Many of the arguments against federal gun regulations put forth so far have been chimes of “states rights,” claiming that only the states have the right to regulate firearms. However, now that Colorado has passed its own gun control laws, now these same people are claiming federal rights to overrule Colorado’s new gun control measure.
Welcome to the insane world of the Sovereign Citizen movement, and it’s focus, the county Sheriff.
For years, this movement, based on the Patriot Movement derived from the Militia Movement and Posse Comitatus movements which spawned such notables as Timothy McVeigh, had pushed a revisionist interpretation of the law, claiming that through legal trickery, a person can declare themselves their own nation unto themselves, divorced from any ties to society. In recent years, this has evolved such that the highest law they will acknowledge is the county Sheriff, and have been actively attempting to recruit Sheriff’s to their world view.
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association‘s inaugural convention was held last year in Las Vegas. In attendance were several Sheriffs from Colorado. Now, those same Sheriff’s have come out and declared themselves superior to both the Federal and State authorities, and have come out stating that they will not fulfill their duty to obey the law. Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County said that he “won’t bother enforcing” the laws, saying that it would be impossible to keep track of them and to stop every criminal. Surprisingly, nobody has heard of him stating that his department would stop attempting to enforce speed limits, which again they would not stop every speeder in his county. And he is not the only one, with several others already declaring themselves the supreme authority in their counties.
The Sovereign Citizen movement, like those which came before it, is now turning those we elect to protect us into criminals seeking to impose their wills upon us. Already we have several of these Sheriffs facing jail time for failing to follow the law. And this belief is spreading rapidly throughout sheriff departments nationwide, even to the point that the men holding office feel confident in talking about shooting their opposition.
It is part of an old strategy, taking over local elections and working their way up. You will find admitted members of the Sovereign Citizens domestic terrorist movement running for office without any concern. But, some police departments and sheriff offices have become aware of the problem, particularly after a series of shootings and after a particularly bad encounter in which two Arkansas officers died at the hands of Sovereign Citizen terrorists, the Southern Poverty Law Center put together this video, to make people aware of how dangerous this group is:
If you check the supporters of this movement, of the organization which sponsored the conference which these rogue sheriffs attended, you see a who’s who list of anti-government groups, all founded and funded by the Koch family. You find the John Birch Society, Gun Owners of America, gold-marketers, anti-IRS groups, and of course, the NRA.
We expect our law enforcement officers to be, first and foremost, the ultimate followers of the law. By willfully ignoring the law, these sheriffs are showing themselves as being little more than members of this well-known domestic terrorist organization. If they had any decency, any sense of love or respect for this nation, they would tender their resignation immediately. They are elected officials, and were elected to fulfill a duty to the people of their counties. If they feel that they cannot do this duty due to a personal belief, we do understand, and it falls upon them to tender their resignation immediately. Otherwise they are showing a complete disrespect of the laws of this great nation, and of the people they were elected to represent.
Nathaniel Downes is the son of a former state representative of New Hampshire, now living in Seattle Washington.
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