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Our turn to do what’s right

by Michael Badnarik

This article is now an unofficial status page for Sheriff Finch’s confrontation with Florida authorities. I have no official connection with Sheriff Finch, however I am happy to support anyone brave enough to openly defend the Second Amendment during an administration which is so blatantly hostile to our right to self-defense.

By now, most of you should be familiar with CSPOA – Constitution Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. Richard Mack has been speaking around the country for many years, educating people about the fact that the Sheriff is the highest constitutional executive officer in the county. Richard has hosted three successful conventions attended by over one hundred sheriffs each time. These conventions consisted of prominent experts on the Constitution who outlined the source of the sheriff’s authority, and corrected widely held misconceptions about the role of sheriff. Many of the speakers at each conference were sheriffs that had already defended people in the county from state and federal tyranny. The example that I most familiar with took place recently in Elkhart, Indiana, ninety minutes from where my parents live. An Amish farmer named David Hochstetler was being harassed by the Food and Drug Administration. Mr. Hochstetler’s farm had experienced several surprise inspections by the feds, who discovered a dairy farm clean enough to do surgery. (Perhaps I exaggerate slightly.) No health violations were discovered during any of the inspections, and the feds finally subpoenaed Mr. Hochstetler, instructing him to bring all of his farm records to a hearing – in nearby Michigan. Enter Elkhart’s Sheriff Brad Rogers. He informed Mr. Hochstetler that he had no jurisdiction in Michigan, but that if Mr. Hochstetler was willing to remain in Elkhart and defy the federal government from there – Sheriff Rogers promised to protect him. Sheriff Rogers had an exchange of eMail with the federal attorney, and after the gauntlet was thrown down by both sides, the federal government backed down, and cancelled the investigation into Mr. Hochstetler’s activities. You know how “dangerous” those Amish farmers are, selling that “toxic, white liquid that comes from a cow”. (If I didn’t make jokes about it I would go insane trying to figure out why this is an issue in our society at all. I’m sure Alice is in this Wonderland somewhere.) Many other sheriffs have correctly understood the oath they took to defend the Constitution, which by implication means our lives, our liberty, and our private property. I hereby express my sincere gratitude to all of them for “standing in the breach”. However, it is now our turn to stand up to defend Sheriff Nick Finch of Liberty County Florida. I became aware of this situation yesterday, so I apologize if my facts are incomplete or incorrect. Apparently a Deputy Sheriff made a traffic stop, and discovered that the man had a loaded pistol in his pocket. During the booking process, Sheriff Finch determined that the man had no prior convictions or encounters with the law at all. I’m told that Sheriff Finch also decided that the Deputy did not have sufficient cause for the traffic stop in the first place. (I have this information from a credible source, but it still remains hearsay for the moment.) Sheriff Finch had previously announced that he would respect people’s Second Amendment rights, and the man was released without any charges being filed. From the linked article it says: “A sheriff – any sheriff – may choose not to formally charge a detainee. Then, any documents related to that case may be destroyed as they are no longer legally required to be filed. Nothing Sheriff Finch did in this case is corrupt, illegal, unethical, or unheard of. Every single act falls well within the normal course of business for a county sheriff and a county jail.” Florida Governor Rick Scott has suspended Sheriff Finch for his actions. Nick Finch was booked in his own county jail, and then released on his own recognizance. THIS IS WHERE WE MUST STEP IN! Those of us who believe in Liberty – I mean REALLY believe in Liberty – must now stand up to support Sheriff Finch, and get him reinstated to his job. He is exactly the type of person we want acting as sheriff. Someone who uses his head, and realizes that an honest man with a gun is not a threat to the community. The reason we live in a totalitarian police state, where the NSA is caught collecting information on EVERYONE’S phone calls, is precisely because previous generations failed to stand up against treason when it occurred. If we want to restore freedom and our cherished constitutional republic, we’d better start standing up somewhere!   Michael Badnarik was the 2004 Libertarian Party presidential candidate. Learn more about Michael and his continuing work at ConstitutionPreservation.org.

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