Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A sheriff on both sides of the fence

Allamakee County Sheriff Tim Heiderscheit comes down on both sides of the gun debate in statements attributed to him at Allamakee County Sheriff expresses concerns with Iowa's new concealed weapon permit law. After the recent passage of the concealed carry bill, he concluded there wasn't enough gun control laws in his county: the suggestion of and with the support of the mayors and police chiefs of all Allamakee County municipalities, to propose a county ordinance banning concealed weapons in establishments that serve alcohol, a control that was in place in Allamakee County prior to the recent legislation, when each county sheriff established his own county’s guidelines for issuing permits.
Aparently he placed this restriction on permit carriers from his county. Interestingly enough, other permit holders without restrictions could have carried into bars but not those from his county.
“Due to public safety concerns, the mayors from all towns in Allamakee County, along with their police chiefs, requested the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors explore a county-wide ordinance prohibiting concealed weapons in establishments that serve alcohol within Allamakee County,” Sheriff Heiderscheit explained. “Due to the fact that mayors and police chiefs are charged with providing public safety for their communities, I believe their request should be examined. Unlike a Federal or State law, a local ordinance must be read three times and all objections or supporters heard.”
Didn't C. S. Lewis say something about "tyranny of good intentions"?
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity (desire) may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
But I digress.

Notwithstanding that the new laws forbids carrying concealed while legally under the influence, Allamakee county wishes it to go further. In other words, if you're in a bar, you don't need to be protected. You're on your own.

And then they have the whole preemption law to deal with. This would end up in the courts for years.

The good sheriff does make a couple of valuable observations:
It is ironic that the majority of the no votes pertaining to this bill came from counties like Johnson [County].
No mention that Johnson County is the lefty-liberal mecca of Iowa and there's no way in hell they would support individual freedoms like carrying a gun for self defense. Which is why they got away with years of rejecting permits for ordinary serfs that resided in the county.
“When I asked our representatives why they do not recognize concealed weapon permits at the State Capitol and if they would push to change the policy with implementation of the new law, they both replied ‘no’, citing the fact that they are elected officials and it could create a dangerous work environment,” the sheriff remarked. “I believe this to be a great example of hypocrisy."
An excellent point making mention of this.

But this whole thing fell apart on this:
And one final argument echoing throughout the passage of this new legislation relied heavily on referencing the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution - the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, but Sheriff Heiderscheit has a different view on that reasoning. “You do not need a permit if it is a constitutional right,” he viewed. “We do not issue permits for free speech nor do we issue our local newspaper a permit for freedom of the press. A permit is permission, and you don’t need that for a true Constitutional Amendment.”
The only conclusion I can come up with is that the good sheriff doesn't agree that bearing arms is a right. Unless the reporter butchered the sheriff's interview.

Chalk this up to "I believe in the Second Amendment, but..."

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