Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Connecticut Police In A Squeeze

There are certain commentators that I like, and return to time and time again, because they often pose ideas in ways that force me to think about them again. Selwyn Duke is one such writer, and this week's American Thinker piece entitled Cop: I'd love to bang down your door and come for your guns is one intended to get police officers in Connecticut, who may be called upon to enforce unconstitutional gun laws, to think about where they draw the line in the sand.  I first confronted that question years ago when gun writers of all stripes began to see the outlines of a totalitarian state forming here at home.  As always seems to be the case,   those who first alerted us all to the danger were derided as kooks and John Birchers, but as time has gone on, a substantial minority has awakened to the reality of our position.

Duke makes the point that mindlessly saying that "Others make the law, I only enforce it" doesn't really cut it.  He alludes to the Nazi genocide, without saying as much, and to the Nuremberg trials, where following orders was not enough to save many defendants. Duke points out that by using discretion on whether or not to enforce things like traffic laws, you have made clear that you can decide to not enforce certain laws.  The question becomes which laws will you enforce, and why?  Duke writes:
Even good people can live lives of contradiction and entertain ideas that simply aren’t true. For instance, if you’re a cop, it’s easy to justify an action by saying that your job is only to enforce the law, especially since, on paper, this is certainly so. But the implication that you enforce every law, across the board, every time, without discretion is absolutely untrue and you, I and everyone else knows it. You don’t ticket everyone driving 31 in a 30 zone, and many times even more egregious law-breakers get off with a warning. Some laws aren’t applied at all, such as a parking law in my town an officer told me was on the books but that “we don’t enforce.” You use discretion all the time.

As for legislation such as Connecticut’s new gun restrictions, ask yourself this question, guys: If I caught my brother, sister, father, mother, son or daughter with some legally acquired but now illegal 30-round magazines in his car trunk, would I slap him in cuffs, haul him in and put him in the system? Let’s face it, you know the answer. And, well, the person you would haul in and arrest for this newly minted “crime” would be someone else’s brother, sister, father, mother, son or daughter. Of course, this argument could justify refusal to enforce most any law, since family will virtually always receive special treatment. So is there a sound rationale for refusing to enforce a law across the board?

Any sane person agrees that no one can simply follow orders blindly, that, at some point, a command itself can become criminal in the moral sense. For instance, would you enforce a law stating that all members of a certain racial or ethnic group were to be rounded up for extermination? Yes, this is an extreme example, and I don’t pretend that the new Second Amendment violations even approach such wickedness. The point, however, is that everyone draws a line -- it’s just a question of where. And I’d certainly hope that you, my friends in law enforcement, would take a stand somewhere below genocide.
Of course, that leaves the person who decides not to enforce an unconstitutional law in a quandary. If one enforces such laws, in the short term there will be no consequences, but in the long term there may be serious consequences, as the defendants at Nuremberg discovered. If one chooses not to enforce such a law, against explicit orders to do so, one may be disciplined or fired. One may then find it difficult to obtain work to maintain one's family. As Thomas Paine wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls." Many of the founders lost their fortunes, and even their lives, in the struggle, yet were ultimately vindicated.

Leaving aside those people who know the Constitution, and what the Founders meant when they wrote the Second Amendment, there are people who are genuinely confused about the true intent of the amendment.  I sympathize with such people, but at the same time, the writings of George Mason and others make abundantly clear that the Second Amendment was intended to ensure the people had access to, and possession of the small arms commonly in use by the armed forces of the our nation.  This today would mean fully automatic, select fire weapons, not semi auto look alikes with a limited 10 round magazine.  The standard capacity of even many handguns used by police for personal defense exceeds the 10 round limit imposed by the law.  The ruse used to impose these new restrictions is that it would make crimes less lethal.  But there is no evidence that this is true, and much evidence that more liberal gun laws are actually more protective of the public.

I can offer no rational way for you to decide whether or not to participate in rounding up peoples' property.  My only advice is to let go and let God, if you believe in a higher power than the State. Your legislature has forced you to take sides, and you are in the thick of it. You obviously want to be on the right side, the winning side. I understand.  Unfortunately, the two may not coincide. Again, I urge you to pray on it, leave it up to God, and do whatever he says is the next right thing.


  1. You continue to make sense in a world of contradictory nonsense. I hope the message makes it to those who need most badly to hear it.

  2. Rev. Paul,

    Good to hear from you. You plant the seed, but someone else harvests the fruit. I too hope this turns out well for Connecticutt citizens, and that the legislature and governor end up with egg on their collective face.

    God bless and keep you,