Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney brings some sound reasoning, and a voice of calm with his perspective about enforcement of federal gun laws imposed by President Barack Obama. Raney offers a refreshing contrast over some other sheriffs throughout the nation, including Canyon County, who are vowing not to enforce laws that they deem unconstitutional.
People have every right to be upset with the president in issuing 23 executive orders without congressional debate or approval, and we have been critical of the president on that front. Political steamrolling does not foster a constructive debate. Its also not helpful for activist sheriffs to independently decide what is, and is not, constitutional.
Being the lead enforcement officer for Ada County carries a lot of power and responsibility, and Raney takes his duties seriously. Hes also aware that he is not the president of the United States, a member of Congress, or a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. He doesnt make up the laws; he only enforces them and not just the ones he likes.
The Second Amendment is engrained into our Constitution, and so are the powers of the three branches of government. Raney will rarely, if ever, be called upon to enforce federal laws. But he has the right attitude if he does get the call.
Despite the fact that I personally oppose some of the gun control measures currently under consideration, my oath requires me to uphold the laws that are passed by our federal and state representatives, Raney wrote in the Readers View published in the Statesman last Friday.
Raney has a sensible viewpoint. We wish we could say the same for Canyon Countys new sheriff, Kieran Donahue, who joined the chorus of sheriffs trying to take interpretation the U.S. Constitution into their own hands. Donahue dismissed Obamas executive orders as political posturing and said, Im not going to fight hysteria with hysteria.
Those are bold comments. But since hes not a federal agent, its unlikely any of the federal gun control measures will reach his desk.
Donahue isnt fighting hysteria; hes creating it. And hes doing a lot of political posturing in the process.
Our View is the editorial position of the Idaho Statesman. It is an unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Statesmans editorial board. To comment on an editorial or suggest a topic, email email@example.com.