Sheriff issues statement on gun control





To my Fellow Citizens of Cochise County and the United States of America, 

Recently, I have spoken to several of my fellow citizens in Cochise County who have voiced to me their concerns and fears with the President’s recent decision to issue a number of executive orders aimed at gun control. Realizing the importance of this matter, I feel it is necessary to publish my official position on our Second Amendment rights, and what role I and my Office will have in this matter. 

First, let me say, my heart goes out to the families and survivors of the tragic event in Connecticut, and to all those who may have lost loved ones in past violent acts. However, if history has taught us anything it is this: Solely blaming firearms for acts of violence is not the answer. In my opinion, it amounts to nothing more than a play on emotions in an attempt to pacify the immediate outcry, and is a disservice to those we, as elected officials, are sworn to serve and protect. 

As Sheriff, I was elected by the citizens of Cochise County to represent them and their interests. I and my deputies shall not be used as a surrogate of any government entity to violate the civil rights of the citizens of this great nation. My loyalty lies within the oath of the Sheriff’s office, which reads, in part, as follows: “I solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of Arizona; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and defend them against all enemies whatsoever, and that I will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of the office of Sheriff, according to the best of my ability so help me God.” 

If I have learned anything during my 29 years as a law man, it is this: Education, prevention, and enforcement are the three keys to successful crime prevention. We are a nation of laws designed to protect our citizens, establish peace and order, and above all preserve the constitutional liberties of all. With that said, no one person or branch of government can single-handedly solve the complex issues of crime prevention. There must be a collaborative effort on the part of law enforcement and our judicial, educational, medical, and legislative partners to develop a comprehensive crime prevention strategy, which takes into account all of the contributing factors, not just the most convenient. 

In closing, while I respect our nation’s elected offices, as the duly elected Sheriff for the citizens of Cochise County, I and my Office will ensure the Constitutional Rights of the citizens of Cochise County are not infringed upon and will not permit any official, federal or otherwise, to attempt to do so.  

Mark J. Dannels

Sheriff, Cochise County 





Rancher on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 11:00pm

Mark,

Well written, I’m glad to see you take a stance.

Rancher

Soonerdiver on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 5:52am

Excellently spoken Sheriff! We need more law enforcement officers with your
attitude. Good luck on your current term of office and I hope all goes well
in Cochise County; it is my adopted home away from home.

AZ Shooter on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 6:59am

Nicely done Sheriff Dannels. Uphold your oath and defend against all enemies,
both foreign and domestic.

just me on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 7:11am

Amen I don’t like guns but I don’t like oppression either.

BLACKOUT on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 7:41am

Well Said, and to all the people who are coming here from other states,
please do not bring your out of state beliefs with you, we are Arizona and
dont need advice from other failing states..

Incadove93 on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 8:27am

Great statement!! Thank you for supporting the Constitution. For those from
other states who want stricter gun control, please move to New York or maybe
the Chicago area…

weinna on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 8:27am

Thank you Sheriff Dannels. Integrity at its finest.

Peter on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 9:29am

Sheriff Dannels’s statement is reassuring to those of us who understand that
gun-related crime is a complicated problem. Reducing it requires a
dispassionate and fact-based approach. Sheriff Dannel’s statement was a
thoughtful one, right up to the last sentence, when he wrote, “…I and my
Office will ensure the Constitutional Rights of the citizens of Cochise
County are not infringed upon and will not permit any official, federal or
otherwise, to attempt to do so.” Really? I wonder what lawful means our
Sheriff imagines he can employ to prevent Sen. Feinstein, and like-minded
legislators from attempting to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
However much he opposes the “attempt”, he cannot prevent it. The attempt is
already well underway - again.

ssgwes on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 10:30am

That was an outstanding statement. Eloquent and reassuring. We are behind you
100 percent.

Cassandra on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 6:08pm

Boy Sheriff, everyone seems real pleased with your letter. I’m curious which of the Presidents’ executive actions (he didn’t sign any executive orders) constitute the greatest threat to our 2nd amendment rights, particularly with regard to the one thing you’ve learned: “Education, prevention, and enforcement are the three keys to successful crime prevention.

So, what bothers you most? Is it “Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system;”   “Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign;”     “Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime;” “Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers;”  “Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health?” or something else?

Please don’t tell me you’re just running your mouth because all of these seem consistent with that one thing you’ve learned.

FreeThinker on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 7:14pm

I would say what is bothering the Sheriff, and many Sheriffs across this
country, is the arrogance of this president believing he has dominion over
the Bill of Rights. There is nothing in Article II that grants such authority
to any president, end of story!

FreeThinker on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 7:35pm

“I wonder what lawful means our Sheriff imagines he can employ to prevent
Sen. Feinstein, and like-minded legislators from attempting to infringe on
the right to keep and bear arms.”

10th Amendment

Let’s not forget, the states created the federal government, not the other
way around & all the states have to do is to call in a Constitutional
Convention to remove the federal government they created. Just 38 states are
needed for such. A reading of Article V clearly defines such authority to the
 states

Cassandra on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 8:22pm

What authority FT? The authority to do what? To nominate an ATF director? He’s the executive; check your Constitution.

Does he have no authority to “Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education,” or “Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement?

Does the President overstep your view of his authority whenever he casts a little light upon the obscure world of gun ownership and exchanges?

freerifleman on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 11:03am

I’m encouraged to have a Sheriff interested in recognizing my inalienable
rights, as described in the Bill of Rights… even if there were no Bill of
Rights, I’d still have this inalienable right that some seem to want to
explain away and make excuses as to why infringing upon them don’t end up
with one group of people in mass graves or ashes in an oven. I’m standing
with Sheriff Dannels… tis better than to die on your knees! “Find out just
what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of
injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; … The limits of
tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” —
Frederick Douglass [1857]

JPD on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 1:16pm

This sounds like a non-statement to me. Some good and reasonable thoughts
that no-one would dispute, but it’s certainly not “taking a stand” on
anything. Seems like you who applaud him for this must be assuming he opposes
all the current proposals for gun control legislation. But that’s not what I
would take away from, “There must be a collaborative effort on the part of
law enforcement and our judicial, educational, medical, and legislative
partners to develop a comprehensive crime prevention strategy.” It all sounds
like ambiguous campaign talk to me. I couldn’t be sure at all where he
stands, for practical purposes.

Sumtingwong on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 3:39pm

JPD, Well said, nothing but political grand standing.

FreeThinker on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 6:39pm

“What authority FT? The authority to do what? To nominate an ATF director?
He’s the executive; check your Constitution.”

The authority granted to the office of the Executive by the US Constitution.
There is no such authority granted to the executive to create law, only to
execute existing law(s) & sign bills passed by the Congress into law.
Just show me where Cassandra, with the absence of expanding the language or
redefining words, written in the Constitution this executive power that
grants the authority to the Executive to have dominion over the Bill of
 Rights.

“Does the President overstep your view of his authority whenever he casts a
little light upon the obscure world of gun ownership and exchanges?”

No, the president doesn’t over step my authority, just the authority that
empowers him & that would be the US Constitution. Oh & yes, he has zero
authority to do the following items you have mentioned. End of story

Cassandra on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 8:53pm

Of course it’s grandstanding. It’s half-baked illogical bilge carefully crafted to press a few easily pressed buttons and enervate the benighted mouth breathers who make up his base.

He steps on his own you-know-what by promising to resist the tyranny of Obama then extolling the virtues of precisely the measures the President set out in his memoranda, but it still gets the loonies howling about Hitler. The only tyranny I fear is the tyranny of the dimwit.

Cassandra on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 9:32pm

So FT, precisely what law has the President “created” with the executive actions that our valiant sheriff has sworn to resist so doughtily?

Mark C on Thu, 01/31/2013 - 1:50pm

Paranoid Right Pacifier If any of the crazy conspiracy theory rumors about
Obama seizing guns were true, then this letter might have some meaning. Sort
of like saying that if Obama changes the official language of the US to
Spanish, we will continue to speak English. Since (even if the President got
everything he wanted) we are only talking about better Background checks, and
a ban on the new manufacture of some rifles and some magazines… I oppose
everything but improving background checks and mandating them for all guns
sales… however I also recognize that even if the President got everything
he wanted we would not be taking anyone’s gun from them.

JPD on Thu, 01/31/2013 - 6:50pm

Thank you, Mark C. That’s what taking a stand looks like: “I oppose
everything but improving background checks and mandating them for all guns
sales…” That’s the kind of statement that would give us a clue as to what
our Sheriff might support. But then, a Sheriff is supposed to uphold laws,
not make them, so it probably behooves him to remain neutral. Unless he wants
to be like Joe Arpaio. Maybe he will one day. Give him time.

weissler on Thu, 01/31/2013 - 10:43pm

Well said, Cassandra!

climing on Fri, 02/01/2013 - 7:15am

Cassandra you are too funny! Yes! “tyranny of the dimwits” that is something
to fear! Thanks for the good laugh.

AZ_Mom on Fri, 02/01/2013 - 11:26pm

How about him making appointments when congress is not in session? A big no
no. I guess the rules just don’t apply to Obama.

Sumtingwong on Sat, 02/02/2013 - 9:07am

Az MA, check the facts before you spout. According to reports from the
Congressional Research Service, during their time in office, President Ronald
Reagan made 240 recess appointments, President George H. W. Bush made 77
recess appointments, President Bill Clinton made 140 recess appointments, and
George W. Bush made 171. Obama’s first term has seen a paltry 28.

desertrat on Sat, 02/02/2013 - 6:56pm

If the feds plan to enforce any new anti gun laws the same way they are
enforcing their anti marijuana laws then we don’t have a thing to worry
about. In most states MJ is openly sold in stores in clear and open defiance
to federal laws.

desertrat on Sat, 02/02/2013 - 7:04pm

Obscure world of gun ownership??? To put it bluntly, it ain’t none of Uncle
Sam’s business how many guns, hammers, saws, knives, tire irons, bows and
arrows etc. I own. Despite the best efforts of some, this is still a mostly
democratic republic we live in.

Cassandra on Sat, 02/02/2013 - 9:43pm

Despite the best efforts of some, this is still a mostly democratic republic we live in.” Yes, it is. And about 89% of the constituents of this democratic republic say that the guns you own are Uncle Sam’s business and nothing in the Constitution says it isn’t.

We mostly don’t care about your saws or knives and frankly shouldn’t care about your marijuana.

KevinL on Mon, 02/04/2013 - 7:32pm

I agree; we don’t need any dysfunctional policies here..

Rancher on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 6:02pm

Cassie…

Yes, it is. And about 89% of the constituents of this democratic republic say that the guns you own are Uncle Sam’s business and nothing in the Constitution says it isn’t.

sudyrand on Thu, 03/07/2013 - 5:55pm

There you go again, spouting off on a subject you are not familiar with. What
obama did was make appointments when Congress was still in session, which
according to the Supreme Court, he is not allowed to do. He can’t decide when
the Congress is or is not in session. Reagan Clinton and Bush made legal
appointments when Congress was not in session and some of obamas appointments
were legal. However several was not and they were shot down by the Supreme
Court. I wish everyone would understand what they read or maybe not read,
before they open their mouth.