America’s elected sheriffs are one of our greatest strengths. I don’t know if Connecticut would be any less anti-gun if they hadn’t ditched the system, but I reckon it would do no harm whatsoever to restore it. Good luck with that, police union lovers. Meanwhile and in any case, Mercer County Illinois Sheriff George Howard tells it like it is to voters wondering about his stance on concealed carry laws. Or how it should be. For his plain talk on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, Howard gets our Gun Her of the Day nod. Well-deserved it is too. [h/t BM]

29 Responses to Gun Hero of the Day: Mercer County, Illinois Sheriff George Howard

    • Gun “hero” of the day, maybe.

      And yes, it is time to undo the evolving catastrophe of police (and teacher and prison guard) unions active in local elections, police chiefs appointed by mayors, and the union playing a big role in….who becomes mayor, governor, and so forth.

      I’ve watched the thing head south since it began in the early sixties. And no, we don’t need the folks in DC to tell us what law enforcement should be doing in our state or county. We shouldn’t be letting them use the game of unfunded mandates and strings-attached tax give-backs to take control of local decision-making.

      • So I’m assuming you are against corporate influence in politics as well?

        They are both just groups of people using their numbers and money to work the system, after all.

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t CT Sheriffs still exist as guards for prisoners? Swear I’ve seen a Sheriff’s Department grey bus before in CT. Maybe I’m just confusing it with RI.

    I know NH has elected constables in low-population (and coincidentally, low tax) towns. Constable just sounds cooler.

    • Sheriffs where established under the original Constitution of the State of Connecticut and where elected like they are in many other states. They reported to the people and had official duties regarding the courts and transport of prisoners.

      In 1999 Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s (D) probed into the State of Connecticut’s Sheriff Departments. It started with allegations that deputy sheriffs in New London County were double- and triple-billing the state for rounding up deadbeat dads. The probe has expanded into allegations of gun purchases by the sheriff and deputies in New London County, falsified payroll records, misuse of state vehicles and overbilling out-of- state law firms to serve legal papers. Although the problem was limited to exactly four people and only in New London County, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s (D) called for Sheriffs to be disbanded. The issue was NEVER found to be systematic but very localized. But, IMHO, since Democrats want the police force to themselves and sheriffs are elected, it was an opportunity to remove the position and all necessary politics was used to drum up enough BS news to allow it to happen.

      In 2000, Governor John G. Rowland (R) [ Later removed from office under threat of impeachment for being a crook himself ]
      called to abolish the sheriff system in Connecticut mostly for political reasons and signed into law On November 29, 2000, a constitutional amendment repealing the offices of the High Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs. They have been replaced with State Marshalls with VERY limited duties and work for the Administrative Services of the Courts. They are not elected, they are hired by the CT Court system.

      The reference to Sheriff’s is still in the Constitution in wording only as they no longer exist otherwise.

      Some vehicles etc. still say something like “Fairfield Country Sheriff” due to cost reasons only and when those vehicles are replaced the wording is too.

      IMHO, if there is political will other Sheriffs would be removed in other states as well.

  2. Thank you, Sheriff. For what it’s worth, he’s the sheriff of the county I happen to live in, and was one of the strongest proponents of CC in the recent IL passage. Obviously, he didn’t get what he wanted, either.

  3. What is nuts to me is that it is notable when a public figure takes a stand like this.

    The constitution used to matter, and should still matter.

    • A fundamental problem with knowledge of Constitutional rights is the mistaken belief that those rights are granted by the government.

      It doesn’t grant anything.

      It expresses what is self-evident.

      If the government were “granting” rights, then those in power could simply decide to take them away. Which is what they try to do anyway. Which is why the Constitution was established in such a way to prevent unlimited power.

      We just need to follow it, and stop pretending it doesn’t say what it does.

  4. Wow! He is a hero. Very few have the courage to speak out like that even if that’s the way they feel.
    Unfortunately he will be “branded” a lunatic by the other powers that be.
    I hope for all our sakes that he doesn’t have any skeletons in his closet because somebody is already looking for a way to discredit him.

  5. In the state of Florida, the Florida Sheriff’s Association is the chief anti-gun, anti-liberty lobbying force. Now, they say they support the right to bear arms all day long. Indeed, they strongly support your right to beg permission for a bolt action .22 .

    • My Sheriff (Florida – Polk County, Grady Judd – Yes, THAT Grady Judd) is about the most Pro 2A as it gets. He will happily will sign off on NFA goodies.

  6. He seems absolutely astounded that he’s even being asked about concealed carry. Like only an idiot wouldn’t know the answer. And then he tries to explain, slowly, using small words (except the word constitutional) his position.

    • Mercer is a rural county along the Mississippi River, just south of Rock Island. It’s pretty red and pretty pro-gun. It’s about 200 miles from Chicago, but ideologically it’s as far from Chicago as you can get.

      His views are not controversial in his home county.

  7. This guy needs to be heard around the state and in Chiraq.

    My wife and i both completed our IL CCW application earlier this year, and just received them last week. My wife was not really big into guns nor self defense training, until we had our first baby and i happened to show her a few of the “It should have been defensive gun use” articles and also explained to her what IL state law says abour her right to defend her and our baby. I would have to say that the gun control measures that she has viewed and taken notice of have had the complete opposite effect that Shannon Watts desires.

  8. The gentleman now rises to offer the following suggestion for timely consideration by esteemed members of the TTAG Intelligentsia and others who might wish to express their thoughts, sentiments and opinions ( if any ) on this pressing issue.
    Ahem.
    “Given that provisions in both the majority of State Constitutions and the Constitution of the United States specify the bearing and / or keeping of ‘Arms’ to be a declared ‘Right’; and
    that said ’Right’ is not granted, awarded or afforded by ‘government’ to any Freeman / Freewoman / Citizen; nor is this ‘Right’ dependent upon the existence of any document to be a ’Right’; and that
    not everyone fully understands the purpose and intent for declarations of certain unalienable ‘Rights’ that all persons within and acting on behalf of ‘government’ on all levels are Morally, legally, ethically and duty-bound by oath to Secure under the terms and agreements embodied in our beloved Constitutional Republic form of government;-
    allow that I humbly offer for consideration the addition of the word ‘declared’ to such statements as — ‘Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally-declared Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”

  9. I don’t know about Connecticut but in New Jersey, we still elect our County Sheriffs. Unfortunately, due to our legislature, the Sheriff is pretty powerless regarding gun law.

  10. Yeah, we elect our county sheriffs here in NJ, but these guys are less law enforcement and more politician.

    Unless the people of NJ start voting pro-gun, our sheriffs will remain powerless to do anything pro-gun.

  11. Well stated and no drama in making his points. Couldn’t be any better.

    Ya’ think the anti’s would remain so calm and concise in making their point?

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