Mark Herring
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring speaks to reporters outside the Arlington County Courthouse in Arlington, Va., Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, following a Supreme Court decision rejecting gay marriage appeals from 5 states. The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for an immediate expansion of same-sex marriage by unexpectedly and tersely turning away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions. The court's order effectively makes gay marriage legal in 30 states. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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This sounds like our betters at the Washington Post are whistling past the graveyard. Not also the scare quotes around the word sanctuaries in the editorial title.

Sheriffs and other law enforcement officers are sworn to uphold and enforce duly enacted laws. For a sheriff to refuse to enforce a protective order handed down by a court would be “an unspeakable betrayal” of his duties, Mark R. Herring, Virginia’s attorney general, told us.

Mr. Herring (D) and other Virginia officials doubt local law enforcement officials will go so far as to refuse a court order. But some localities in the Old Dominion, such as Tazewell County in the state’s southwest, have adopted absolutist-sounding resolutions vowing to defy “any act ordering the confiscation of firearms” except in the case of a felony convict or an individual found to be mentally incompetent.

That resolution and others like it were often adopted after swarms of gun-rights advocates jammed meeting rooms of local boards of supervisors. Some politicians may have played to the crowds without giving the measures a great deal of thought. Now would be a good time to reflect. The red-flag laws, like other gun-safety measures heading toward enactment in Virginia’s legislature, enjoy broad popular support, according to numerous polls. But whether they are popular or not, statewide or locally, is not relevant to a sheriff’s obligation to follow and enforce the law.

 – Washington Post Editorial Board in Virginia’s Second Amendment ‘sanctuaries’ can’t ignore new gun control laws

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  1. While it is true that a Sheriff is sworn to uphold the law, first and foremost he is sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. If he believes that a law is unconstitutional he has every right to ignore that law.

      • Well, I graduated from the USN School of Hardknocks. I learned that I have not only the right, but the obligation to refuse to obey an unlawful order. So, while you think you’re being cute with Ray, all of us need to think about the law. Virginia’s liberals are ramrodding through a bunch of unconstitutional laws. We need to refuse. I will not comply.

        Thank you for your time.

        • So you think a sheriff can ignore a law because he thinks it’s unconstitutional?

        • Seems like Democrats believe they can defy constitutional laws and the Federal Supremcy clause when they want to.

        • @Constitooshunal Skaller

          Sometimes violations of the Constitution are so obvious that even a blithering idiot like you cannot fail to recognize them. The laws being passed in Virginia are exactly such instances.

          Of course, if you don’t like Sheriffs’ oath of office (or any other similar oaths like the armed forces swear) being to the Constitution instead of the government, you should make it official and change it to swear loyalty to the government. That way they don’t have to violate their oath to uphold any and every law that is passed.

          In fact, there is an example of exactly that in modern history. If they could do it, we could too. It’s not like anything could go wrong, right?

        • “So you think a sheriff can ignore a law because he thinks it’s unconstitutional?”

          If ya’all was the Skollar you profess’es to be, you would know that they not only “can ignore”, but “are obligated to ignore” a law because he thinks it’s unconstitutional.

        • A sheriff is duty bound to ignore an unconstitutional law. As is any member of the armed forces.
          They take an oath to obey the constitution. Not the illegal laws of the State.

        • “So you think a sheriff can ignore a law because he thinks it’s unconstitutional?”

          If it’s fine not to enforce immigration or drug laws, it’s fine to ignore gun laws, sport… 😉

        • “So you think a sheriff can ignore a law because he thinks it’s unconstitutional?”

          Yes. Even a positivist like H.L.A. Hart would point out that such a law can, and in fact does, create an legal “obligation” but it cannot morally oblige someone to follow it. Nor can it morally oblige someone to enforce it.

          There is no argument, even under positivism, that this law is truly enforceable in a moral or ethical sense because the widespread existence of “sanctuary” counties is unequivocal proof that the law is widely unaccepted. Where it’s not accepted it is not viewed internally by the public, or by the police, it fails to create any moral obligation to follow it. Therefore under Fuller, and indeed any legal theorist I’ve ever encountered outside those openly arguing for despotism, it’s not really a law. It fails the “Fuller Test”.

          In this sense it’s no different than a knife-point robbery. You might be “obliged” to turn over your wallet to avoid nasty consequences that the knife-man might choose to inflict on you for non-compliance but those circumstances create no moral obligation to comply with the robbery because the robber’s cause is not just.

          In this sense the law is not a law. It’s a demand backed by force. A diktat. Where that force as seen as impotent people will not listen because they feel no compulsion to do so. And those people should feel no compulsion to follow this “law” because, inherently, it’s not a law outside the formal sense of being rules decreed by government with a specified punishment attached for detected non-compliance.

  2. “Swarmed” and “jammed” and “without giving the measures a great deal of thought”

    If we were talking a different kind of sanctuary, it would be “Flocked”, “Packed”, and “After careful contemplation of the Right Thing To Do”.

    Or maybe it’s just projection again.

  3. I see a pattern here. Between praising illegal alien santuaries, dumping repeat felons out on the street with nary a penalty, championing only certain cases of “states rights” the Dem version of law and order boils down to “just do what I tell you to and shut up.”

  4. It’s almost as if, outside of coastal echo chambers and elitist circle jerks, gun control is wildly unpopular in society at large. Shocking, I know.

    • Because they think the knuckle-dragging inbred hicks in flyover country can’t make decisions for themselves without the guidance of their overlords, or overseers.

  5. That’s funny, I don’t see this kind of hand-wringing when local prosecutors declare categorically they will no longer prosecute marijuana possession, or shoplifting under $100, etc.

  6. Maybe…just maybe…these Sheriffs are upholding the Constitution, as they should, by refusing to obey State laws passed by Constitution despising Democrats that infringe on Virginians’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear Arms….

    As written, the Second Amendment’s use of “right of the people” is predicated on the Founders’/Framers’ absolute belief that rights and liberty originate with each individual person and flow from the individual into the larger body of “the People” both of whom consent to the Governance created and implemented by the Constitution. The individual and the People consent to this Constitutionally implemented Governance for their individual and unified benefit and protection of their individual and aggregate rights and liberty. The Sheriffs understand this concept and are reacting correctly to the Tyrant Democrats’ rejection of it.

  7. WaPo says: “But whether they are popular or not, statewide or locally, is not relevant to a sheriff’s obligation to follow and enforce the law.”

    Now do immigration.

  8. according to numerous polls?

    My push-polls beat your push-polls n I don’t care that you can run a lot of them. You’re a newspaper, or were.

    • “You’re a newspaper, or were.”
      Spot on. The WaPo is nothing more then a lobbying tool for Jeff Basis and his cronies.
      Nothing but partisan spin. They basically think up shit to sling at their opponents, then print it with the “an anonymous source on the inside said…….” BS.
      Nothing but propaganda for the sleepy sheeple.

      • I can’t believe you had a gun you ordered on the internet mailed to your son who is not , by your own admission, old enough to drink yet.

        • That’s not how that works, That’s not how any of this works. You can’t just have a gun mailed to someone, it has to go through a FFL and you have to go in person for a background check before you can take possession. What a marroon!!!

        • Wow, really?
          The Christmas gift Steyr AUG was for my OLDER son, and it was delivered to his FFL for the 4473 to be completed. The payment ($2.7k) was sent to his PayPal account by me, all TOTALLY legal. This is spelled out in the TTAG “Gifting Guns” story in Dec of last year.
          A little research wouldn’t kill you. Go back and read.
          FWIW, My “non-drinking age” son is 20, so this purchase would have been TOTALLY legal, if he were the recipient. The younger son received a DB-10 (AR-10 in 308Win) last Christmas, and is currently deciding on his first handgun (21st birthday is around the corner).

        • More on topic.
          With the 80-F (a tee f) username being used for the very first time, your OBIVOUSLY one of the demanding mommies trolls attempting a red flag.
          Get a hobby hag. You need to stop limiting others rights because of your clueless “feelings”

      • Replying to JC (Does calling you that annoy the trolls? Good.)

        “They heard it from some guy.” There’s a scene in the criminally under-rates Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (a similar setting, far superior show to 30 Rock … if you want an example of the mass-market success of least common denominator media compare the two.)

        I can’t find the clip. But network programming exec played by Amanda Peet is being “interviewed” by some entertainment press hack, with a “people are saying” j’accuse pseudo-question. She rips him several new holes, in a bit of Sorkin at his best dialog.

        Like with all the anti-gun, anti-gunny people, anti-people nonsense, the riposte is “Really, how to you know that?” “Who told you?” “Is that so?” *Better* as subtext, better rejecting their presumptions without saying so. The hack is *make them defend their unspoken assumptions*, vs. you arguing against the stuff unsaid. They’re proposing to Do Something. The burden of proof is on them.

        Or own the context, then make them make their case: channel your inner Wilford Brimley in Absence of Malice.

        Own the context:

        Then after makes “Elliot” make his case (which I can’t find right now.)

        In our context, “Well, Bloomie-bot, since your evidence is made up numbers from Mothers Against Only Some Violence, with hard confirmation from Daily Kos, If you’re right it’s only by accident. I believe we’re done here.”

  9. The Washington Post has no relevance in my life in the first place. It’s nothing more than another liberal rag to pass over.

  10. The biggest problem with most Red Flag Laws is there is no repercussion for those who file the complaint. I have not read the wording of the recent VA law, but many states will allow a complaint to be filed by ‘anonymous’ or someone who does not actually ‘know’ the individual. While in the American judicial system, a person is supposed to be able to face his accuser, that is not the case with many of the RFLs. Action is taken from a verbal complaint often with no supporting evidence at all. Then the person has their property removed and it starts the long legal process of proving oneself innocent, the cost of which is from the pocket of the accused. The cost of which, it found not guilty is not recoverable and could easily be upward of $50K. And the property could be confiscated for six months to a year, perhaps more. If a person is truly a danger to themselves or others, should they be allowed on the street? To drive a vehicle? Have access to knives? Or even acid, chemicals or pesticides? Or even gasoline and matches? Not if they are dangerous.

    On the other hand, if there is credible evidence – a video, recording, written threats or something of that nature, a red flag law is not needed because they will have ‘reasonable, tangible evidence’ upon which to act. Then the person will be arrested, locked up pending bail or evaluation.

    With respect to some of the other laws passed of proposed, one would ask what is ‘common’. As in the Heller decision, firearms in common usage by the law-abiding populace are legal. The modern sporting rifle (aka. semi-autos) and 30 round magazines (perhaps the most common magazine for the AR style rifles) should also be legal. But that was by SCOTUS decision and that Federal law should trump State law.

    People often mistakenly believe the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to keep and bear firearms. It does not. The second amendment acknowledges the right to keep and bear pre-existed the Constitution, pre-existed the Bill of Rights and is considered a Natural Right (aka. God-Given Right). The Second Amendment also states the government shall not infringe upon that right. Banning a weapon in common use is an infringement. The confiscation of property without due process from a law-abiding citizen is also both infringement and a violation of rights.

    Much like the current gaggle of democratic want-to-bes, any government official who takes office swears an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of these United States, that part of the oath generally comes prior to any other obligations mentioned in the oath. To take office with the intent to dismantle the Constitution and/or Bill of Rights, is in direct violation of that oath. It is my understanding that acts committed against the United States and the Constitution could be considered treasonous, there by disqualifying them from holding any public office and making them subject to arrest.

    I submit, if this was enforced, we could clean out about half the public officials in the US.

    • Randy Jones,

      Action is taken from a verbal complaint often with no supporting evidence at all.

      The situation is far worse than a court order without supporting evidence. The court order will deprive someone of their rights for something that has not even happened!

  11. I love the unintended irony of this assertion: “ Some politicians may have played to the crowds without giving the measures a great deal of thought. ” … Well, that pretty much defines these idiot democrats when it comes to their deranged anti gun laws.

    As regards “Sanctuaries”, the Libs started us down this road with their flagrant disregard of existing laws on illegal aliens.

    Liberals don’t grasp the concept that our system of government wasn’t meant to be mob rule democracy. Conjuring up some poll that seems to support their position doesn’t give them the legitimate authority to strip me of my natural or enumerated rights.

    • I love the unintended irony of this assertion: “ Some politicians may have played to the crowds without giving the measures a great deal of thought. ” … Well, that pretty much defines these idiot democrats when it comes to their deranged anti gun laws.

      Wait, irony? That’s straight reporting — the VA Overlords and their patrons in Capitol City did exactly that.

      Oh, you mean the other guys.


  12. “The red-flag laws, like other gun-safety measures heading toward enactment in Virginia’s legislature, enjoy broad popular support, according to numerous polls.”

    If there was broad popular support to bring back slavery, should the legislators just do that because it’s a popular idea? Or, should it be rejected because it violates the rights of people? Winning an election doesn’t mean you get to strip people of their rights. It also doesn’t mean you have a mandate to violate the constitution of your state, and the federal government. Follow the law of the land (constitution), maximize freedom, and stop the paternalism. I already have two parents, I don’t need 22 million more.

    • M1Lou,

      If there was broad popular support to bring back slavery, should the legislators just do that because it’s a popular idea? … Winning an election doesn’t mean you get to strip people of their rights.

      That is pure GOLD right there.

      I have never heard anyone so succinctly and eloquently encapsulate such an iron-clad defense in the never-ending fight for our right to life and our human dignity.

      I tip my hat to you sir!

  13. Headline we will never see:

    “Washington Post Editorial Board: New York immigration ‘sanctuaries’ can’t ignore Federal immigration laws”

    As Shakespeare once wrote, “’tis the sport to have the engineer hoist with his own petard.” Leftards, you invented so-called “sanctuary cities.” How do you like them now?

  14. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land; all other laws are subservient to it.

    Sheriffs must follow their oath to uphold the Constitution first and foremost. Knowingly enforcing any law that might be unconstitutional would be a violation of their oath.

    No matter how much the Left obfuscates, “… the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” is pretty clear plain English.

    Any other interpretation by the courts is judicial activism.

  15. And now the state of VA has decided to punish the sheriffs by not giving them a raise that was on the table.

  16. Next up will be special protections for illegal immigrant criminals. A new class of hate crime because the gov was encouraging and protecting these Democrat votes and evil opposition forces got in the way.

    • You do realize that nullification is not a thing, right? There was a little thing called the civil war fought over it. The nullification side lost.

      (there is a big difference between nullification and just not actively enforcing a law)

      • Actually, nullification (jury nullification) is a thing. It is legal and prosecutors try to suppress any knowledge of it.

        It is legal for a jury to ignore written law and vote a defendant not guilty regardless of evidence of guilt, and there nothing the judge or prosecutor can do about it.

  17. I’m so old, I remember when “Absence of Malice” was a cautionary tale, not a how-to manual.

    • Same with “Animal Farm”.
      A few decades ago this was a cautionary tale about socialism.
      Now it’s viewed as a happy story about a socialism.

  18. They might as well just said, “you can protect my 1st amendment rights. But don’t protect the 1st amendment rights of people I don’t like”. Over the years they have shown it’s what they really believe in. I stopped reading the washington compost paper many years ago.

  19. This, from the same Washington Post who wrote a glowing obituary for the mass murdering serial rapist founder of ISIS? Yeah, no. I don’t listen to evil people

  20. My father served with the 610th Tank Destroyer Battalion. Went ashore at Normandy, and survived until the end of the war. He was part of Patton’s 3rd Army. He was at Lt, and was injured a couple of times. At the end of the war, his unit had their TD’s taken away, and they were assigned to duties relative to the War Crimes Trial at Nuremburg. The most common defense offered was “I/we were following orders.” Sheriff’s and other LEO’s all know the concept. Just because a law is written, doesn’t make it right.

  21. Gun Control goes hand in hand with racism and genocide. That’s why WaPo is known as the washington compost.

  22. Now, here I’m confused.

    I could swear that I didn’t see all this hand-wringing from publications like the Post when places in California decided to declare themselves sanctuary cities from federal immigration laws. And when that sanctuary policy gets people killed it’s just an unlucky coincidence, one bad apple that shouldn’t be a big deal.

    • Or drug laws.
      While I am of the opinion that the War on (some) Drugs is both an utter failure, and wholly unconstitutional in regards to things like pot, I didn’t see the WaPo decrying states that decided to stop following federal drug laws.

      • The WaPo likes the sleepy sheeple drugged, and ULTRA dependent on government programs/funds.
        This keep the D’s in control, and the WaPo readership up.

  23. Seeing as Texas A&M is considered uneducated by the socialist , because I’m a deplorable , I shall & like to , keep things simple !
    The Constitution isn’t broken , the ones intrusted to abide by it are CORRUPT !
    The judicial system wasn’t flawed , it has been CORRUPTED !
    States rights by design has its purpose , but the CORRUPT have Perverted it !
    So , the meat & potatoes of the issues is “CORRUPTION ” ! !
    Human beings are violent , always have been , and is showing NO sign that we are improving !
    So , the question FREEDOM has to ask it’s self , shall hundreds of millions place themselves into a position to have violence done upon them by a few thousand ” proven ” CORRUPT intities ?
    Or shall the masses reserve the right & ability to do violence upon those who seek to force their CORRUPTION upon us , by violence if we don’t comply ?
    Ponder this ,, answer yourself honesty !! How many of you have had your / family life impacted in some way by crime , substance abuse , sex , or violence , or any combination of , in the past 5 years ?? It’s a $hitty thing & and it’s right there ” danger close” !
    Don’t let these CRIMINALS fool you into thinking they know what’s best for you !!

  24. What’s wrong sicko WaPo? You wimps need Law Enforcement to put on pointed hats and white sheets like your KKK democrat party ancestors and storm the homes of citizens who own firearms? If LE isn’t doing your demented democrat dirty work it looks like WaPo will have to put on white sheets and pointed hats and do the dirty work yourselves. Good luck with that.

    TRUMP/PENCE 2020.

  25. On the contrary Mr. Attorney General, it is a violation of a Law Enforcement Officers duty, and oath, to enforce a law that he knows is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! As I have said before, the Nazi’s in WW2 passed laws, which were immoral, but nonetheless LAWS, duly passed by their legal system, which they should have known not to enforce!

  26. Just bill anyone with a (D) ,,,,,,,,, or votes (D) ,,,,,,,,, to pay 1 billion each for all people killed in gun free zones & the lawsuits ASAP or rope!

  27. I get a kick how the libs are infiltrating the Second Amendment boards. I wonder who is directing these nitwits? They aren’t able to think for themselves so someone must be pulling their strings…

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