When President Barack Obama announced his plans for a gun control overhaul Wednesday, conservatives and gun fans across the country were predictably outraged. Now the backlash to the backlash has begun in earnest.
Obama wants Congress to pass a law requiring background checks for all gun sales, strengthen bans on assault weapons, limit ammo magazine sizes to 10 rounds, and ban the possession of armor-piercing rounds, among other things (here’s the PDF of his plan).
One voice in the choir of the president’s opponents: Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon. In a press conference Thursday, according to ABC News 4, Cannon said he would not enforce any “unconstitutional” gun laws that come down the pike.
“Criminals don’t obey laws, so they’re not going to turn in their 30-round magazines and their AKs,” said Cannon, who accused Obama of using the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting from December to push “an agenda that is aimed at firearms and eliminating firearms.”
Cannon even played the Nazi card in his press conference, saying, “Throughout history, ‘I was following orders’ or ‘I was just enforcing the law’ is not enough to protect you from liability if you knew or should’ve known. That didn’t work in Nuremberg at the World War II trials.”
Are you ready? Here’s the backlash to the backlash: Brady Quirk-Garvan, a business developer for a local investment company, has started an online petition calling for Cannon’s resignation. The petition, which at last count had just over 60 signatures, reads as follows:
It is time for Al Cannon to resign. Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon stated he will not enforce gun laws at a press conference on January 17, 2013. As the head of law enforcement in Charleston County it is unacceptable to not enforce the law.
Of course, Cannon is not standing alone. The list of leaders who have vowed to fight Obama’s proposed gun control measures includes Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Texas state Rep. Steve Toth, Missouri state Sen. Brian Munzlinger, and Sheriff Tim Mueller of Linn County, Oregon.
Neither is Cannon a stranger to controversy. In 2012, the sheriff slapped a handcuffed suspect after a 120 mph car chase. When a solicitor charged Cannon with third-degree assault and battery, Cannon was booked and fingerprinted in the detention center that bears his name. Around the time of the initial incident, two online petitions cropped up: one calling for his resignation (with 228 signatures) and another calling for the county to keep him in his position (with 511 signatures).
In the case of Cannon’s current gun-control stance, the backlash to the backlash to the backlash hasn’t materialized yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
UPDATE: Yeah, we called it. To sign the counter-petition to keep Al Cannon in office, click here.
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