Outrage over President Donald Trump’s pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on the grounds that what the 85-year-old former lawman did was a violation of the Constitution might seem rather selective to anyone involved in the Second Amendment fight.
Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court for ignoring a judge’s order regarding alleged “racial profiling.”
Where is the legal action and Constitutional outrage over the almost routine violation of court ruling in the District of Columbia? Last week, the District ramped up its resistance to federal court rulings regarding the carrying of firearms outside the home for personal protection.
The city lost its bid to retain its “good reason” requirement — which rarely seems to be met — for issuing a concealed carry permit. Only a relative handful of average people have been able to get those permits.
For several years, the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association have been challenging the District’s gun control schemes with various arguments. Recently, in a SAF case known as Wrenn v. District of Columbia, the District Court of Appeals ruled that the “good reason” requirement is unconstitutional, but instead of complying with the majority opinion in that case, the District is continuing to fight. In the meantime, the rights of law-abiding District residents to obtain carry permits for personal protection outside the home is in legal limbo.
As SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb put it about the city’s stubborn resistance, “They have no intention of complying with any court decision that supports the right to keep and bear arms. It took the Heller decision to force them to allow a gun in your own home for self-defense. It took the Palmer decision, another SAF case, to force them to repeal their total ban on carry and now they are kicking and screaming about losing the Wrenn decision.”
Arpaio’s pardon may have been indelicate, which many pundits suggest seems to be a Trump trademark, but the reaction may add more highlight to the hypocrisy of the left. After all, say many gun rights activists, if you’re going to stick up for constitutional rights, you need to do it for all of those rights, not just the ones you prefer to recognize.
The unrepentant former sheriff, quoted Monday morning by U.S. News and World Report, reportedly tweeted his thanks to the president “for seeing my conviction for what it is: a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama Justice Department!”
At least one sheriff, whose jurisdiction encompasses a so-called “sanctuary city,” is already criticizing the Arpaio pardon. But what does a “sanctuary” policy say about a local government’s adherence to federal immigration law?
There is no small irony in the fact that local governments exhibiting sensitivity toward someone’s immigration status typically have other policies that ratchet down on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
The Bill of Rights, which includes the right to keep and bear arms, is not a buffet from which people can pick and choose that which they want on their plate. It’s a ten course meal that comes with all the trimmings, including firearms.