Over the last six months or so, things have gotten rather insane in Michigan. In addition to kidnapping plots that seemed to be more inspired by Call of Duty than functioning brain cells, we’ve had insane lockdown orders and now a concerted anti-gun push.
One of the more inane efforts, though, has been the push to ban people from carrying guns at the polls.
Now, though, it seems that some sheriffs are refusing to enforce such a rule.
Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel has no intention of enforcing Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s ban on open carry of firearms within 100 feet of the polls on Election Day.
“It’s illegal,” Schendel said. “She doesn’t have the authority to make laws.”
Schendel said he received a phone call from someone who said they would open carry in defiance of the ban.
“I wish she would have just left it alone because now it’s going to create problems for all of us,” Schendel said. “People are going to press the issue because they know it’s an illegal order.”
Schendel joins several law enforcement officers across the state who say they won’t enforce the ban issued by Benson last week that also covers clerks’ offices and absent voter counting boards. The ban is meant to prevent disruption, intimidation and fear in voters and election workers, who’ve been told to contact law enforcement if the ban is violated or any person is seen intimidating or impeding a voter outside of the 100-foot limit.
The Michigan Sheriff’s Association released a statement earlier this week asking sheriffs in each county to consult their prosecutors on whether to uphold the ban.
Of course, whether the prosecutor agrees with the ban is going to depend more on his personal politics than the legality of the order in most cases.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, though, likely doesn’t care. She’s embraced power during the state of emergency in her state and doesn’t seem willing to let it go. She’s been governing by fiat for months now and not even the state supreme court has managed to convince her she lacks the authority to do this stuff.
However, her orders mean nothing if sheriffs refuse to act on them.
See, that’s the thing about any laws you care to name. Without some kind of enforcement, they’re nothing but ink on a page. Whitmer can proclaim anything she wishes, but if no one enforces them, she’s just screaming into the wind.
Unfortunately, though, someone’s going to enforce them. Someone somewhere is going to do what the governor told them to do without an ounce of critical thought and someone is going to get arrested.
Which is why gun rights groups are taking the order to court, which is probably a good idea. After all, it’s clear that Whitmer needs more legal smackdowns in order to get the point that she’s not a dictator, no matter how much she might wish otherwise.
Of course, this leads us to question just what Whitmer is intended with these kind of nonsense.