Amendment II (U.S. Const. amend. II)
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
My life is informed by my own personal experience, by the values passed on to me by my family and community and by my beliefs as a Christian and an American citizen. I was only recently seated as your Sheriff but I bring to the office some closely held and deeply seated values that guide the decisions I make. I believe we do indeed possess certain inalienable rights that shall not be infringed upon. Among those is the right to keep and bear arms. Arms to provide for the common defense, arms to hunt and put meat on the table, arms to protect our homes and families. If these rights are not indeed rights but mere words to be trampled upon and ignored at will, where do we stand?
I grew up in Woodbine and my law enforcement career began in 1988. During that time I held many positions including working in the jail, patrolling the streets and as Jail Administrator. I also served on the Woodbine City Council and the Camden County Board of Commissioners. I have seen guns used by violent men to commit all manner of crime. In each incident it was the intent of the perpetrator or their inability to adequately reason that was the core issue. The guns committed no crimes and as our own history certainly attests one does not require a firearm to commit an atrocity. I have enough experience to say with absolute confidence that firearms are not the problem and infringing upon our right to keep and bear them is not the solution.
Our system of government relies on voluntary compliance to the laws of the land. Without that compliance, when citizens feel they have been pushed too far and that their legal rights have been too infringed upon, the voluntary compliance will cease. We will then be left on the precipice of chaos, of open defiance, of armed rebellion.
It is the responsibility of our Law Enforcement, Judicial and Health Care systems to provide solutions. With proactive, engaged law enforcement, with tough laws that keep offenders locked up away from their potential victims and with a well-funded health and social services system that does not let those who need help (our jails are full of mental health patients who have no where else to go) fall though the cracks we could greatly reduce the incidents of gun violence. Again, firearms are not the problem and infringing upon our right to keep and bear them is not the solution.
As a father, a citizen and as your Sheriff I believe there are enough laws on the books to effectively deal with the unlawful possession and use of firearms by any kind of perpetrator. I will back any legislation that mandates a consistent, swift and appropriate penalty for any illegal possession or use of a gun. I cannot, and will not support, aid nor condone any effort or legislation that will infringe upon the right of law abiding citizens to bear arms. I took a sacred oath to support and defend our Constitution and defend it I will because the Constitution is the bedrock upon which we all stand. When we continually chip away at it inevitably we will all surely fall. My allegiance is to the Constitution and the rights it guarantees and not to the political expediency or whims of the current crop of elected officials. I will aggressively oppose any federal or state legislation which infringes upon law abiding citizens’ right to bear arms
I understand that some citizens of the county will disagree and perhaps vehemently. I also believe that is their right and demonstrates our shared values. It is my intent to provide clarity, to act on my beliefs and to be the Sheriff you elected me to be.
This statement will also be sent to all state and federal elected officials representing Camden County.