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Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon says he won’t enforce gun laws he finds “unconstitutional” at a press conference held Thursday morning.

“I’m required to have this press conference cause I believe in my heart that there are those who have an agenda that is aimed at firearms and eliminating firearms and they are taking advantage of the broken heart that each of us has over this tragedy in Connecticut to push their agenda,” Cannon said.

Cannon said reports that an assault weapons ban similar to the one that expired several years ago would not protect children. It would instead, Cannon said, spawn a different kind of criminal.

“We were told two pistols were found near or around the shooter. We’ve since been told there were four handguns. One of the problems that occurs when incidents like this happen is the misinformation which given out initially by the news media,” Cannon said. ”Columbine a perfect example. Columbine was a bombing incident except it didn’t go off. It was not a firearm incident. There was also a school resource officer on grounds at Columbine.”

Cannon equated the current gun control debate to blaming forks for obesity and a movement starting to limit the number of tines on a fork to offset obesity.

So, what do you think? Is it all right for a law enforcement official to say he won’t enforce laws?
He also told reporters he would be violating the law if he enforced a law that was unconstutional. “An officer is obligated not to follow any unlawful order,” Cannon said.
Some people have called for Cannon’s resignation, creating a petition to gain traction for the effort. If you agree this sheriff ought to resign, you can sign the petition here.

Originally posted to Jamie Sanderson on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:29 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).


Should Al Cannon Resign as Sheriff?

87%108 votes
12%15 votes

| 123 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (23+ / 0-)

    I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

    by Jamie Sanderson on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:29:45 PM PST

  •  not a firearms incident???? (15+ / 0-)

    so none of those kids actually died?  

    Jeez..... Are we alleging food posoning, or something?


    •  He probably thinks Columbine was... (5+ / 0-)

      an Obama conspiracy like Sandy Hook was--even though it occurred ten years before Obama would become President, that just shows how devious Obama truly is. NOT! Ignorant conspiracy theorists seem to be around everywhere. And I guess someone should also inform Sheriff Cannon that it's the Supreme Court that decides if something is unconstitutional or not, not him--but that might be an intellectual bridge too far for him to grasp.

      Men must learn now with pity to dispense; For policy sits above conscience. — William Shakespeare, 'Timon of Athens', Act III, Scene II

      by dewtx on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:24:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. Sue B, those kids died 'cause the bombs (0+ / 0-)

      that those twerps who wanted to show the world what badasses they were failed.

      A decade after Harris and Klebold made Columbine a synonym for rage, new information — including several books that analyze the tragedy through diaries, e-mails, appointment books, videotape, police affidavits and interviews with witnesses, friends and survivors — indicate that much of what the public has been told about the shootings is wrong.

      In fact, the pair's suicidal attack was planned as a grand — if badly implemented — terrorist bombing that quickly devolved into a 49-minute shooting rampage when the bombs Harris built fizzled.

      It took ten years for the whole truth about that awful day to come out. Those two were not goths or the victims of bullies.
      The two teenagers who killed 13 people and themselves at suburban Denver's Columbine High School 10 years ago next week weren't in the "Trenchcoat Mafia," disaffected videogamers who wore cowboy dusters. The killings ignited a national debate over bullying, but the record now shows Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold hadn't been bullied — in fact, they had bragged in diaries about picking on freshmen and "fags."

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 07:54:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Firearms killed the victims! (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe it started as a bomb issue - but then firearms took over, and the victims died because of GUNS.

        If the law enforcement people on site think that this isn't a firearms incident, then they need to review the full facts, and stop drinking NRA Kool-Aid.

        •  It's not NRA Kool-Aid, and the anti-gun fanatics (0+ / 0-)

          on this site need to stop chanting that version of "nanny-nanny boo boo!" before they start looking outright silly.

          Of course the facts about Columbine -- that the boys who tried to destroy the school weren't misunderstood or bullied or Goths -- don't fit the handy narrative that gunz=evvvilll. They went to the school knowing there would be no armed resistance. Their intention was to destroy as much as they could as fast as they could to make themselves famous, in the manner of Bonnie and Clyde. Had they succeeded they'd've been criminals on the same level as Timothy McVeigh.

          Neither do the facts about the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood -- despite even Kos' citation of the that domestic terrorism incident -- fit the "gunz = eeevvilll" narrative, because the soldiers at Fort Hood don't carry their weapons with them all the time. Standard policy on US bases is that ONLY soldiers acting as base security / police go armed. The turncoat knew there wouldn't be any soldiers shooting back at him that day. He figured he'd have plenty of time to make a dent in the US Army in his reach on behalf of his version of Islam, as he was encouraged to do by the so-called holy man al-Awlaki.

          But you're going to find some convenient interpretation to bolster your prejudice as you did earlier.

          The victims at Columbine died because of two psychopaths who nerved themselves for mass murder, and planned a backup in case the bombs they intended to use failed -- which, because one of those murderous lunatics also happened to be highly incompetent, those bombs very fortunately did.

          The victims at Fort Hood died because of a religious fanatic turned murderous in his own private jihad, who trapped his victims in a place they were forbidden the weapons with which they're superbly trained.

          The victims at Sandy Hook died because of a criminal lunatic who murdered his own mother to enable his rampage to go on.

          The victims at Gabby Giffords' Tucson meetup died because of a murderous lunatic; had he been competent he could have killed many more people.

          The victims at Virginia Tech died because of a murderer who didn't get caught after his first killings, that morning off campus.

          The victims in the Aurora theatre died because of a psychopath.

          The victims in the Clackamas mall died because of a murderer.

          But of course, the common factor in all those killings -- the even more common factor than the use of firearms -- isn't going to be easily controlled or stopped, and as a result the hue and cry is to remove firearms, not just from psychopaths, murderers and lunatics, but from everybody except the cops and military.

          As though that would lead to safety.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:09:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  guns aren't evil (0+ / 0-)

            just some of the people who own and use them, they are evil.

            and the facts remain here, guns killed the victims - so it was a firearms incident and this sheriff, if quoted correctly, is a fool.

            •  no, but he is speaking the English variant used by (0+ / 0-)

              the group with which he identifies and is attempting to communicate.


              What part of the bombs did not go off so the nutjobs went to plan B isn't clear???

              LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 12:37:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  sigh, indeed (0+ / 0-)

                what part of guns killed the victims do you not understand?

                There is no conversation to be had here.  You are wedded to your point of view.  So be it.  I hope that you are soon weeping over the demise of your 2nd Amendment, if that is what it takes to have proper gun control in your country, of the kind that a majority of the populace seem to support.......

                I have no doubt that far fewer guns would be a good thing for you (note - I am NOT a supporter of ban 'em all)

  •  The courts are the institutions (19+ / 0-)

    charged with determining constitutionality of laws. Other people, including law enforcement officers, don't get to make that determination.

    •  on point n/t (6+ / 0-)

      I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

      by Jamie Sanderson on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:44:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The commenters on the Denver Post site (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, Gooserock, Mathazar, dewtx

        (link below) are making the following points:

        1. Obama is preventing local law enforcement from enforcing state immigration laws saying that it's the federal government's responsibility.  Not quite sure if they know that local law enforcement still calls ICE when they think there's a problem with a person's standing and also I don't think they know Obama's deported more foreigners than any other president in history.

        2. They seem to think a Sheriff is the supreme law enforcement officer in a county, above state officers and above federal officers.  Not quite sure how they think this works, but, oh well.

        3.  They claim executive orders aren't laws so they don't have to be followed.  Again, there are plenty of executive orders that have the force of law because when the Executive branch has law enforcement responsibilities.  This is another example of their only being willing to follow the laws when they agree with the President - probably a lot of Libertarian voices this being Colorado and definitely a lot of hatred spewed in the comments about that Commie in the WHITE House.

        4.  They compare enforcement of medical marijuana laws and the new recreational marijuana laws to the federal laws still outlawing marijuana in all circumstances.  This one actually has some merit - the feds say marijuana is illegal through laws passed in Congress and the state says marijuana is legal, with Fort Collins not prosecuting those cases anymore.

  •  The Larimer county (Colorado) sheriff (10+ / 0-)

    has said the same thing.  Not about it not being a gun issue, but about not enforcing laws he feels to be unConstitutional.

    Nobody has made these Sheriffs justices, charged with determining what's Constitutional.  Their job is to carry out the laws on the books in their jurisdictions.  It is the prosecutors who are charged with determining whether to press charges and it's up to justices to adjudicate the trials.

    They ought to be recalled if they're putting themselves in the position of judge.

  •  Barney Fife (10+ / 0-)

    doesn't determine constitutionality. It's the Supreme Court.

  •  Is hi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    second gen

    nickname "Loose"?

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:00:32 PM PST

  •  so a "resource officer" IS an armed guard! (0+ / 0-)

    and the President thinks that's a useful part of the solution? That's another gun instead of having fewer guns.

    •  A resource officer is more than just an armed (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      myboo, Smoh, Mathazar, walkshills, BlackSheep1

      guard.   A resource officer is a Law Enforcement Officer who is specially trained to be in a school setting.   A resource officer would be helpful for dealing with much more than armed wackos who might try to attack a school.  A resource officer could help with underage drug abuse, finding out child abuse and maybe also enforcing antibullying policies.    

      Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

      by pistolSO on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:17:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Talked to a school resource officer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, BlackSheep1

        Called the school to report a bunch of kids playing in traffic (read: running out in front of me after looking directly at me, forcing me to slam on brakes...). I was directed to the resource officer, who apparently enforced pedestrian crossing violations while ensuring that kids got to school safely.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:31:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's the part of Obama's proposal which seemed (0+ / 0-)

      like caving to the NRA. It's a very bad idea to waste money putting policemen on campus.  At best you have a very bored policeman with nothing to do. After all the chances of a school shooting happening at any one school is exceedingly low. At worst you have a very bored police officer looking for trouble.  When a policeman looks for trouble- he usually finds it.

  •  The good news... (7+ / 0-)

    about all of these announcements by certain cops, is that it shows exactly how many guys we have on the police force who think that they're above the law.

    Far as I'm concerned, they're just showing their incompetence for the job, and with unemployment as high as it is...

    Shouldn't be hard at all to find replacements.  

    Time to start looking.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:00:59 PM PST

  •  So why aren't the Supremes being asked about this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, walkshills

    Shouldn't people be sticking microphones in CJ Roberts' face and asking, "What do you think about such and such sheriff declaring potential laws unconstitutional? Can he do that?" Or interview the most revered conservative constitutional law professor and ask that person.  Or any of the RW talking heads--Krauthammer, Brooks, et al.--but don't ask "What do you think?" but "Is it possible for a sheriff, who is most likely sworn to uphold the law, to declare a law unconstitutional?"

  •  Context (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When you live in a context where guns are commonplace and even revered, you can't see the most obvious thing that is right in front of you.

    When doctors and midwives used to deliver babies before the germ theory of disease, it didn't occur to them that not washing their hands could be leading to postpartum infections. They thought diseases were caused by God's retribution, bad air (miasmas) or various other things. What seems like the most obvious thing to us - not touching an open wound with dirty fingers - wasn't possible for them to see.

  •  You know I wonder if we can solve this whole (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim Domenico

    sequester thing for a year if we make some military cuts, and completely cut federal funding to every sheriff that wants to interfere with federal gun laws for an entire year(I'd also look to see if a few of them can be arrested themselves for (federal) obstruction of justice if they unlawfully detain any federal LEOs).

    Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

    by pistolSO on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:19:29 PM PST

  •  I voted no. I don't think he should resign. I (0+ / 0-)

    think his ass should be fired and his pension clawed back.

    **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

    by glorificus on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:42:47 PM PST

  •  41 Shots (0+ / 0-)


    Sick of these people.

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 04:15:36 PM PST

  •  Probably a member of Oath Keepers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, veterans, peace officers, and firefighters who will fulfill the oath we swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God.

    Our oath is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and we will not obey unconstitutional (and thus illegal) and immoral orders, such as orders to disarm the American people or to place them under martial law and deprive them of their ancient right to jury trial.

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 05:05:14 PM PST

  •  He forgot to say what he meant: Guns don't kill .. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 05:56:20 PM PST

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