Saturday, January 15, 2011

Protecting Rights vs. Upholding the Law

Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann is on record as being mortified at the prospect that the open-carry bill sponsored by Rep. Denny Altes might pass. Sheriff McCann is aghast at the prospect of law-abiding citizens exercising the liberty to keep and bear arms as enshrined in both the US and State Constitutions. The Sheriff took an oath to uphold these constitutions. I wish he'd re-think his position in order to keep that oath.

There should be such a thing as the majesty of the law. But the law's majesty does not come from itself, but as a result of its reflection of a higher moral law that is engraved in the conscience of most every decent person. When the law no longer reflects the higher moral law, it loses its majesty. When it retains its majesty, the enforcers of the law are also the protectors of our natural rights- including the natural right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The profession of law enforcement loses its dignity and honor when its officers forsake enforcing laws which protect the natural rights of the people, and instead become enforcers of law which are at odds with those rights.

All across the country we find cities whose financial condition is so desperate that they are cutting back on police protection. Even before that, it has often been said that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. It is no disrespect to the police to say that we should not be wholly dependent on them for our security. In these hard times that are likely to get harder, the police are likely to be stretched thinner.

Some law enforcement are sympathetic towards citizens who take personal responsibility for their own protection. Those are the kind you want. Such policemen are easy to respect, because they respect you. Those like Sheriff McCann, who get upset at the idea of citizens exercising their natural right to keep and bear arms, are the ones it is difficult to respect, because it is clear that they do not respect you, or their oaths.

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