Opinion

America’s Newest Sanctuary City: Not What You Think

Watch out America, there is a brand new sanctuary city in our nation. But not the kind you normally hear about. The police chief of this rugged little community nestled within the magnificent Cascade Mountains in northern Washington State is not talking about providing sanctuary to illegal immigrants. According to the Seattle Times’ Eric Lacitis, this town’s police chief has declared Republic, Washington a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary City.” And he has proposed a city ordinance of that title.

This action is in response to the recent passage of the sham anti-gun Initiative-1639. I-1639 did not meet myriad requirements necessary to qualify for the ballot. There were so many holes in this initiative you could use it to play Whack-a-mole.

As I keep using as an example, initiatives are only supposed to have one, 1, ONE subject. By some counts, I-1639 had 17 separate subjects. This alone should have disqualified it. And the list of other process violations is lengthy. Yet, the neo-leftist, Democrat machine in this state allowed this defective measure to appear on the ballot. Ballot qualification standards be damned. Who cares about the integrity of the election process? Certainly not the neo-left.

In August, I wrote an article about this initiative after the NRA, so it seemed at the time, won a court challenge to keep I-1639 off the ballot. Obviously, it did not hold, and the Democrats found a way around that decision.

Republic Police Chief Loren Culp posted on the department’s Facebook page: “As long as I am Chief of Police, no Republic Police Officer will infringe on a citizens’ right to keep and Bear Arms, PERIOD!” He said he wasn’t looking for attention but just wanted to protect people’s rights.

Nevertheless, he got attention—big time. Rock legend Ted Nugent, the unabashed conservative guru, also known as the “Motor City Madman,” wrote to his over three million followers, “Chief Loren Culp is an American freedom warrior. God bless the freedom warriors.”

Now, I’ve often said one problem with the leftist radicals is their penchant for ignoring laws they doesn’t like. I prefer legislation and using established processes to change laws I don’t like. However, for as long as I have been writing on libertarian, conservative, and law enforcement issues, I’ve made an exception for constitutional infringements. I would no sooner infringe on, or vote for the government to infringe on, someone’s First, Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendment rights than I would their Second Amendment or any other constitutional rights.

In fact, several years ago, in an article for The Guardian (the Seattle Police Officers Guild newspaper), I wrote that, as a police officer, I would enforce no law I felt violated the Second Amendment—and I meant it. God-given, unalienable rights should never be left up to a vote.

What about “shall not be infringed” does the left not understand? The thing is, they understand it fine. They just don’t like it. That’s why, in this case, I’d argue it’s not Chief Culp who’s planning on ignoring the new law, it’s the State of Washington that is ignoring the federal and state constitutions.

The state ostensibly allowing for self-defense and then making it practically impossible to keep a gun for home protection is unethical—immoral, actually. My firearm will do me no good if I can’t get to it when I need it. And I should decide how I keep it secure.

Taking a constitutional right away from 18, 19, and 20-year-olds, who are in every other way sanctioned American adults with all the commensurate rights and responsibilities, including the right to vote, to enter into contracts, and the ability to fight and die for their country, is abhorrent.

Turning law-abiding citizens into felons if someone (a true felon) steals their personal property, which the state determines was not properly secured, and uses it to commit a crime, is repugnant.

And what is “properly secured,” anyway? Couldn’t the state argue that any gun that is stolen wasn’t “properly secured,” since someone stole it? And don’t think they won’t. Again, I wonder how useful for home defense is a gun secure enough that no one could ever steal it.

What’s next? Should the state hold car owners responsible for car thieves who steal their cars and commit vehicular assaults or use it to escape after robbing a bank?

Fox News asked the chief about the complaints conservatives make about sanctuary city’s violating federal laws and if there was hypocrisy in his actions. Culp replied that he swore an oath to the federal and state constitutions he would be violating if he enforced this law. He emphasized that the state constitution is even more explicit in its protections: “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired.” This new law clearly impairs a person’s right to bear arms.

Culp pointed out that people have no constitutional right to immigrate to the United States. However, people do have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. This is a significant distinction. The NRA will file legal challenges to the new law and, based on past cases of overreaching by Washington State and Seattle officials, the new law is likely to be struck down.

In the meantime, law-abiding Washingtonian gun owners will suffer. And what about other leftist-run states? I’d advise them to beware. They may be next.

These types of initiatives always have titles and descriptions that sound reasonable to less informed voters. In fact, if I hadn’t been a law enforcement professional and wasn’t so immersed in Second Amendment issues, just reading the ballot title, I might vote for it, too. But that’s what voters get when the legislature make rules to qualify initiatives, but then shameless leftist supporters, including politicians, ignore those rules, break those rules, and then impose a flawed law on the people.

Republic Police Chief Culp is, as Ted Nugent wrote, “a freedom warrior.” I hope other law enforcement professionals in this state support this courageous man. It can’t be expressed forcefully enough. Chief Culp is not violating the law; he’s enforcing the U.S. Constitution he swore an oath to uphold.

Now, if the neo-left wants to attempt a constitutional amendment to repeal the Second Amendment, that would be another story. I wouldn’t like it, but at least it’s the system our founders set in place to handle such changes. There is the process to change a constitutional law you don’t like, and you should use it. You shouldn’t be able to change laws by fooling voters with biased ballot titles and partisan descriptions authorized by Democrat officials who have no respect for the process but only for the results.

Chief Loren Culp is a true hero, and every American should support him and his commitment to the U.S. Constitution.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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