The New Yorker article, "The Renegade Sheriffs, A Law Enforcement movement that claims to answer only to the Constitution", was mostly about CSPOA, although the first part was devoted to an attempt to link us to a lawless movement from the 1980s that has nothing to do with today's Peace Officers trying to restore Constitutional principles to policing.
In the first two parts of this discussion, we have shown that there was an agenda in mind when the "journalist" Ashley Powers arrived at our training session, and that a misleading picture of our goals, principles, and successes was painted. This in spite of the fact that Ms. Powers had those goals and principles presented to her in printed material, in PowerPoint presentations, and in the clear words of two national officers of CSPOA.
In this, our final installment, we will state the truth about these goals, principles and successes, mostly from information available to Ms. Powers, and anyone, from our website.
The Role of the Sheriff
As for the role of the County sheriff, here's what our "Statement of Positions" says on the website:
America needs to make a strong turn around to get back on the freedom track laid for us by least of which is corruption and entrenched bureaucracies in high places. We must, and we can, accomplish this turn- around starting locally at the county level, and lower. The office of county sheriff is the last hope of making this happen, and we are witnessing great deeds of protection, service, and interposition across America by courageous sheriffs who only want to serve the people who elected them.
For some history of the power of the sheriff, we can actually lift a little bit of accurate reporting from the article itself, although the opinions of the academic(s) are their own:
"Since its inception, in ninth-century England-when the sheriff was called the shire reeve, or county guardian-the office has been a kind of one-man government. The first sheriffs were appointed by the king, and charged with collecting taxes, investigating deaths, and commanding the posse commitatus, a gang of locals dispatched to hunt fugitives. (In Latin, the term means "the force of the county.") The British brought the idea with them to America, where the office took on the characteristics of its new home. In 1652, when Virginia's royal governor told each county to choose a sheriff, Northampton County let its voters decide.
Nearly every American county still has an elected sheriff. Over time, cities established police forces, which diminished the office's power in the densely populated Northeast. (In 2000, Connecticut eliminated the post entirely.) But in the South and in the West, where many counties are far larger than in Eastern states, the sheriff ties together isolated communities. Southerners call him the "high sheriff." Almost every American sheriff is a white man. ....He's more likely to come from the place he serves than a police chief is, and his deputies are intimately involved in everyday life.
Casey LaFrance, an associate professor at Western Illinois University who studies law enforcement, told me, "The sheriff's the one that's going to tell me I'm getting divorced if I don't know it, or tell me I have eight days to leave my house."
In most states, including Florida, the sheriff's office is written into the state constitution. Once a sheriff is elected, he can usually be removed only by a governor or by the voters. His average tenure is twenty-four years. "Once you become the sheriff, you're likely to remain the sheriff until you retire or die," LaFrance said.
This gives sheriffs wide latitude to shape how the law is enforced. According to research by the political scientists Mirya Holman and Emily Farris, sheriffs who believe myths about abused women-for instance, that they can easily leave their abusers-are less likely to demand the mandatory arrest of domestic-violence suspects. Similarly, sheriffs critical of immigrants are more likely to order deputies to check a driver's immigration status during a routine traffic stop."
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RTKBA) The Second Amendment
From the website: Though the vast majority of Americans are totally ignorant of the fact, the Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments), like Constitution itself, has a Preamble. Here it is:
"The conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution."
(From the website again): The 2nd Amendment (hereinafter RTKBA) is one of those "further declaratory and restrictive clauses". It declares in no uncertain terms that Americans have a right, and a duty to possess the means for their personal defense of themselves, their families and property, and their liberties. As Patrick Henry stated, "The great object is that every man be armed" and "everyone who is able may have a gun."
Source: (Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution. Debates and other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia, taken in shorthand by David Robertson of Petersburg, at 271, 275 2d ed. Richmond, 1805. Also 3 Elliot, Debates at 386)
CSPOA endorses these clear statements of right, and stands to defend the RTKBA in all times and all places it is threatened. The RTKBA is the one right in the Bill of Rights, which gives the people the means to defend the rest. The oaths we took demand nothing less. Americans are to be assumed to be "able" and innocent until proven otherwise, through the due process of law.
Criminals who have been adjudicated to be "prohibited possessors", and the mentally ill who have been adjudicated as such through due process of law, and who have been shown to be a danger to themselves or others, should indeed be prohibited from possessing firearms.
The rights of such people, if and when, through the legal process, who have had their rights restored, should be allowed to exercise those rights once again."
This is only part of our position on the RTKBA. So, when you read or hear anyone "explaining" the positions, beliefs, or goals of the CSPOA, verify the claims you are given by the media or anyone else. Verify these claims through our
, and/or by sending us an email to
. Our blog is available on the website also.