The law is to be obeyed and respected by all


Sheriff Spruell has publicly stated his personal opinion regarding gun legislation that recently became Colorado law. I have no disagreement with his right to his opinion that this specific law violates the U.S. Constitution.

However, I must disagree when his personal opinion supersedes his sworn duty to uphold the laws of the State of Colorado. Sheriff Spruell stood before a judge in January 2011 and he pledged under oath to "support the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of Colorado." The sheriff also signed a testament to his pledge which can be viewed at the Montezuma County Clerk's office.

I take issue with Sheriff Spruell and other armchair "constitutionalists" who believe they have the authority to interpret the meaning of the Second Amendment. For the record, interpretation of our Constitution is exclusively reserved for the nine members of the United States Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has reviewed the Second Amendment twice and in both cases has affirmed the right of citizens to possess firearms. However, the court also held that the right of possession is a restricted right, making ownership of certain types of firearms, such as machine guns, illegal.

I regret that our sheriff announced he will not recognize and enforce a Colorado law. This is not acceptable behavior from a law enforcement officer and, on it's face, violates his oath of office and his terms of employment.

Before the law's July 1 implementation date, I suggest that Sheriff Spruell reconsider and publicly state that while he personally disagrees with this specific law, he recognizes it as being legitimately enacted Colorado law. Otherwise, Montezuma County needs to treat Sheriff Spruell's current stance for what it will become: insubordination. I am a gun owner and a defender of the Second Amendment. I am also a citizen who believes that the law is to be obeyed and respected by all, including Sheriff Spruell.

Roger Brooks