[Ed. note: They’re exercising executive privilege.]
Illustrating its remarkable talent for arriving late to a story and yet treating its contribution as if it were a revelation, the New York Times yesterday noticed that there are sheriffs in America who are refusing to enforce the laws. In Colorado, New York, Florida, and California, the Times explained breathlessly, sheriffs have simply said “no” to new gun-control measures, preferring instead to elevate their personal interpretations of the Second Amendment above the discipline of the statute book. “In my oath,” one Sherriff Cooke of Greely, Colo., claims, “it says I’ll uphold the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Colorado. It doesn’t say I have to uphold every law passed by the Legislature.”
Sherriff Cooke is, alas, no relation. But, family or not, I have a great deal of sympathy for his position. Since Colorado passed its nasty little collection of knee-jerk gun-control measures earlier in the year, Cooke has been expected to enforce laws that are effectively unenforceable, and to do so over the vocal opposition of a citizenry on whose trust he relies. He is justifiably vexed. Holding up two ostensibly identical magazines — one legal and one not — the Times has Cooke asking in desperation, “How is a deputy or an officer supposed to know which is which?” Honestly, I don’t know. It’s a mess.