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Acting Without Thinking

by on May 21, 2013

Doubting the government isn’t yet cool again. An outrageous overreach is only a big deal if you think Republicans did it, so pipe down while professional bureaucratic planners baby-proof your surroundings.

Making the trivial criminal is a big deal, as nothing’s as dangerous as the state inhibiting your right to self-defense for your safety. But at least one sheriff won’t arrest people who have only been deemed to be in the wrong in terms of a reflexively histrionic, shamelessly misdirected exploitation of atrocity. He’s daring to respect the right to own a firearm instead of punishing those who aren’t harming anything except Andrew Cuomo’s feelings:

One state lawmaker is calling out Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard for his comments on the SAFE Act, after Howard voiced concerns about the state’s gun control laws this week. Howard said he has no plans to dedicate Sheriff’s Office resources to enforce the new law.

There are about 75,000 pistol permit holders in Erie County. More than any other county in Western New York. Plus, there are thousands of other guns here without permits. So, when the sheriff says he’s not going to enforce the SAFE Act – the toughest gun control law in the nation – that’s a serious decision.

Gun control hasn’t stopped crime, so we need more of it, duh. People who are doing nothing wrong wait to see if they’re in trouble:

There’s a showdown unfolding between Howard, a Republican, and (Assemblyman Sean) Ryan, a Democrat. It’s all about the SAFE Act. Even though Sheriff Howard says he won’t enforce Gov. Cuomo’s signature gun law, sheriff deputies haven’t received any word from Sheriff Howard not to follow the law.

Ryan is countering and demanding that Howard enforce the SAFE Act, which opponents say violates the constitutional right to bear arms.

Ryan presumably voted for a governor who has placed unbearable restrictions on guns while redefining marriage and continuing to spend a huge percentage of money residents earn. But no, Andrew Cuomo isn’t the one whom he thinks is acting like His Majesty:

“As a top law enforcement official in Erie County, you’re job is to enforce the laws, you don’t have the liberty to pick and choose,” Ryan said. “We elect a sheriff, we don’t elect a king. Kings get to make their own laws, sheriffs get to follow laws as written.”

Yes, and sheriffs should follow the bit of law that begins “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” Thankfully, at least one county guardian doesn’t view the sort of people who attempt to comply with onerous gun laws as real criminals. The only thing worse is pretending that shields against abusers are new as of this year:

Specifically, Ryan raises concerns about a key part of the law, which enhances protections for victims or survivors of domestic violence.

The law says that if a judge feels someone is in danger when an order of protection has been issued then the weapon needs to be turned in. If the weapon is not turned in, law enforcement officials would need to take the gun away.

Take away their steak knives and baseball bats, too. Or, the state could make it easier for potential victims to arm themselves instead of assuming someone who would violate an order of protection will also have nefarious intentions halted by gun laws. Unlike the governor, the sheriff admits he thinks ESP is a crock:

But Sheriff Howard says he would not do this, or follow any part of the law in Erie County. He has joined four other county sheriffs in signing his name to a friend-of-the-court brief seeking to overturn the Safe Act.

“If you know this is wrong, you can’t enforce it, which is why I signed on, because the law should be as it’s stated by anyone that did sign on did recognize it as being unconstitutional,” said Howard.

The county has a Domestic Violence unit and Howard says that his commitment to the squad and the issue of domestic violence remains strong.

It’s amazing that there were no laws against domestic violence before this, or rather that some apparently think there were none. But at least the law is being used to capture the most diabolical threats to our safety, namely law-abiding people who possess guns that are close to full:

A man has been charged under the New York State SAFE Act after troopers found he had a handgun in his car with the loaded magazine containing nine rounds of ammunition, rather than the limit of seven rounds.

New York plans to pursue order and justice by charging violators of a pathetically counterproductive law with felonies in order to get them to plea to misdemeanors. No matter the result, the defendants are being charged with knowing more about firearms than the governor.

A gun owner arrested for having the nerve to load a magazine almost to capacity could deny an unfair deal while junking the law through a righteous legal challenge. Albany won’t even realize that they’re the ones being taken to court.

The SAFE Act is action without safety. And it criminalized people who aren’t criminals. Other than that, there’s nothing to fear. The practical effect is making the decent as scared of the government as they are of criminals.

Every law enforcement agency makes decisions about what areas and offenses to prioritize. When the state classifies those who have done nothing wrong as miscreants, the reasonable course is to disregard those not-quite-hardened criminals in violation of baffling policies and instead attack real problems. When laws themselves are the violations, sheriffs who refuse to indulge in capricious authority are offering real protection.

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