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»  January 21, 2013

Politics  

Gun Belt: So, some Oregon sheriffs in what I'm going to dub the state's "Gun Belt" have decided that they're not going to enforce whatever laws they think infringe on the rights of gun owners, come the Obama/Biden/Hitler/Stalin clampdown on assault weapons and big-ass magazines. They've managed to get a lot of national press,papers are full of letterssupporting and denouncing them. Everyone's happy with the controversy.

You can kind of see the wheels set in motion, though, for the following scenario in the counties where these guys and their ilk across the country take their stand. Some bozo (B) with a bunch of guns gets a pass from Sheriff X. B's cousin D takes one of the items X should have xonfiscated from B (according to federal law, aw least) and kills or maims citizen Y. Y's family sues X and the county government he works for for failure to enforce the law.

The courts haven't looked kindly in the past on suits of failure to enforce laws. Drunk drivers have been stopped by police, let go, and been involved in fatal crashes, and legal action against the departments involved have been fruitless. There are gaps in the enforcement of restraining orders that have been the bane of domestic abuse cases for years. But a creative legal mind might be able to piece together a winning strategy that would circumvent the courts' customary reluctance to hold officers accountable for their lack of action.