26 January 2009

In California, O.C. Sheriff Goes Off Half-Cocked Against 1A, 2A

Journalists covering a meeting of the Orange County, Calif. Board of Supervisors were aghast a few days ago when the sheriff blasted not just the Second Amendment, but disparaged firearms owners in general.

Further, in addition to taking on the Second Amendment, she proceeded to challenge the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well.

Here is a piece of a column from Steven Greenhut at the Orange County Register newspaper:

"I've been appalled at Sheriff Sandra Hutchens' hostility to the Second
Amendment, as she has tried to revoke the concealed-carry permits of law-abiding Orange County gun owners. But nothing prepared me for what happened at the Board of Supervisors meeting last Tuesday, when the sheriff displayed not only her hostility to gun rights, but her deep disdain for gun owners themselves and a clear disregard for open government and the First Amendment.

"Based on a rumor that gun-rights activists would show up to protest her policies by carrying unloaded guns in holsters, the sheriff sent more than 20 deputies to the public board meeting, where they searched, watched, followed and questioned those residents who showed up to speak out against the sheriff's new-and-not-so-improved plan to move up the expiration date of gun permits."

Arbitrarily moving up expiratio dates? Incredible, huh? It gets better. See below just how little Sheriff Sandra Hutchens thinks of her constituents:

"The deputies targeted only those people who showed up wearing
pro-gun-rights buttons or who appeared to be part of that group. The department told me that "only" three subjects" (what an ironic term!) were searched or contacted, but I talked to CCW activists who said the number was higher. Many
felt intimidated and monitored.

"Regardless of the number of actual searches, the effect on the meeting was chilling. Sheriff Hutchens said she was upset after learning that deputies used the board room's security surveillance cameras – usually operated by security staff – to not only scan audience members but to focus in on and, in fact, spy on two supervisors' notes and one's BlackBerry-like device. She has started an internal affairs investigation into the matter. In a case of damage control, she contacted the two supervisors after someone submitted a public records act request for the surveillance tapes that showed this abuse of the security cameras.

"But she still defends what Supervisor Chris Norby calls the "1984-like" approach to security by pointing to instances in other communities where violence took place at government meetings and arguing that it's her job, in her words, to "balance" the security of the board room with First Amendment rights."

My head is still spinning after reading this. California continues to have its problems. In an email conversation with an activist out there, between the ammo micro stamping bill and "no lead" bill allegedly designed to save the California condor, but actually aimed at reducing lawful firearms ownership, things are pretty bleak in the Golden State. No wonder people are leaving the state in droves, moving anywhere just to get away from the nanny state that Hutchens, Gov. Terminator and others are creating.

Read the entire story, then pass it on to a friend. There have been times that I thought some of the elected sheriffs in our larger urban counties were on the verge of "tyranthood." This Sandra Hutchens makes them all look like pikers.

h/t to Dave Johnson

1 comment:

BobG said...

"There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California."
-Edward Abbey