After the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre of three years ago, Douglas County, Oregon sheriff John Hanlin got a little nervous that his gun enthusiast buddies might face a little friction in expanding their toy shelves.
So nervous in fact, that he sent a long, petulant, and paranoid letter to Vice President Joe Biden promising insurrectionary resistance if he were forced to enforce any new laws restricting gun use or possession.
Two years ago, Hanlin was one of hundreds of sheriffs around the country to vow to stand against new gun control legislation. In a January 15, 2013, letter to Vice President Joe Biden, he wrote, "Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings."
This letter was part of a coordinated effort by NRA/Gun Owners of America
to give gun enthusiasts the upperhand over those who would pity families of slain children, and to keep the latter in the mix for decoys and soft targets when hobbyists go rogue.
And when Sheriff Hanlin wrote his tough guy letter to the VP, boy, did he mean business!
The second purpose of this letter is to make notification that any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the President offending the Constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Douglas County Oregon.
Because law enforcement means not enforcing laws you don't like, naturally. If that letter sounds like a direct threat to neutralize federal officers (by any means necessary) within the autonomous militia zone Hanlin considers his fiefdom, that's because it's saying precisely that. Hanlin will not permit it.
Hanlin prefers "gun rich zones", because in the logic of the NRA, when public spaces are like Tarantino set-pieces, with guns strapped to every appendage, fewer people die. There's no hard evidence to support any of this, but well, that's not the point, right? We can imagine it, it's fuggin' America, and it is yuuuge.
Unfortunately, days like today truly beggar the imagination. Despite Umpqua Community College not being a "gun free zone" as it allows concealed carry by state law, at least 10 are dead, and 20 wounded, all in Hanlin's zeal to protect hobbyists from inconveniences like universal background checks and waiting periods. Better to save time rather than lives, right?
Maybe Sheriff Hanlin can personally tell the families of the dead what the hell went wrong.