Our Sheriff, Cafeteria Plans and Unintended Consequences

Eric Andersen Eric Andersen 4 Comments

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The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that our Sheriff has settled out of court with a local gun store owner. The article states that Dimitri Karras, owner of Ares Armor in Oceanside, sued San Diego County after sheriff officials deleted his combative comments from the Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page and then banned him from posting further. Karras claimed it was a violation of his First Amendment rights because the Facebook page was run by a government entity and therefore a public forum for all taxpayers. Both parties agreed to dismiss the lawsuit, with the county paying $23,000 to Mr. Karras for attorney fees. The county admitted no wrong doing in the settlement and has permanently removed the Department’s Facebook page.

Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, Jan Caldwell stated, “This had the potential of going pretty far …”

Caldwell is correct. This case could have gone far, costing both sides hundreds of thousands of dollars to litigate but it also could have done something else. It could have brought more unwanted attention.  What the article fails to mention is that the Sheriff has enough distracting litigation problems already as he continues to resist the 9th Circuit Court ruling in the Peruta decision. Seems the top law enforcement officer in the county keeps running into problems with the U.S. Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

The Peruta case addressed the Sheriff’s faulty and progressive interpretation of the Second Amendment.                            

The settlement with Mr. Karras had to do with his faulty understanding of the First Amendment.

Sheriff Gore does however support the Fifth Amendment. History records his office had jurisdiction in 1992 at Ruby Ridge where authorities wrongly killed the Weaver family dog, Weaver’s fourteen year old son, Sammy (who was shot in the back) and Weaver’s wife, Vicki, who was unarmed and holding their ten month old daughter. The court acquitted Weaver and found his greatest crime was missing a court date.

At the Senate Judiciary hearing  the FBI Special Agent In Charge Eugene F. Glenn testiified to an FBI cover up.  FBI Deputy Assistant Director Danny Coulson wrote in a memo during the siege,  “Charge against Weaver is Bull Shit.”   When the time arrived for William Gore to testify he pleaded the Fifth.

The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights protect Americans from tyrannical government.  The First Amendment acts as a pressure valve when encroachment on those rights are rightly or wrongly perceived.  The Bill of Rights is not a “cafeteria plan” for individuals to pick and choose which ones they will honor.  When government trespasses on any amendment it should expect an outcry from “we the people”.

The First Amendment does not exist within a void.  It is based upon a view that freedom of expression is a positive good; that without it citizens are defenseless against capricious and tyrannical acts of government – which by having a monopoly on the legal exercise of force will be able to stifle dissent against actions which violate the rights of its citizens.  In essence, the First Amendment exists to enable the exercise of rights which the founding fathers regard as unalienable, the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Washington and many of our founders paid for these freedoms at great personal cost. San Diegans have an expectation that their highest Constitutional official will uphold and defend their unalienable rights in a traditional, not a progressive manner.  The Sheriff should not be surprised when Ruby Ridge keeps coming back to haunt him.  Our Bill of Rights is not a cafeteria plan.  Ideas have consequences, some unintended.

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Comments 4

  1. Well said Eric, and I might add that it was not just Washington and the rest of the Founding Fathers that have paid a huge price for our Liberty, many have given their life in defense of Liberty in this country since then. I think it is time to take a closer look at Sheriff Gore as I do agree, Liberty is not a menu item, you are either for all of it or none of it.

  2. Why stop there Mr Andersen? Gore was case officer for the Arabs from San Diego who took flight lessons here. I stopped backgrounding Gore, Kolender got involved.

    At that time I was backing Duffy for Sheriff. Duffy was and is a Cop’s Cop. Gore was the primadonna from the FBI. Much about the FBI can be read from the book written by…….Frank Buttino.

    Buttino is a brave man. X FBI. And a good writer. His book is epic.

  3. Arabs?

    Wiki: “Arab identity is defined independently of religious identity, and pre-dates the spread of Islam, with historically attested Arab Christian kingdoms and Arab Jewish tribes. Today, however, most Arabs are Muslim, with a minority adhering to other faiths, largely Christianity, but also Druze and Baha’i.”

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