According to the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, 279 sheriffs and eight state sheriffs associations have publicly said "no" to President Barack Obama's new gun control measures.
"Sheriffs have risen up all over our great nation to stand up against the unconstitutional gun control measures being taken," said Richard Mack, founder of CSPOA, who is keeping track of the growing list.
The list consists of sheriffs and associations who have made public statements committing to protect their citizens' 2nd Amendment rights from Obama's gun control efforts. It should be noted, however, that inclusion in the list does not necessarily mean that the sheriff or organization is a member of CSPOA.
So far in Ohio, Clermont County Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg, Hamilton County Sheriff Harrell Reid, Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish and Richland County Sheriff J. Steve Sheldon have all made the list. The Indiana Sheriff's Association is the only Midwestern state sheriffs association on the list - so far.
With Brown County off the list, many are wondering where our own Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger stands on the issue.
"I'm very pro-gun and I'm an avid hunter myself," Wenninger said. "I love to go out and shoot. If you're using it for recreation or that type of thing, I don't have any issue with it. I was one of the first sheriffs to stand up for the right to CCW - I was supporting it out in public when the Highway Patrol had a different stance on CCW at the time. I'm all for having the right to bear arms."
Wenninger said the Buckeye State Sheriff's Association recently contacted him regarding the same issue as CSPOA.
"The BSSA has contacted us and they sent out an email to all the sheriffs in Ohio saying that under the constitution we're required to enforce, under our oath, and to support all laws, meaning state and federal laws," Wenninger said.
Despite his approval of guns for recreational use, Wenninger said there are some stipulations to his beliefs. He also discussed what will not solve issues surrounding gun violence.
"I feel that there needs to be some tougher restrictions on some of the penalties," Wenninger said. "I think the punishment for committing a gun-related crime has a lot more to do with it than changing out a magazine from a 12-round magazine to a 10-round magazine. That's not going to change anything. Taking guns from honest people is not the answer: I think the answer is being stricter on the people who commit a crime and to be able to do a little more background checking on the people that are mentally disturbed."
He also thinks that solely semi-automatic weapons should be allowed in the hands of civilians. "People should not have automatic weapons - there's no need for a citizen to have an automatic weapon unless they have a federal firearms license to obtain or a dealership license, that type of thing," Wenninger said. "But a semi-pistol, shotgun, rifle - as long as the individual has gone through the proper steps and uses it properly I don't have an issue with that. Citizens shouldn't be penalized for what a few people have done around the country."
Another factor are the "no guns allowed" signs that are popping up more and more frequently outside of venues and retailers. According to Wenninger, allowing citizens who have the proper training to carry guns in public places will actually prevent more crime and deaths as opposed to causing them.
He cited the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting as an example of how citizens with guns could prevent these crimes.
"With the shooting at the theater, if they had not had a sign on the door prohibiting weapons, civilians would've been able to carry their weapons in there and the outcome would've been a whole lot different," Wenninger said. "Because usually every time these mass shooters have confrontations, they either take their own life or something else happens - they would think twice about going into places like that. If there's a plaque on the door that says 'no guns' that's like taking candy from a baby because if two or three people would've had their gun on them, he wouldn't have been able to sit there and just keep shooting at random innocent people. When you have confrontation it's a whole different ball game."
The same theory could essentially be applied to teachers being allowed to carry a gun: their proper use of the weapon could potentially stop a school shooter before they took innocent lives of students and teachers, as was the case in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14.
Whether it is a new law or a sign prohibiting weapons-use, Wenninger said new laws and regulations will not matter to an unstable individual who is set on committing a crime.
"To be honest, if somebody really wants to get a weapon, they can go anywhere and get a weapon," Wenninger said. "We live in the greatest land in the world - we do have crime - but trying to take the guns away from people is not the answer. I think that we need to look at more stiffer penalties in these prisons and jails. Ohio has very lenient standards on the inmates. Ohio inmates get a lot more rights than some others around the country. Some of these people look at jail time like a vacation, and if we make the penalties more severe, I think that would have a bigger impact than taking guns away. If you know you're going to do something you know you're going to go to jail, and we're not going to play these types of games."
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
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I totally agree, let us defend ourselves and those that can't!