Online critics were slamming Sheriff John Hanlin of Douglas County, Oregon, Thursday after the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. That's because the sheriff had written to Vice President Joe Biden after the 2012 shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, requesting that the nation's gun laws not be changed.
At the time, he said he had two reasons for writing the letter. “First, to make a formal request that you NOT tamper with or amend the 2nd Amendment. Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings. Any actions against, or in disregard to our U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment rights by the current administration would be irresponsible and an indisputable insult to the American people,” he wrote.
Hanlin was among hundreds of sheriffs who took a stand against strengthening gun control measures. He added that he would not enforce any gun legislation.
"The second purpose of this letter is to make notification that any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the President offending the Constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies,” he wrote, “nor will I permit the enforcement of any constitutional regulations or orders by federal offices within the borders of Douglas County, Oregon.”
After Thursday's tragedy in Roseburg, in which at least 10 people were killed and more than 20 were injured, Hanlin’s letter was unearthed. Some mocked the sheriff, who called Thursday’s shooting a “terrible day."
On Thursday, Newtown -- site of the deadly December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School -- quickly became a top-trending topic on Twitter. Many commenters noted there have been more than 140 deadly shootings in America since the 2012 massacre.
In 2013, Sheriff Hanlin wrote a letter to VP Biden after Newtown expressing views against gun control. Same guy speaking in OR tonight.
— Page (@ACaryGrantFan) October 1, 2015
The Oregon shooting today is the 142nd school shooting since Newtown. How high will that number have to climb before we take action? ENOUGH.
— Shaina Taub (@ShainaTaub) October 1, 2015
The sheriff in Douglas County, Oregon was one of hundreds of sheriffs to vow to stand against gun control legislation http://t.co/39Q4bFjsFJ
— Ben Carrington (@BenHCarrington) October 1, 2015
OK folks, try to remember this until the next election. http://t.co/nDig3zHou3
— Craig Bachman (@CraigBachman) October 1, 2015
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