GOP Hypocrisy

Sheriff in Grayson Co. VA Overrules the SCOTUS on Guns

The beginning of the end of the rule of law.

Leave it to the United States to tear at the fabric of its democracy and imperil the genius of divided government over an insane obsession with guns.

Behold.

Grayson County Virginia Sheriff Richard Vaughan declares that – despite being a sworn law enforcement officer, he will not enforce any new gun regulations passed by the Virginia Legislature, because Sheriff Richard Vaughan knows that such legislation is “unconstitutional.”

Again, this is precisely why we have divided government. We do not entrust people like Sheriff Vaughan to interpret complex constitutional questions in favor of his simple values. It is a wonder that the good people of Grayson County Virginia entrusted Sheriff Vaughan to do much of anything, but that’s their issue.

Much as Sheriff Vaughan may wish he was king, or wish he alone constituted the highest court in the land, it is not part of his job description. I doubt he would argue that point in any other area, except with respect to the issue of guns.

I have a little lesson in constitutional law for Sheriff Vaughan. The 2nd Amendment does not confer an individual constitutional right. You do not have an individual right to 2nd Amendment protections.

I will prove it.

If you commit a felony, you lose your 2nd Amendment rights for life. Yes, your state may expunge your felony, and your state may grant you your firearm rights back, but as far as the federal government is concerned, you have lost your 2nd Amendment rights forever, even after having served all your time, done your probation, paid your fines and been cleared – you still cannot own a firearm. Get caught, and the average sentence that I have seen is between 2 and 4 years. “Felon in possession” as its know to professionals, and I am sure Sheriff Vaughan is quite familiar with the crime.

But a felon in the same situation doesn’t lose his First Amendment right, nor his Fourth (once all probation and fines are over and discharged), nor Fifth, nor Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Fourteenth, all of them individual rights. Individual rights are not lost. But you do lose your 2nd Amendment right because it is not individual to you, it is a prohibition against certain state regulations.

Nor is the 2nd Amendment absolute. The state retains the right to regulate firearms. If you don’t believe me, ask Justice Scalia in Heller. Note the fact that assault weapons were once legally banned. The 2nd Amendment was not somehow enlarged so as to guarantee the right to assault weapons in the interim. Assault weapons can be banned for the same reason we can ban people from owning and carrying RPGs through town. So please don’t tell me that the right to bear “arms” is absolute.

I am not on the Supreme Court. In that respect, I am just like Sheriff Vaughan. But I do know that the Supreme Court will determine whether laws are unconstitutional and thus whether they should or should not be enforced by Sheriff Vaughan.

I do know one thing that is unquestionably unconstitutional: A sheriff that unilaterally supplants his personal beliefs as to the legitimacy of laws enacted by the state. That is unconstitutional, to say nothing about being un-American.

And it is damned dangerous to hear these beliefs bragged about so openly in today’s society. Indeed, Sheriff Vaughan’s words were every bit as dangerous to society as all those guys totting weapons around Richmond today.

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Peace, y’all

Jason

[email protected] and on Twitter @MiciakZoom

meet the author

Jason Miciak is an attorney, author, political analyst and writer originally from Canada, with dual citizenship, living with his wife and daughter in southern Mississippi. He has an B.S. in Biology and a Minor in American History from Gonzaga University and a J.D. from the University of California. He does as little law as he can get away with while now doing full time writing for Political Flare. He also enjoys gardening, fishing, casual reading in science and dogs.

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