look at it dispassionately if possible. This is taken from today's paper, which is, by the way, a very conservative leaning rag.

I'm paraphrasing...

Those of us who didn’t sleep through our elementary school social studies classes remember there are three “separate but equal” branches of government in the United States. They are:

The legislative — the branch that makes laws.

The executive — the branch that enforces the laws made by the legislative branch.

The judicial — the court system, which determines whether the laws passed by the legislative are constitutional.

The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution is very clear, both in word and intent: The public has the right to own guns. You have the right to possess firearms to protect yourself.

The ultimate authority of the courts in interpreting the scope of those constitutional rights.

The United States Constitution was signed in 1787. That was before automobiles, telephones, airplanes, rockets, television, satellites, cameras, computers, the Internet, atomic energy, drones, antibiotics, X-rays, tape recorders, “sexting,” video recorders, video games, contraception — not to mention weapons that can fire dozens of rounds in mere seconds. Would that founding document been written any differently after all these inventions? If so, how?

we have a legislative system in place to write new laws to regulate use of this new technology and a court system to determine whether those laws meet constitutional muster.

Profound disagreements over how to maintain a lawful society that balances rights with responsibilities are inevitable. When those arguments are over and laws are in the books, it’s up to law enforcement to uphold those laws. That’s their role. They should leave the “political posturing” to the lawmakers and let the courts decide which laws are and aren’t constitutional.

So, when you read about those nutty sheriffs down south and here in the west making statements saying they are for or against gun control, it is not their place to say so one way or the other. The law enforcement people have to obey laws “that are on the books right now” no matter whether the laws are bad or good or even mediocre. If they do not, they are in violation of the Constitution of the United States and can be prosecuted for dereliction of duty. That is the law, like it or not.

I have heard management police officials say things that are totally out of their milieu of expertise and they are clearly not obeying the constitution they are obligated to defend. They should step out of the fray and let the courts decide what's right and what's wrong with present laws.

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