by Jeff Matthews

sheriff-mackAfter reading my first article on State Sovereignty by Sheriff Mack, letting it sink in slowly, and then, listening to his most recent podcast on TAC, I thought it time to speak up on the importance of the county sheriff from a concerned citizen’s point of view, as well as a strategic point of view.

There is no doubt this nation is at a “cross roads.” There is no doubt the states’ legislatures are speaking up against the federal government. There is no doubt the citizens are demanding the federal government’s respect of its Constitutional limitation on powers. So, what does the county sheriff have to do with any of this?

We, the people of our various states, have elected our sheriffs to preserve and protect our Constitutional rights. Classically, we see this role as being executing by protecting us from thieves and robbers and by exercising appropriate restraint to insure they do not violate our rights by conducting improper searches and seizures against us. A good sheriff does both of the above.

A great sheriff, however, goes beyond the two aforementioned roles. A great sheriff will stand on the side of the people who elect him or her, and do that which is necessary to preserve their rights.

Now, let me explain the reason for the catchy title of this brief article. If (or when) the people have a face-off with the federal government, and many ordinary citizens gather to demand their rights, what happens when words do not matter? On which side of the line would you want your sheriff standing? With the people, or against the people? I think we can all agree we want the sheriffs’ guns pointed away from us and not at us.

Clearly, the sheriff has an important decision to make when such events occur. One of the unfortunate things that has occurred over the decades is that the federal government has, in so many cases, been viewed, and accepted, as always on the right side. In so many cases, when federal law enforcement officials enter into matters of local jurisdiction, if our local officials are not “rubber-stamping” their actions, that is because they are busy rolling out the red carpets.

Sheriff Mack appears to be making a valiant effort to correct this misguided reception of federal influence. We, the people, elect our sheriffs. We do not elect federal law enforcement officials. We provide substantial tax dollars to our sheriffs, for the hiring of deputies and for properly equipping them to deal with out-of-control situations where ordinary citizens cannot.

Our sheriffs have quite an infrastructure in place. They are not our state representatives. They are the “guns” behind our state representatives. It is good to support action through our legislatures, and by all means, this should continue. But think about how important it is to have law enforcement, with its infrastructure in place, on our side. When words stop mattering, we just might find our sheriffs to be invaluable.

I urge citizens to promote our Constitutional causes by educating and offering assistance in any way we can. Our rights are not just about words and legislators. We must convince our sheriffs (if they are not already convinced) that they need to be on the side of the people. Our sheriffs need to hear from us. And, as usual, if we find complacent or uncommitted sheriffs, we need to vote them out.

We need to work with Sheriff Mack or at least parallel to him. Good job, Sheriff Mack!

Jeff Matthews [send him email] is an attorney living in Houston, Texas. His current projects include the website SovereignStates, and the forthcoming organization, The National Taxpayer Takeover.

Copyright © 2009 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit to the author and this website is given.

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