Posturing by Cobb sheriff puts rest of us in danger
by Kevin Foley
Columnist
February 01, 2013 12:00 AM | 1196 views | 15 15 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“My strong support for the Second Amendment … began well before my 37-year career with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office,” proclaimed Neil Warren in an MDJ op-ed last Sunday. “The principles contained in this amendment support the other rights and liberties guaranteed by our Constitution.”

His personal interpretation of the Constitution notwithstanding, Warren is way out of step with his peers when it comes to gun safety.

The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, comprised of nine major professional police organizations, is calling on the president and Congress to:

n Require background checks for all firearm purchasers.

n Improve background checks by ensuring that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System be complete and accurate.

n Ban new semi-automatic assault weapons.

n Limit high-capacity ammunition magazines to ten rounds.

Unlike his law enforcement brethren, Warren sees politics, not public safety at work.

“It is profoundly disappointing that many prominent leaders in our country have chosen to capitalize on the horrendous murder of innocent children to advance their political agenda,” Warren lamented while advancing his own political agenda. “Clearly this rush to implement new gun control regulations has been undertaken as a matter of political expediency.”

So rather than be part of the gun violence solution, Sheriff Warren offers us his sociological assessment.

“Guns are not the problem,” Warren absurdly pronounced. “The real problem facing society is the erosion of family and moral structure that in turn leads to increased criminal activity — with or without guns.”

The trouble with that theory is that Adam Lanza, the Newtown maniac, grew up in an affluent suburban home with a doting gun enthusiast mother who, tragically, left her assault rifle and high capacity magazines lying around the house.

James Holmes was raised in a two-parent, church-going household. Despite concerns about his mental health, Holmes had no difficulty buying the M&P 15 semi-automatic assault rifle police say he used to slaughter 12 people and wound 58 others in an Aurora, Colo., theater last July.

To further make his flawed case, Warren presents the 2004 District of Columbia v Heller case in which the Supreme Court affirmed the right to possess firearms.

“I believe this decision must be carefully considered before Congress or any other legislative body attempts to limit any rights of law abiding citizens to purchase and possess firearms,” opined the sheriff.

Warren should have kept reading the decision. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said, “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill.” Scalia added the high court had no problem with “laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

Warren promises to “immediately challenge and seek injunctive relief from any statute or executive action which violates the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the citizens of Cobb County.”

But Larry Amerson, president of the National Sheriff’s Association, advises his membership of 3,000 elected sheriffs — and presumably that includes Warren — to enforce the law and leave its interpretation to the experts.

“Individual sheriffs,” Amerson recently wrote, “should not fall into the mythology that any ‘oath of office’ taken by (the) sheriff conveys … any extraordinary powers or duties. ... Furthermore, a sheriff should always perform his or her duties in accordance with the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court.”

In the six weeks since the Newtown atrocity, there have been more than 1,400 gun deaths in America, an average of 33 every day.

Warren’s defiance and denials will be applauded by some voters, but the sheriff’s attitude also places the rest of us in danger.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(15)
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Too funny
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February 05, 2013
These comments prove the American gun fetish is alive and well. If burying twenty first graders won't shake people awake from their red-dawn fantasy, nothing will.
Devlin Adams
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February 06, 2013
@Too funny. How about 55 million children that have been slaughtered without a chance at life since Roe-Wade became law?

How about all those killed in car crashes? How about all those who die from neglect or starvation at the hands of their own parents? And the list goes on.

Are we to surrender a God given right because a nut case went beserk and killed 20 chikdren with a hand gun, and ignore all the others?

Get serious. Quit standing on the graves of the Sandy Hook victims and spouting stupidity.
Diogenes the Cynic
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February 05, 2013
"the sheriff’s attitude also places the rest of us in danger."???

Congratulations, the most ridiculous comment so far this year!

"a sheriff should always perform his or her duties in accordance with the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court."

I'm guessing you have evidence showing that Sheriff Warren has not been doing this?

Foley, stick to writing about "I" and leave "we" out of it.

Luke Skywalker
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February 02, 2013
Or, let's hear your commentary on the shooting in Atlanta the other day, with the armed school officer disarming the 15 year old gang member shooter?

Hmmmm??? Nothing to see hear, ignore it and move on?

Proof that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy (or out of control dicatatorial government) with guns.
ProJour
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February 04, 2013
You mean the TRAINED PROFESSIONAL? My take is, great job, thank goodness he was there. Proof that a TRAINED good guy with a gun might be effective. A bunch of untrained gun-toting yahoos, not so much. Oh, and will you support the tax increase that would be necessary to place them in all schools? Thought not.
ProJour
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February 02, 2013
I agree we need more attention on mental health issues. I agree that as a culture we vastly over-glorify violence in the media. I agree that that people bent on violence against others can succeed with a variety of weapons and even things that aren't inherently used as weapons. HOWEVER, the mantra that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is actually better expressed as "people with unfettered access to guns kill a lot of people." So the mentally unstable guy who spends countless hours playing "Body Count" or whatever the favorite gory video game is currently in vogue, is able to amass an arsenal through online purchases and walks into a (theater, school, mall) where he simply squeezes a trigger and sprays death over a wide swath. THAT is the problem. And may I say to those who respond with the idea that we need to arm the populous in order to combat such people, my guess is you would more likely soil yourself when faced with such a situation rather than do anything useful to stop an attack.
Devlin Adams
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February 04, 2013
First of all, there is no "unfettered access to guns" as you say.

Second, you cannot "amass an arsenal through on-line purchases."

Third, because you are wimp who would crap his bloomers at the sight of an armed gunman, do not assume we are all like that. The military is full of citizens who belie that stupid comment. The streets are fulled with combat veterans who have already proven that to be a lie. Armed citizens stop crime very day. You don't hear much about it because it does not fit the current liberal "gun grab" agenda. Read the newspapers, or listen to something besides the leftist media.

Get educated.
Thomas Alexander
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February 02, 2013
Do you think we should outlaw cars? More people die from automobile accidents. Obviously you know nothing of the real world.
Concerned not Crazy
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February 01, 2013
Interesting point in all of this is that statistical analysis of firearm injuries and deaths does not support stricter gun control as a means to reduce or eliminate unfortunate incidents like Newtown. In fact, gun related crimes (in the United States) are more prevalent in those regions, primarily municipalities, that are considered to have more gun ownership requirements. Look at Chicago, look at Washington DC -- it's clear that their efforts have not reduced gun related crimes.

What's even more astounding in this liberal agenda is no mention of the political leanings of those capturing news headlines by committing these atrocities. In Newtown, in the Colorado theatre massacre, and in the Arizona shooting of the Congresswoman -- all three were acts of registered Democrats, each of which have been described as liberal leaning in their politics and preferences.

That said, I'm all in favor of stricter gun control laws based on party affiliation...
Times have changed
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February 01, 2013
Just wondering how many rich and white people could afford guns when the SECOND AMENDMENT was created?
Bob Johnson
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February 03, 2013
They all could!!!
FROM TEXAS
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February 07, 2013
You might read up on the revolutionary war quite a few weird preppers had guns ammo gun power stored, these same rednecks went to Virginia and qualified at 100 and 200 yards to fight in the northeast against the Red Coats. The northeast didn’t have people that could shoot that well; so they had to bring preppers form Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia to kill Red Coats. You might want to try a Johnny Appleseed shoot to find out how this country was founded it was founded on guns, God and preppers willing to die for their cause and country!!
anonymous
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February 01, 2013
Move on is right - just get out!
CobbCoGuy
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February 01, 2013
From NBC Connecticut:

"The Newtown Board of Education will be asking the town to make room for more armed police officers in its budget."
Luke Skywalker
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February 01, 2013
Move on Foley. This topic has had its ten thousand lashes and we are so over it.
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