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News of Otsego County

constitutional law

NORTHRUP: Ignore Gun Laws? See You In Court
LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Ignore Gun Laws?

See You In Court

To County Representatives:

As elected officials, you of all people do not have the luxury of deciding which laws you will uphold and which you will ignore, much less willfully and publicly flaunt as a partisan political stunt.

If you adopt this scofflaw “gun sanctuary” ordinance, you will be sued for failure to uphold New York State laws – laws that you are free to challenge in court, but laws that you cannot selectively ignore or flaunt to the detriment of the rule of law, to the loss the trust that has been placed in you, or to the breach of your oath of office.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

Sanctuary Drive Hits Roadblock

Sanctuary Drive Hits Roadblock

D.A. Dismisses Idea; Reps Put Off Action

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The 2A Sanctuary Movement’s effort to banish all gun laws from Otsego County appears at a standstill, at least for now.

“The county board has no real authority or jurisdiction,” county Rep. Dan Wilber, last week, told the county board’s Public Safety & Legal Affairs Committee, which he chairs. “Enforcement is left to the district attorney and the sheriff’s office.”

Wilber said he’s conferring with District Attorney John Muehl and county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. about what comes next.

Meanwhile, he delayed further discussion until the February PSLA meeting, and – picking up on the suggestion of county Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Fly Creek – said he will consider a public forum on the matter for 2021.

For his part, Muehl said later, “I think the county should stay out of it. The courts have found it unconstitutional. I can’t enforce a law that’s been found unconstitutional.”

Devlin said the PSLA Committee is “trying to put this off on John and myself. They don’t know what to do.”

Some PSLA members were expecting a legal opinion from County Attorney Ellen Coccoma on a draft resolution when it met Thursday, Dec. 10, but received a verbal report instead.

“The way I read it now,” she said, the proposed resolution “poses to make a declaration of unconstitutionality about particular laws. That is not an authority that the county board has. Under separation of powers, that decision is given to the courts.”

Muehl and Devlin take an oath “to uphold all the laws of the state,” she added, “which does not allow them to spend money that infringes on their oath of office.”

deBLIECK: Governed Also Can ‘Regulate’
LETTER from GARRETT deBLIECK

Governed Also Can ‘Regulate’

To the Editor:

It is ironic that those who achieved an impressive education simultaneously lack the very basics of Constitutional study. Upon the current topic of the Second Amendment seems to illustrate this dichotomy quite well.

The notion that the word “regulated” applies only to that of the government is both taking words out of context and as completely ignoring the very function of the Bill of Rights in the first place.

To exemplify this, the Second Amendment states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to secure a free state, the Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

This can be split into two general parts. The former is by far the most commonly misinterpreted: “A well- regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state.”

If one were to assume that “regulated” is deemed only to that of government, how can a government regulated (which is a method of control) secure a free state? Quite to the contrary, if a government evolved into a tyranny, what stops them from regulating the militia into virtual nonexistence and paralysis? After all, to regulate such in any manner would clearly be within stated
Constitutional grounding.

Current conversation that I have been seeing from our opponents is that such regulations are not even limited to the militia but also to the people themselves. One wonders why the latter portion containing “shall not be infringed” rings any bells.

It is pure nonsense to interpret the word “regulated” as only manifest from the government. To assume so renders the Amendment moot. For if it is permitted to allow government control of an armed populace, how then can such populace secure their republic free? The short answer is that it doesn’t.

The fact of the matter is that government is NOT the sole source of regulation. To the definition, to “regulate” is “to govern or direct according to rule.” Allowing government to control the Second Amendment is logically the same as allowing the prisoners to control the prison.

Rather, our Founders are concerned with a Militia being organized with a system of accountability, restraint, and method of function. All of which are well constituted without government intervention.

A logical parallel can be argued to that of organizational bylaws. Such bylaws form the lawful/unlawful order by which it functions. In other words, the rule is not by virtue of government, but rather to that agreed among the people of said organization.

Brought under this interpretation, the Amendment, as a whole, loses the contradictions and fully makes sense. By being separately regulated among the people from government control(s), the militia does indeed manifest the function to counter check the government if said government strays from the Constitutional Law and into despotism. Therefore, it secures a “free state”.

Further, by removing government controls and entanglements, there also is no longer the contradiction to the latter portion of the Amendment that “the Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

It serves proper advisement to the county representatives to heed Thomas Jefferson’s advice concerning Constitutional interpretation to rebuke such flawed arguments. For one to ignore the very purpose of our Bill of Rights and to ignore the innate contradictions in holding such flawed positions, only the uneducated would embrace such, and the fool to follow it.

GARRETT deBLIECK
Unadilla

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