(courtesy nytimes.com)

“I made the mistake of reading the comments to the NYT’s article. I had to stop after reading about 15 of them. The comments did not make me nauseous or make my blood boil. They scared the living crap out of me.” JeffR’s comment underneath our post New York Times Notice Sheriff’s Refusal to Enforce Unconstitutional Guns Laws

74 Responses to Quote of the Day: The Friends of My Enemy Are Not My Friends Edition

  1. Hey Hannah,

    The sherif is under no obligation to enforce an illegal law. That’s why they are the chief law enforcement officers for their jurisdiction. So that there remains an additional barrier between the citizen and a possibly tyrannical legislature.

    • See what you did there, you switched the word “uphold” back to the proper word “enforce”. Probably without thinking. Judges uphold laws, LEOs are not LUHOs. Clever word choice gives just a slightly different lean to a statement and makes the Sheriff slightly more corrupt sounding.
      At some point (over used, maybe) the NYT commentor would find it sad and scary that at one point in time, German LEOs upheld/enforced too many of their laws.

    • But at what point does a law enforcement officer get to decide which laws are illegal, substituting his individual idea for that of the courts AND representative government? Is it okay when the Attorney General does it, or do you have to be elected?

      It’s all dangerous territory, to me,,,

      • The constitution is written in fairly plain language and was intended to be read and understood and enforced by every legislator, president, mayor, governor, judge, cop and citizen.

        If you don’t know where to start, start with the tenth amendment.

        • Yep. Our system assumes that most officials will do most of their jobs most of the time, and voters have the right to get rid of the ones who don’t do their jobs well every once in a while.

          Having said that, cops aren’t elected officials. If the elected sheriff is forcing his men to enforce laws that neither they nor the people they protect agree with, the elected sheriff is in conflict with the people who elected him. It’s a weird situation, for sure, but I’m glad they’ve chosen the side closer to the language of the Constitution.

      • Most swearing in oaths involve protecting and defending citizens constitutional rights, if a law is at odds with the US constitution and Bill of Rights, then said individual is under no obligation to enforce a unconstitutional law.

        I would love for a legal case to be brought up involving the enforcement of unconstitutional laws, and the repercussions it could have.

      • Hannibal, if you don’t understand that, you’re commenting in the wrong group. Please reframe as a question instead of a taunt.

    • Many of the commenters demanded the offending sheriffs be “fired,” revealing a wide spread ignorance of the facts that sheriff is a partisan elective office, and so sheriffs answer directly to the voters in their counties.

  2. Campaigns cost money? What?

    Sheriffs like to be re-elected? Get out.

    Sheriffs get funds for running their campaigns from groups who share the same views as them? Now you’re just taking crazy pills.

    If the sheriff was sponsored by MAIG and MDA (well, if MDA had any membership dollars, but I digress) and he was running his MRAP up to people’s front doors conducting no knock raids “for the children” these same commenters wouldn’t bat an eyelash.

    It’s the same disconnect I mentioned in my comment to the earlier post. Some people simply cannot fathom that there are elected officials who are willing to uphold the will of the majority of their constituents. And that that will may differ from their own anti-constitutionalist leanings.

    • Alright….I shouldn’t have gone to the original article and read the comments. I pulled out this gem, just under Hannah:

      “Britain, Australia, Japan, Norway etc. have shown beyond doubt that the surest way to drastically reduce gun violence is to enforce very strict gun control.

      In Japan, it takes months to buy a gun and one has to answer: why, purpose, safety, take classes, get a license, go thru a mental check-up, training, store it properly, keep it away from kids etc. the result: only 4 gun related deaths in a year. US probably has 4 gun related deaths every hour!”

      First, Anders Brevik. Just sayin’.

      Second, I couldn’t help but get a little eye twitchy at “US probably has 4 gun related deaths every hour”. Exclamation point. That comes out to roughly 35,000 “gun deaths.” I just took a quick peak at the FBI stats, in 2012 they reported less than half that number of murders TOTAL. Even accounting for suicides, which aren’t classified under murders, and “accidental” deaths…..come on. MATH.

      • Norway doesn’t have strict gun control (it isn’t fun but it isn’t “too” bad either) except when it comes to shotguns, shotgunners can go **** themselves according to our laws.

      • Yep; FBI crime stats says the total murders in 2012 by any means is about 12,000; suicides are about 18,000; but it sounds so much worse to lump all of the deaths together as all due to the availability of GUNS.

        Them Evil guns; they have the power to turn an average human being into a ravening mad man mass murdering suicidalist.( Yes, this is a made up word).

      • But these commenters also ignore very safe societies that have relatively loose gun control standards, such as Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, etc.

        Some Swiss and Swedes I know have gun collections that would make the average New Yorker quake in their boots.

        They cannot face that the determining factor is not loose or strict gun laws: it’s the amount of criminals that exist in said society.

        Places like Mexico and Colombia have incredibly strict gun laws and yet they have sky-high violent crime rates. Have fun taking your family vacation anywhere there but the most heavily-guarded “tourista” areas.

        • That’s a big part of Switzerland’s ability to maintain neutrality. Besides being a geographically difficult country to invade with almost no tactical value, just about every home in country is armed and well trained.

      • I bothered to go through the NYT signup procedure, so that I could respond to
        “Jay Saxena
        Britain, Australia, Japan, Norway etc. have shown beyond doubt that the surest way to drastically reduce gun violence is to enforce very strict gun control.,,,”

        I posted, “Chicago, Detroit, and NYC have shown the exact opposite”
        but my comment has somehow disappeared. Imagine that!

  3. Funny how Hannah seems all aghast that the sheriffs won’t enforce the law, anyone want to bet she voted for and still supports Barack Obama, aka President Zero, who last I checked, was choosing not to enforce immigration law, Unaffordable Healthcare law, and 501 c tax law.

    • I loved Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s comment to Geraldo Rivera. Geraldo was giving Sheriff Joe grief about Joe’s intent not to enforce federal gun laws in his county. Joe just looked back at Geraldo and said: “They already told me I can’t enforce Federal immigration law, so I’m just playing by the rules they set.”

      Game, set, match. STFU Geraldo. Farking beautiful.

      • Sheriff Joe is old, but obviously NOT senile! Love this guy. I am worried, however, what will happen to personal integrity and fortitude when he, like all of us eventually, must retire. Long life, Joe, I hope you’re still Sheriff when you celebrate 100!

  4. I read those comments as well… but they were closed – so I couldn’t add my own. It was pretty amazing that real people actually wrote them.

  5. last election i thought Romney was going to win by a landslide because i only visited ‘conservative’ websites.

    now i know better. keep your enemies closer.

    • I only visited conservative sites, and from them learned that Romney didn’t have a prayer. Still reeling from an economic slump and knowing that urban areas make or break an elections (disagree, look at a 2012 voting results map by county) and are also some of the hardest hit in downturn it was a horrible idea to run someone that could only be branded as an “out of touch, rich, white guy.”

      That said, I still think it was going to be THAT big a landslide….

    • I wonder what conservative sites you were on, because from the ones I was browsing, a lot of conservatives viciously hated Romney and saw him as just an average RINO – with the added drawback of being part of a religion that most mainstream conservative Christians strongly distrust.

  6. The only way her logic makes sense is if there was wide public outrage of the sheriffs lack of enforcement. Since its not happening the sheriff is representing their constituents.

  7. The irony is thick-

    Obama admin fails to fulfill ACA laws = one group is mad
    Sheriffs fail to fulfill 2a laws = the other group is mad

    maybe government is the problem?

    • Maybe it’s always been this way, but part of the problem in this country is that we govern by getting 51% elected and then cramming what they want down the throats of the other 49%. No matter what you’re going to have half the country unhappy and it doesn’t help that we continue to get more polarized.
      I’m hoping that a few more parties rise out of the current mess we find ourselves in to break up some of that power. Maybe some day we can govern by consensus instead of brute force.

  8. Because grabbing your ankles and shouting ”THANK YOU SIR MAY I HAVE ANOTHER!” Is a hallmark of a free country.

    I’m sorry Hannah, but even sheriffs are allowed to stand up, turn around, look the paddle holding jerkoffs in the eye, and extend their middle finger.

    • Along with that, it’s not the Sheriffs who are to “blame” here. It’s their constituents. The people in those areas of CO have made it clear to their Sheriffs that they’re not on board with more gun control. So…

      1. You’ve got sheriffs who are elected by pro-gun people and who almost certainly feel that way themselves.
      2. They took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. I’m sure many of them took that seriously.
      3. Enforcing any law is impossible without a certain amount of compliance. If even one out of every 5 people showed up at the Sheriff’s office with an illegal 40 round P-Mag and demanded to be arrested, they would choke the system to a halt. The law is unenforceable, not only because it’s hard to tell one magazine from another, but because the people won’t comply. Laws like that are dangerous because they alienate the public and undermine respect for the law. Only an idiot would want a law like that passed in the first place, and only a howling moron would think it’s a good idea to drive a wedge between local law enforcement and the people they’re supposed to serve.

  9. I had precisely the same reaction to those comments. It is staggering, though less and less surprising, how so many people seem to be so eager to welcome a police state.

    • That was what disturbed me. I don’t live in some conservative bubble. I live in Chicago, and the overwhelming majority of my friends are very liberal. I am used to hearing a lot of things with which I disagree. But when did liberals start welcoming a police state with open arms? What happened to the liberals who distrusted the government and the police? The liberals who chastised the Supreme Court under Rehnquist for narrowly construing the protections of the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments? I always thought there was a disconnect between their concerns for civil liberties and their welcoming of further government involvement in our daily lives, but they seem to have abandoned any concern for civil liberties outside of the bedroom.

      • The leftists never really opposed a police state in principle, they just objected to a police state they didn’t control. Of course, if things keep going the way they are, the many useful idiots who are currently rooting for the jackboots will soon find that the inner party isn’t really on anyone’s side but their own.

      • They began trusting the police state when a democrat was suddenly in control of it.

        I’ve watched it since 2008, being once a supporter of Obama and the rest of these idiots. That lasted about maybe a year into his presidency, probably less.

        Yet there are still millions of idiots that ignore all of the news of government abuses of power or blame it on the Republicans – hello, the Republicans have been out of power for nearly five years, and it was Obama that extended the PATRIOT Act and expanded it via the 2011 NDAA, then proceeded to get us involved in more wars in the middle east.

        ..and I watched them nod their heads to all of it because they trust Obama and the Democrats.

        Battered wife syndrome.

  10. This sort of cognitive dissonance of “the law is the law” occurs on both sides of the aisle. Words written on paper mean nothing when they are contrary to the natural and moral order. Laws that violate liberty or morality should be summarily ignored.

  11. That seems consistent with one of the anti gun messaging strategies, namely, to make the truly grass roots pro 2nd amendment efforts appear to be “corporate”. (and the opposite that anti gun groups are being camouflaged as “grass roots” when they indeed are being funded by large monied interests. MAIG and MDA)

    What is missing from that comment is that public debate was shut down by Hickenlooper and the CO law rammed though by willfully and knowingly violating Democratic process, no laws may have been broken but the clear intent was steal a “win”.

    What should be crystal clear is that the Sheriffs ARE listening to their constituents (the people) and are indeed acting lawfully.

    The response to those kinds of comments should be refutation of misrepresentation with the clear and rational statement of facts.

  12. Jim Crow laws were once “the law” too, Hannah. Segregation, miscegeny. All “The LAW” at one point.

    Should those have been enforced too?

    What you have to understand is that “rights” are never up for a vote.

    Even if a legislative representative body eked out a one vote majority due to an across-state-lines backroom dog and pony show (that had nothing to do with the constituency whatsoever, and more to do with promises of political reward) on issues they didn’t even run on.

    Rights aren’t subject to votes. Human rights, civil rights, enumerated rights – whatever. A “majority” could vote to remove a certain right from certain people tomorrow, and while it’d be “on the books”, it doesn’t make it valid.

    You know that whole “inalienable” thing. Truths, self evident, all that noise. That means it’s not subject to referendum.

    Oh, the will of the people will be enforced. Don’t you worry about that. This’ll be corrected soon enough. How will you feel when these aren’t laws anymore? Should they still be enforced then?

  13. So, I assume by Hannah’s outrage and disgust that no liberal leaning sheriffs in Colorado ever receives support by liberal funding groups or organizations.

    Otherwise, her being “saddened and scared” would just mean she is just being ignorant and pathetic.

    • …or ‘her’ being computer generated rhetoric.

      No telling what the antis’ readily available principal’s money might buy.

  14. And when Manchin & Toomey go to Bloomberg’s mansion for fund raising, and also go against what they said to get elected, this is somehow different? It is always fun to listen to liberals, they are appalled at everything except when its in their favor.

    • Not too difficult to understand. Leftists have no morals, no guiding principles, apart from the a-moral position that anything that advances leftism is “good,” and anything that stands in the way of leftism is “bad.”

  15. I wonder if Hannah is equally concerned that Denver is a sanctuary city and Colorado legalized pot — ignoring federal immigration and drug laws. Or how about the President choosing not to enforce parts of his own signature healthcare law (because those parts weren’t thought out).

  16. The anti-gun side displays ignorance and a clearly hypocritical bias and we’re surprised? That’s their MO. It’s really easy to counter what they say but that doesn’t really help us. I wish there were a way to actually have a discussion and allow the facts to mean something, but with that level of denial we have a greater chance of being relocated to a stable colony on Mars in our lifetime.

    They’re just pissed off because they finally got some anti-gun legislation passed and not everyone is buying into their stepping stone to a socialist utopia. Remember, they require absolute obedience from everyone to have their perfect world. They might not be able to verbalize or identify it, but their responses show they know, at least subconsciously, they are losing. It’s only going to get more ridiculous as they continue to lose. If they did start winning it wouldn’t be long before they wouldn’t be able to express what they do anyway.

  17. Most of the 62 sheriffs supporting counter-enforcement are from rural counties, which is most of Colorado. It’s the sheriffs in the Denver metro area who are towing the lib-tard line. Why? Because THEY want to be re-elected by their liberal base, despite their personal feelings. Besides, most of their departments do very little enforcement, just run the jails, court security, warrants and civil service.

    Seems Hannah forgot that part of the equation. Of course, being from Summit County, she’s just a sore loser.

    Yours Truly from Mesa County, Colorado, USA, where our Sheriff Stan Hilkey supports the Second Amendment.

    • The most populous county in Colorado is in fact El Paso County (for you out-of-staters, that’s the county Colorado Springs is in). Look it up. But like in the rural counties, our sheriff, Terry Maketa, is solid pro-2A, and so was his predecessor (John Anderson), who in blew the doors off what was then a “may issue” concealed permit system by announcing he would issue to anyone who met certain qualifications. It didn’t take long after that for our RINO-led state legislature to finally pass “shall issue.”

      The city of Denver (minus suburbs) is a bigger city than Colorado Springs of course (it occupies its entire county), and of course once you throw in all the urban area around it, Metro Denver is much bigger than Colorado Springs.

  18. Well since your politicians in Colorado refuse to listen to their constituents and actually turn off their phones and emails ,then pass laws based on their PERSONAL beliefs,all the while IGNORING the voters,big surprise the Sheriffs are not stupid to this fact and they are sworn to uphold the Constitution of United States.Even soldiers in battle are not held to follow orders they believe immoral or illegal.

  19. I admit, most of those comments were chilling, particularly when I clicked the list to see which ones were most favorable to the readers. I admit that when I first read them, our fight for individual rights and liberty felt like a loosing battle. All of the comments could be boiled down to a simple refrain, “The State is right. The State decides.”

    Sort of sounds like, “The King is right. The King decides.”, doesn’t it? So I then found out that 15-20% of people in the American colonies actively supported the King throughout the American Revolution and most of them fled America afterward. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loyalist_(American_Revolution)). I knew there were Loyalists, just not that they were such a large part of the population.

    There will be people who will always, no matter what facts we present, no matter what truths we elucidate, feel that the State is right. I remind myself that we have fought this battle before, and won it. Through diligence, commitment, and hard work, I am certain we can win the next one: the battle for individual liberty, for the soul of what it means to be an American.

    And, of course, most of the commenters were assholes. I thought that, too.

  20. Like nobody has ever enforced immoral laws before, but I guess the important thing is that they enforced the law.
    Hannah, that sounds Jewish.

    • Or Islamo-Fascist. I think we could find many examples throughout history without attempting to put ethnic/religious animus into the equation.

  21. If you scroll down past the constant suggestions that we change our gun laws to be like Australia or Japan you can find an actual good one by Eric from Maine and so far it has 132 likes. I think we should try to get a smart comment a little closer up the comment list to Hannah and her ridiculous comments.

  22. In some ways the commenter is right, I think we put more weight than warranted on the various county sheriffs who are “on our side”. In much of the United States county sheriff’s duties are limited to being officers of the court, they transport prisoners and serve process but have relatively limited law enforcement authority. In most places day-to-day law enforcement is handled by municipal and state police department’s, not county sheriffs.

    • AFAIK, county sheriff’s offices are THE local law enforcement authority. County encompasses municipalities, etc. There are many places in Ohio served by the county sheriff’s office alone.The Feds are supposed to go to COUNTY for operations in that county. The county sheriff can stop the feds from infringing upon the liberty of citizens in his county. City police departments began as nothing more than security guards hired by incorporated cities. The county sheriff was, and continues to be, the seat of law enforcement power in a county.

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