Some Common Sense From the County Sheriffs

On November 8th, I will be voting for one Democrat, Estill County Sheriff Chris Flynn. He’s a Marine Corps veteran, and I personally know him to be honest. And, in his auto repair business — which he inherited from his father, and was once again being run by his father once Sheriff Flynn took office following the 2018 election — there are a couple of signs posted showing support for the Second Amendment.

Sheriff Flynn is serious, and has said, publicly, that if given an order to confiscate law abiding citizens’ guns, he would resign before obeying such an order. It seems that he is not alone; from The New York Times:

Another Challenge to New York’s Gun Law: Sheriffs Who Won’t Enforce It

Some say the measure, which was passed after a Supreme Court opinion, ignores common sense, the Second Amendment and the way people live outside big cities.

By Jesse McKinley and Cole Louison | Sunday, October 9, 2022

LYONS, N.Y. — Robert Milby, Wayne County’s new sheriff, has been in law enforcement most of his adult life, earning praise and promotions for conscientious service. But recently, Sheriff Milby has attracted attention for a different approach to the law: ignoring it.

Sheriff Milby is among at least a half-dozen sheriffs in upstate New York who have said they have no intention of aggressively enforcing gun regulations that state lawmakers passed last summer, forbidding concealed weapons in so-called sensitive areas — a long list of public spaces including, but not limited to, government buildings and religious centers, health facilities and homeless shelters, schools and subways, stadiums and state parks, and, of course, Times Square.

“It’s basically everywhere,” said Sheriff Milby, in a recent interview in his office in Wayne County, east of Rochester. “If anyone thinks we’re going to go out and take a proactive stance against this, that’s not going to happen.”

On Thursday, a U.S. District Court judge blocked large portions of the law, dealing a major blow to lawmakers in Albany who had sought to blaze a trail for other states after the Supreme Court in June struck down a century-old New York law that had strictly limited the carrying of weapons in public. Between the court challenge and the hostility of many law enforcement officers, New York’s ambitious effort could be teetering.

The article subtitle really gives the demarcation point, the difference between city and country life. When I lived in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, the county was under the same gun regulation laws as Philadelphia, yet somehow, some way, Carbon County went years between homicides, and the Commonwealth, outside of the City of Brotherly Love, doesn’t have the murder rate as Philly.

In 2020, there were 1,009 murders in the Keystone State, 499, or 49.45%, of which occurred in Philadelphia. According to the 2020 Census, Pennsylvania’s population was 13,002,700 while Philadelphia’s alone was 1,603,797, just 12.33% of Pennsylvania’s totals.

Here’s how the actual numbers work out: there were 510 homicides among 11,398,903 Pennsylvanians not living in Philadelphia, for a homicide rate of 4.474 per 100,000 population, while there were 499 murders among 1,603,797 Philadelphians, which works out to a homicide rate of 31.114 per 100,000. If the gun laws are the problem, why aren’t the homicide rates for Philly and the rest of the Commonwealth fairly similar?

It got worse last year: with 562 homicides in Philly, out of 1027 total for Pennsylvania, 54.72% of all homicides in the Keystone State occurred in Philadelphia. Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located, was second, with 123 killings, 11.98% of the state’s total, but only 9.52% of Pennsylvania’s population.

The other 65 counties, with 78.11% of the state’s total population, had 33.30% of total murders.

So, why are the county sheriffs in upstate New York not giving priority enforcement to the ridiculous gun control laws?  Other than in the five counties making up New York City, sheriffs in the Empire State are elected officials, and they are, therefore, concerned with the opinions of the voters, and most voters in less urbanized counties understand that gun control really doesn’t reduce crime; it simply makes it more difficult for law-abiding citizens from defending themselves.

“We will take the complaint, but it will go to the bottom of my stack,” said Mike Filicetti, the Niagara County sheriff, who appends a Ronald Reagan quote to his emails. “There will be no arrests made without my authorization and it’s a very, very low priority for me.”

The law took effect on Sept. 1, and, at least anecdotally, has been used only sparingly since. Jeff Smith, the sheriff in mostly rural Montgomery County, west of Albany, said his office has had no calls for enforcement of the new law, noting that “almost every household” in his jurisdiction had some sort of gun.

Sheriff Smith, a Republican, said he understands the motives of lawmakers to quell violence and mass shootings, but that the gun law inadvertently targeted lawful gun owners.

“The pendulum swung way too far,” he said.

The left are, of course, aghast. A Twitter user styling herself Silent Spring wasn’t silent at all in giving her opinion: she wants all of those sheriffs fired.

But all law enforcement officials have some discretion, and New York City has been especially aggressive in ordering its employees not to enforce federal immigration laws. The left seem remarkably unconcerned about law enforcement not enforcing the laws the left don’t like.

The dispute evinces a larger rift between Democratic lawmakers in Albany — heavily represented by downstate liberals — and more conservative law enforcement and elected officials upstate. The schism was intensified by the pandemic, with some sheriffs defying Covid occupancy rules for Thanksgiving dinners in 2020, while other Republican county officials refused to abide by mask mandates in schools.

Hey, we defied Governor Andy Beshear’s (D-KY) COVID-19 restrictions for Thanksgiving in 2020, and while our gathering for Thanksgiving dinner did not exceed ten people, they were from more than two separate households. The authoritarian state governors, of course, couldn’t send the gendarmerie to every home to check for compliance, but were depending on officious little pricks and Karens to enforce their illegal orders.

It would not make a difference even if widespread gun control laws actually made a difference in the crime rate; they’d still be mostly unconstitutional. But gun control laws really don’t make a difference, because the actual criminals don’t obey those laws.
__________________________________
Follow me on Twitter! Check out my website, The First Street Journal, for stories not on American Free News network.
_________________________________

Follow AFNN:

Leave a Comment