Now Here’s A Sheriff Who Really Knows His Law.

There’s a little town in the middle of Indiana called Goshen which is the birthplace of the great Hollywood movie director, Howard Hawks, but will now become famous as the residence of America’s most intelligent, perceptive and downright stupid champion of the 2nd Amendment, namely, Brad Rogers, who happens to be the Sheriff in Goshen and recently opined at length in a local newspaper about the importance of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

rogers              The editorial begins with a question about whether safe storage laws should be required for everyone in Indiana who owns a gun.  And Rogers demonstrates his profound knowledge of Constitutional law by stating, “The elephant in the room is the government making those laws” because the government, according to this eminent scholar, exists only for the purpose of ‘protecting’ rights, and since we have the right to own a gun, obviously mandating safe-storage would somehow infringe on that right.

Rogers then goes on to tell his readers that safe storage doesn’t “have much of an impact on safety or crime” and he quotes John Lott “of Yale Law School” whose book, Safe Storage Gun Laws, contains the following verbiage: “15 states that passed safe storage laws saw 300 more murders, 3,860 more rapes, 24,650 more robberies, and over 25,000 more aggravated assaults in the first five years.”

I wonder if anyone in the Goshen News editorial department even bothered to check anything that Rogers wrote, because if it had been checked, they would have quickly discovered that John Lott was a Resident Scholar at Yale only from 1999 to 2001 and that he has never published any book about safe storage laws.  But that doesn’t mean that he can’t be the source for a bunch of meaningless statistics about gun violence and crime that prove nothing at all about the efficacy of safe storage laws, because the real question which needs to be asked is how many gun shootings would have occurred if those states hadn’t implemented CAP laws?

Sheriff Brad is equally opposed to mandated training before someone can buy a gun.  To support his idea, he gives the example of a woman who is the victim of domestic abuse. “She decides to purchase a firearm for her own protection. The gun dealer is not authorized to give her the gun she just purchased, because she has not yet received the required government mandated training and the certificate of proficiency. This woman is not protected from a government created to protect her rights.”  Did you follow that?  I couldn’t and I really tried. The fact that this woman might accidentally shoot herself or someone else because she didn’t know how to use the gun never popped into the sheriff’s head.

There’s an outfit out there called the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association that has been going around the last couple of years drumming up support among sheriffs to oppose any Obama-inspired gun laws. I can’t figure out exactly what they are going to do now that a pro-gun President’s coming to town, but for the last eight years they’ve had a good run. On the other hand, you have to remember that most sheriffs are responsible for law enforcement in rural areas that tend to vote red.  Goshen went 60-40 for Trump over Hillary, so one shouldn’t be surprised that Sheriff Rogers would be against gun control since he has to stand for re-election in 2018.

On the other hand, before everyone in the gun violence prevention community (GVP) gets completely hot and bothered about Sheriff Brad’s stance on guns, there’s also a lesson to be learned here by GVP.  Because like it or not, many of the sensible ideas for reducing gun violence bear on the ability and activity of law enforcement agencies to enforce new laws.  And enforcement costs time, and time costs money, and the last thing a local police department wants is to be given a new law to enforce without the funding necessary to carry it out.

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Now Here’s A Sheriff Who Really Knows His Law.

  1. One of the core issues with the 2008 Heller v DC was the fact that safe storage laws can be written in a such a way that self defense in the home becomes impossible. The Court ruled that such a law was a violation of the rights conferred by 2nd Amendment. Mike: I am new here and I am still catching up. If I may ask, what do you think the 2A was meant to accomplish? I have read many times here that it is a mistake to believe that the 2A confers gun “rights.” What does it confer?

  2. Heller said that Americans have the ‘right’ to keep a loaded, unlocked gun in their home and this could not be prevented because the 2A recognized the idea of firearms being used for personal defense. But the ruling also affirmed that the government can regulate guns; so, for example, the government can tell you that you can keep a loaded, unlocked gun in your home but it has to be in a gun safe which is exactly what Sheriff Rogers said is wrong. But what Sheriff Rogers was really trying to do was pretend that there are no limits to ‘rights;’ i.e., when the people have a ‘right’ the government can’t define the limits of that ‘right’ at all. Which is right out of the libertarian playbook and runs counter to the entire tradition of how we define ‘rights,’ i.e., you can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.

  3. Sure. All of the enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights are understood to have limits (Can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater, etc.). Generally speaking, the test applied as to how they can be limited is called “strict scrutiny.” That is, limited in the most strictly limited way that will still allow for the governments purpose to be accomplished. But, specifically, not in terms of what might be deemed “reasonable”. As all students of Heller know, that has not yet been clarified in regard to 2ndA issues(The Heller decision was focused as narrowly as possible on the issues brought before the Court by the facts of the case), but if they were ever to be decided the other way ( by the reasonableness test) it would the first example of that standard being applied to an enumerated Right. In other words, the confirmation of the standard of Strict Scrutiny in 2A matters is probably just a matter of time – especially with a Trumpian SC – which will lead to the overturning of a lot of existing restrictions…I live in Texas. Rumors have gone around that we have minimal gun laws. In actual fact, there are about 50 pages of gun laws that we have to deal with. Indeed, historically, gun laws here have never been especially simple or permissive. And these laws were imposed by our own elected representatives. But there is excellent acceptance of this status quo because, when all is said and done, persons with no criminal issues are left the eff alone.

  4. That’s fine, but I prefer to talk about what is, not what might be. The SCOTUS, with Scalia still on the bench, refused to hear two cases in which cities and counties passed laws that mandated that a loaded handgun kept in the home also had to be locked – these cases were appea;led by the NRA to the Court and got nowhere. So who knows how the Court would decide even with a 5th ‘conservative’ judge? Remember how conservative Souter turned out to be?

  5. I recall a California case sustained on appeal where a gun has to be kept locked up unless it is in use. Which suggested to me that some company has to design holsters meant to be worn with pajamas, etc.

    One of the defenses of the DC law was that it was meant to protect children. I think that was a pretty lame excuse as if so, it would have applied to homes with children. I have no problem whatsoever with safe storage laws, as long as they don’t keep someone from being able to use a firearm in the home for self defense. The Heller decision overturned a law that went beyond the pale. I think that was the gist of Heller v District of Columbia: the Court left broad leeway for gun control, as long as it allowed enough latitude for, as Mike said, “…the 2A recognized the idea of firearms being used for personal defense.” It is hard to use a firearm for personal defense it if has to be kept in an inoperable state, which is what I think the overturned DC law stipulated.

    Merry Christmas to all, by the way.

  6. This is the Holiday Season and I am also inclined towards good manners and wishing everyone good will, etc.. Nonetheless, can anyone name a type of law that is LESS en-force-able than safe store-age laws? ,,,Here is why this is important. We here in Texas have always been afraid of only one thing. Not Comanche raids, huricaines, or random crime, etc. No, it is Chaos. Like, A situation where there is a tiny number of law man for every 10,000 square miles and he is not getting support from the people because he is trying to enforce laws that nobody feels are really legitimate.

  7. Reblogged this on Mister Journalism: "Reading, Sharing, Discussing, Learning" and commented:
    Now Here’s A Sheriff Who Really Knows His Law.
    by mikethegunguy
    There’s a little town in the middle of Indiana called Goshen which is the birthplace of the great Hollywood movie director, Howard Hawks, but will now become famous as the residence of America’s most intelligent, perceptive and downright stupid champion of the 2nd Amendment, namely, Brad Rogers, who happens to be the Sheriff in Goshen and recently opined at length in a local newspaper about the importance of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ —>

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