Sometimes, there’s just not much folks in rural communities can do. If you’ve got large urban centers dominating the political landscape of your state, you may not be able to stop the enactment of draconian gun control laws. You’re just too outnumbered to stop it. Legal challenges become an option, to be sure, but if those urban centers dominate the state, they probably dominate the court system as well. Challenges may not go the way you hope.
So what do those rural and suburban communities do?
Well, they can do what many other communities have done. They can do pretty much what an Indiana sheriff has said he plans to do.
The county commissioners and Sheriff Duane Burgess stopped short of declaring Johnson County a Second Amendment sanctuary, but declared that county resources would not be used to enforce laws that infringe on gun rights.
Burgess was asked by residents to clarify his stance on the issue, so he put his thoughts to paper in a legal document as a promise to county residents, he said.
“The people have rights and must be protected, and people must know where their elected sheriff and officials stand,” Burgess said. “People have the right to protect themselves and their property. They have the right to keep and bear arms.”
Locally, the ordinance declares, “Johnson County shall be a county in which the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms is deeply honored and protected against unlawful infringement; and that the Johnson County Commissioners and Johnson County Sheriff hereby declare their opposition to any law or regulation that unlawfully infringes upon the right to keep and bear arms, and it shall, therefore, be the policy of the Johnson County commissioners and the Johnson County sheriff not to utilize county resources in a manner that unlawfully infringes upon the right to keep and bear arms.”
Burgess and Johnson County commissioner Brian Baird said county officials are of the opinion that additional gun rights should not be taken away, but existing gun laws will continue to be enforced. For example, Baird said the sheriff’s office would respond to and take action against individuals who possess illegal guns such as automatic weapons or those who carry a gun in public without a license.
While I’d prefer that no gun control be enforced, the truth of the matter is that most people are fine with what’s already on the books. Enforcing those laws make sense from a political standpoint, so sure. I can roll with that.
All over the nation, ordinances similar to the one above are being passed by various communities. Most of them are rural or suburban, but it highlights just how out of touch many politicians are with the rural parts of our nation. They can’t fathom a world where the police aren’t just a few minutes away, where there aren’t hundreds of police officers on duty at any given time just waiting for you to call.
Many people don’t have that option and their county lawmakers and sheriffs know that. That is a big chunk of why you’re seeing a Second Amendment sanctuary movement.