A reader calls our attention to a commentary in the Morrison County Record about the four-way primary for sheriff in the central Minnesota county. Editor and general manager Tom West applies an interesting standard for the candidates in Big differences hard to find in sheriff’s race:
On another topic, I asked the candidates for their views on the position of Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole, who said in 2012 that he would refuse to enforce any federal mandate, regulation or rule that he believes violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms and is not approved through the legislative process.
Gun owners have little to worry about in Morrison County. All claim to be strong supporters of the Second Amendment, at least for law-abiding citizens. Strack wants gun owners to be adequately trained and qualified; Larsen said his department wouldn’t enforce federal law, that’s up to the feds. Justin and Rocheleau agreed with Cole. Rocheleau said, “We are really the last stand for the people.”
The last statement sounds like something the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association would have said on the way to the Bundy Ranch
As Jon Tevlin wrote in Sheriff's gun sentiments are up for debate, not all lawmakers shared Cole's view.
However, Bluestem has to wonder if liberty-loving patriots would still want to see Robin Cole he;d out an the exemplar of the Second Amendment defender, since the Pine County Sheriff's department obtained a government surplus MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) troop carrier last year.
Addition of military equipment to civilian law enforcement agencies has been criticized by the conservative Cato Institute and others concerned with blurring the line between public safety and war. Cole, who is not seeking re-election, told Watchdog's Tom Steward that the vehicle will "be used only within the constraints of the Constitution of this country."
We have to wonder though, reading SWAT team attends Z.E.R.T. training in the Moose Lake Star Gazette, if the framers of the Constitution really had this in mind:
Some residents of Pine County are questioning Sheriff Robin Cole for taking part in a non-government training exercise in southern Minnesota last weekend.
A total of four members of the Pine County SWAT team were in Morristown last weekend with their MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) troop carrier for an event called Outbreak: Omega 6! at a Z.E.R.T. event.
Z.E.R.T. stands for Zombie Eradication Response Team.
According to its website, it is an organization that uses the Zombie as a metaphor for any natural or man-made disasters that will occur. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, criminal attacks, or any type of situation where being prepared, trained and, most importantly, armed with the proper mind-set, is required to see you and your family through to safety. . . .
According to Cole, they traded out with the organization to bring the MRAP down in exchange for working with instructors, who typically charge $1,000 per instructor. Cole said the training they received was valued at $4,500 in exchange for “a couple tanks of gas.”
Cole said the training they received was from special forces type of people and they were required to sign all appropriate waivers limiting the liability of Pine County in case something went wrong.
“We came out better on the deal,” Cole said, who spent two days in Morristown. “It was a good deal for the county.” . . .
Cole said the SWAT team members said it was one of the best trainings they have gone through. The sheriff said the training budget is $20,000 per year, which doesn’t go far.
“If we can do some horse swapping, we do,” the sheriff said.
Photo: Sheriff Robin Cole (right) and the MRAP at the zombie training.
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