03 May 2016

Sheriffs Call for Defying UnConstitutional Laws

National sheriffs’ group, opposed to federal laws on guns and taxes, calls for defiance 

Tom Jackman, Washington Post

Local police chiefs and sheriffs typically swear to enforce the laws of their state. But a group called the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association is intent on strictly enforcing their view of the U.S. Constitution and, according to a long new piece by the Center for Public Integrity, “its ambition is to encourage law enforcement officers to defy laws they decide themselves are illegal.” In essence, they are troubled by the overreach of the federal government in matters concerning guns, taxes and land management, and founder Richard Mack has described the federals as “the greatest threat we face today,” and his association as “the army to set our nation free.”

In an interview with Julia Harte and former Post reporter R. Jeffrey Smith, Mack said he had enlisted “several hundred” of the more than 3,000 sheriffs around the country as members of the CSPOA, and that hundreds more are sympathetic. At the association’s 2014 convention, dozens of sheriffs signed a declaration that they would not tolerate any federal agent who attempted to register firearms, arrest someone or seize property in their counties without their consent.

Mack struck a blow for states’ rights in the 1990s as a sheriff from Graham County, Arizona, when he and a sheriff from Montana challenged the Brady Bill’s interim requirement that local law enforcement agencies perform background checks on gun buyers. The Supreme Court ruled in Mack’s favor, with Justice Antonin Scalia writing the opinion affirming the states’ sovereignty under the 10th Amendment and that the federal government could not enlist the local police in 50 states to do its bidding. The decision did not have lasting impact because a national database was put in place to enable gun dealers to run the checks themselves, removing local law enforcement from the process.

But Mack became popular in conservative circles and he launched the CSPOA in 2011. At a recent training for local police, the CPI reported, Mack declared that “gun control is against the law” and that his goal was to sign up about one-fourth of the nation’s sheriffs to join the association. “And then everybody in this country has at least two or three places in each state where they can go for refuge,” Mack said, “find a true constitutional sheriff who’ll tell the federal government, ‘You’re not going to abuse citizens anymore.'”

What bothers some people about statements like that is the appearance that a local law enforcement official is substituting his or her legal judgment for that of a state or federal legislature. So I called Mack to ask him about his views and he willingly expounded on them, though he was not happy with the CPI article and even though The Post is not highly regarded in some conservative circles.

Read the rest here.

On This Day in History

1374 BC - Solar eclipse (2m07s) seen at Ugarit by Mesopotamian astronomers "On the day of the new moon, in the month of Hiyar, the Sun was put to shame, and went down in the daytime, with Mars in attendance."

1382 - Battle of Beverhoutsveldn near Bruges - Ghent town army beats drunken Bruges militia

1662 - Royal charter granted to Connecticut

1765 - 1st US medical college opens in Philadelphia

1802 - Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city

1830 - 1st regular steam train passenger service starts

1901 - Fire destroyed 1,700 buildings in Jacksonville, Florida

1923 - 1st nonstop transcontinental flight (NY-San Diego) completed

1948 - 1st broadcast of "CBS Evening News" - longest running network news show in the US

1955 - your humble correspondent was born.

02 May 2016

Police Blotter: Praying for Guidance

Caller reported finding a loaded assault weapon in a local park. Officers responded and found that the weapon was an Airsoft rifle.

Caller reported the theft of approximately 45 cans of whipped cream. Inspection of the video surveillance system revealed two suspects. Investigation continues.

Welfare Check
Caller reported her son had been abandoned by his fishing vessel in Dutch Harbor. Officers assisted her in comforting her forlorn baby boy.

Ambulance Request / Assistance Rendered
EMS responded to a report of a male that was unconscious but breathing. Officers assisted EMS with an extremely intoxicated individual.

Public Safety
Officer contacted two individuals huddled on the side of the road acting suspiciously. The two stated they were praying for guidance.

Disorderly Conduct
Officers responded to a report of a group of drunken persons walking on the side of the roadway. One of the dipsomaniacs was said to be bleeding from his head and face. Investigation revealed that the injured individual had fallen on the rocks while trying to navigate his way back to his boat. His brother tried to help but made it worse so the two began to wrestle. A third individual intervened and carried the injured brother out of the rocks to the roadway where the group was contacted by the police.

Caller reported a large, live bird sitting on the porch railing at a local bunkhouse, and was afraid it may be injured. Officers responded and found an adult Bald Eagle perched on the railing at the front door of the bunkhouse. The eagle appeared content to eyeball everyone who came close. The eagle was shooed away, and did not appear injured.