Defending the Second Amendment

01-23-2012 Sheriff Logo

Defending the Second Amendment

I have been asked by many constituents about my position regarding the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, specifically with regard to my position as your Sheriff and defending those rights. I cannot respond to every inquiry, so I hope this paper will define my position. There are several key points to consider including our absolute right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment, the compromise of managing that right as well as the enforcement of state laws.

Simply put, I cannot and will not compromise my rights afforded me and others under the Constitution of the United States, particularly the Second Amendment. The starting point and ending point of our position should be that the rights of law abiding citizens to “keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. That last phrase, carefully crafted by the Founding Fathers, makes
this right absolute. Nothing further should be discussed. No compromise should be considered.

Since the founding of our country, millions of Americans have shed blood and died protecting these basic tenets of our rights. Thomas Jefferson said, “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty”. To chip away at the Second Amendment, the cornerstone of our safety and freedom, will only cause the remaining pillars to crumble, along with our nation as we know it.

When I took my oath of office, the most critical part of that oath was to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado, not be part of destroying them. I believe that I have supported and defended them with honor and intend to do so in the future. On the other hand, I do not “enforce” the Constitution, i.e. I can’t arrest someone
for violating a Constitutional principle, but rather for violating a specific law. However, make no mistake that I support it and will defend it!

As a Sheriff, I have many statutory responsibilities that are outlined and delegated by State statute. Further, the laws I enforce are enumerated in State statute, enacted by the Colorado Legislature and I must enforce these statutes as required. However, I can and will oppose any attempt to create laws through the legislative process that that I believe infringe on our
Constitutional rights. Hopefully, individually and collectively our voices will be heard by those who represent us in the Legislature.

There was a time when I supported data bases and background checks, but now, convinced that they will not prevent evil people from being evil, I oppose ANY government intervention into the rights of law abiding citizens. As a law enforcement official, I know that criminals will not comply with these requirements. If gang-banger #1 wants to buy a gun from gang-banger #2, he will not first seek a background check. He’s a criminal and does not abide by the law. Even if he did clear a background check, how will this process prevent him from shooting up a school, a mall, or a rival gang? It won’t. Nor will it prevent other evil people from doing heinous things to society. Some of our most notorious serial killers never used a gun, yet they were responsible
for killing hundreds of people. Therefore background checks and data bases serve no purpose other than creating a way to take honest, law-abiding citizens and turn them into criminals if they don’t comply. I certainly do not believe that the reason for these lists is to confiscate my legally owned property ( although there are many citizens who do), so given what we know about such lists, there is no rationale to support creating or maintaining them.

Additionally, my right to own a so-called “assault weapon” (even though nobody can define what that is), or any other legal weapon, or component, for whatever legal reason I chose is nobody’s business, especially the government’s. It is my right under the Constitution and the discussion should end there. If you don’t want to own a gun, don’t. But do not attempt to force
your opinion on me.

Finally, the intentional degradation of the Second Amendment, for some radical factions, is NOT about safety or guns, or protecting lives, but about eliminating our rights and controlling the population. I have no doubt that success with eliminating the Second Amendment will only fuel the fire of such radicals to eliminate the remaining ones.

I certainly support further discussion and debate regarding school safety programs, mental illness, severe penalties for criminals, and other measures that will strengthen our personal security and reduce gun crimes. I’m fairly certain that’s what our Constitution is all about. However, I cannot in good conscience disregard those that fought and died for these rights, nor the oath I took to defend them.

Lou Vallario
Sheriff, Garfield County


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7 Responses to Defending the Second Amendment

  1. Peter Golden says:

    Thank you for upholding the law’s of our Constitution and serving our County, State, and Nation!

  2. Peter Golden says:

    Why is the MSM avoiding the truth in these Gun Free Zone Killings?

    Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold’s medical records have never been made available to the public.

    Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

    Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.

    Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.

    Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.

    Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.

    Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.

    Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.

    A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.

    Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..

    A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

    Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

    TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.

    Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.

    James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

    Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania

    Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California

    Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

    Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.

    Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic’s file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.

    Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

    Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.

    Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.

    Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.

    Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family’s Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.

    Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara’s parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn’t take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…”)

    Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002,
    (Gareth’s father could not accept his son’s death and killed himself.)

    Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family’s detached garage.

    Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.

    Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.

    Woody ____, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.

    A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.

    Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.”

    Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

    Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.

    Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.
    Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.

    Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his
    New York high school.

    Missing from list… 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds….

    What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21…… killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az

    What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24….. killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado

    What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or

    What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct
    Roberts is the only one that I haven’t heard about being on drugs of some kind.

  3. Peter Golden says:

    Here is a excellent clarification of what an assault weapon is.

    An example of a true assault rifle is the M4A1 Carbine. It is fully automatic – meaning it can fire multiple rounds each time the trigger is pulled. This is a U.S. military rifle that is capable of firing 950 rounds per minute. We can relate to it more easily as a “machine gun” and it has been banned from non-military purchase since 1986.

    The rifle most commonly, and inaccurately, identified as an assault weapon is the AR-15. This is a semi-automatic rifle that fires one round each time the trigger is pulled and is capable of 45-60 rounds per minute. They do not fire continuously once the trigger is pulled. The designation AR-15 comes from the name of the company that produced it, ArmaLite, and 15 is simply the model number. It is very popular because it is light weight, has high accuracy and low recoil. This gun is no more lethal than the common rifle owned by every rancher in Texas.

    Thanks for standing up for liberty!

  4. Tim Schif says:

    Mr. Vallario, I have to say I am very proud, Your statement was well done and to the point.
    Thank You for joining Sheriffs all around the states in support of the people and the Constitution of the United States of America.
    Again thank You.
    Tim Schif New Castle, Colorado

  5. Paul Sutro says:

    Your words sound as if they were dictated by the NRA. Citing the Second Amendment and the Constitution doesn’t have any bearing on the current problems of our society. The founding fathers had no inkling of a deranged individual opening fire with an automatic weapon in a crowded movie theater. As Sheriff, what are you doing to prevent that type of disastrous behavior? Second Amendment words have absolutely nobearing on this problem

  6. sgt.b says:

    You paul, are an idiot…… The issue here is the Mr. Vallerio is speaking the truth and that gets in the way of your idiotic views and responses…. Try using some facts to support your inane position or stfu…..

  7. Pingback: Colorado Sheriff’s and Gun Control Enforcement. - Liberty News

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