The Washington Times-Herald

Z_CNHI News Service

December 27, 2013

Sheriffs ignoring gun laws are following Obama's example

(Continued)

In their view, the law, as written, doesn’t really matter anymore if they perceive it as inconvenient, immoral, too nationalistic or anything else they find personally objectionable. The law is no longer what it says but what they want it to say, or what they decide to enforce.

I think the whole problem for the sheriffs is a failure of marketing. They need to take a page from the advocates of illegal immigration. They should simply describe the areas where they will not be enforcing certain gun laws as “Sanctuary Cities.”

How American is the concept of sanctuary? I mean, it says it right there on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore." And, of course, what it meant to include was, "and don’t worry about abiding by our immigration laws.”

The sheriffs need to make sure that they conflate legal and illegal gun ownership. They should contend, ceaselessly, that anybody who opposes illegal gun ownership is opposed to gun ownership in general. Because that is the mantra on immigration: Anybody who opposes illegal immigration is “anti-immigrant.”

That means the sheriffs need to scrub troublesome words like “law” and “illegal” out of any discussions of the issue so they don’t muddy the narrative.

Anybody packing heat illegally will simply be described as “lacking proper documentation” for the right to carry his or her weapon. Why should the absence of a few slips of paper matter?

If the sheriffs get any grief from the public or other government officials, they should follow the example of our elected leaders. They should say there is a need for “comprehensive firearm reform” that will provide a “pathway to gun ownership." Everybody who is breaking the law every day in the meantime gets a pass because Congress can’t get its act together, which is to say that Congress hasn’t passed the kind of legislation the sheriffs want.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass

    Political invective is dialed to the max, and everyone who disagrees is a "hater." But the hate police, who are so eager to cast labels, are ignoring the real wells of contempt in the Middle East.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OU player's suspension shows pitfalls of addressing sexual assault on campus

    The University of Oklahoma's leading tackler is suspended for the season - or maybe not. Frank Shannon is still practicing with the Sooners amid a court battle over whether OU can discipline him after a sexual assault investigation. The tough issue of addressing assault on campus isn't just OU's problem.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo