letter to editor stock art typewriter and notebook

Several Minnesota counties have now joined the ranks of those in other states that have adopted gun law sanctuary resolutions. These measures typically state that local boards and sheriffs will not enforce any new or even some existing gun safety laws that they deem unconstitutional. We are making a terrible mistake.

At the founding of this nation, what was not foreordained was the nature and content of the laws we would adopt in the future. Of course that couldn't be known. What was foreordained and formalized in our Constitution was how these laws would be made and enforced. That is to say, what the Constitution established was not the result but the process by which we would get there.

The fundamentals of that process are: legislation enacted through our elected representatives and subject to judicial branch review as to constitutionality, primacy of federal and state statutes over local ordinances, and supremacy of the rule of law. These principles are the very definition of who we are as Americans.

The 2nd amendment sanctuary movement represents a dangerous reversal of these principles. In essence, participating counties are saying this is the result we want, and we are willing to ignore the democratic process and rule of law to get there. Ironically, the justification for doing so is often framed as upholding the Constitution, when nothing could be further from the truth.

In a country as large and diverse as ours, there will always be disagreement over legislation. Without adherence to our democratic process and the principle that no one is above the law, it would be impossible to govern.

The impetus for the 2A sanctuary movement here is largely from the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus. Its members have every right to lobby at each level of government for or against firearm legislation. But their apparent view that they themselves, or local law enforcement or board members, are the final arbiters of what is and is not constitutional would be laughable were it not so profoundly dangerous.

It should alarm us all to see how willing we can be to sacrifice our bedrock, vital principles in pursuit of what we perceive to be some marginal political advantage. If you are an elected official who has supported this movement, you know better, and you need to be aware of how incredulous and disturbed most of us are by your actions.

If you are a citizen advocate for 2A sanctuaries, please recognize that acting on emotion over reason can very quickly lead the country you love down a very perilous path. And if you are someone as concerned as I am about this folly, I urge you to let your county commissioners know that you vehemently disapprove of any such resolutions.

John Barden

Prior Lake


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