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Letter: Sheriffs should join Cole in selective non-enforcement

In the last several weeks the topic of a so-called "assault weapons" ban has been discussed at every kitchen table, as well as in every office of every elected official at every level, nationwide. Interestingly, yet not widely known, we have a brave individual among us Minnesotans in that of Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole.

On or about Jan. 14 of this year, Sheriff Cole announced to the press that he, in his capacity as Sheriff of Pine County, will not enforce any new gun bans in his jurisdiction. Some cried "Foul!" while others applaud. I applaud.

Law enforcement in all forms already practices what I will call "Selective Non-Enforcement" of a plethora of laws, from the SEC not enforcing laws against banks for the laundering of funds from the Mexican drug cartels, to a State Trooper turning a blind eye to a cracked windshield. He is also, I will remind everyone, an elected official and can be recalled by his constituents at any time if they are dissatisfied with his performance.

All I am really wondering, and all I am really asking with this letter, is this: Are OUR sheriffs in THESE parts as willing to defend the harmless freedoms that gun owners in THESE parts have enjoyed for decades? Or are they going to remain silent while this brave individual stands the gaff alone?

In a society where mayhem can break out at any moment, and has, in the midst of natural disasters and urban unrest, why would any decent and patriotic sheriff choose to weaken a law-abiding citizen's ability to defend themselves with whatever semi-automatic weapon that they feel proficient and comfortable with, by enforcing such a proposed ban?

Pandora's box was flung open years ago. These weapons will continue to be used against our nation’s citizens regardless of any proposed bans. There are many other ways to address these issues without disarming law-abiding citizens, and rendering us less capable of meeting mentally unstable and/or criminal individuals with equal firepower. They will go on using these weapons while we are denied them.

Thank you, Sheriff Cole, and God bless you for your brave and constitutional stand. I can only pray that the local sheriffs in OUR parts are as brave and sensible as you are, and join you in your public stand.

Judd Hoff

Hoffman Minn.