Sheriffs are right to resist edicts

Published Feb 13, 2013 at 04:00AM

It has come to my attention that some sheriffs in Oregon are standing up to out-of-control edicts from Washington with respect to gun control. Not surprisingly, authors of recent My Nickel’s Worth letters are upset over these sheriffs’ publicly stated refusals to adhere to laws which infringe on their citizens’ Second Amendment rights. County sheriffs, and for that matter all law enforcement agencies, use discretion on a regular basis to prioritize and evaluate which laws to implement and act upon.

Law enforcement officials have often used common sense, in conjunction with the will of the citizenry, and refused to enforce laws throughout the country. Speakeasies were well known and tolerated during Prohibition. Prostitution flourished in Pendleton during and after World War II with the explicit support and cooperation of local law enforcement. Today, the state of Oregon as well as numerous cities, including Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles, are safe haven sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, and their law enforcement agencies are prohibited from enforcing applicable federal law.

Do we really want our local sheriffs to mindlessly enforce all laws? Or do we elect them to use discretion tempered with wisdom, honor and courage? I, for one, could not be more proud of our local sheriffs who refuse to enforce laws designed to circumvent the Constitution.

Their families and members of their communities should long remember these brave men who stood up in the face of adversity and made a stand for liberty and freedom.

Jeb Burton

Bend

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