You’ll be glad to know that anti-gun activists have finally found a scapegoat for last week’s mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Rosebud, Oregon.

They haven’t gone after the shooter(!), or the gun(!!), or the GOP(!!!); instead, they’ve decided to demand the head (and job) of Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin. Hanlin’s force responded to the situation at Umpqua, took the initial lead in the investigation, and handled the massive media response.

At the close of a recently-finished press conference, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin expressed his "most sincere appreciation to those most directly touched by this incident."

Posted by Fox News on Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has issued a statement demanding Hanlin’s resignation following reports that Hanlin has expressed views contrary to the politically correct post-tragedy narrative espoused by pro-gun control advocates.

From the Brady Campaign:

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is calling for the resignation of Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, effective immediately. The Campaign has also called for his replacement as lead investigator of the Umpqua Community College shooting.

“John Hanlin should tender his resignation from the Douglas Country Sheriff’s Office and be immediately replaced as lead investigator on this case,” said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

“Citizens of Oregon voted for the expansion of Brady background checks in a law signed by Governor Brown this past May. In pledging not to enforce the new law, John Hanlin has clearly demonstrated that his political ideology trumps his responsibility to protect his community. The victims of last week’s shooting and the entire community deserve a thorough investigation that will get to the bottom of this heinous crime – an investigation that must be grounded in facts and evidence, not myth and bias.

“When questioning the realities of the September 11th attacks and the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, Sheriff John Hanlin posited a simple question – ‘Who can we trust anymore?’ He has made clear to Oregonians that it surely is not him.”

Where is all this coming from?

Last week, the New York Times published an article focusing on Hanlin’s history of pushing back against federal regulations on firearm ownership. The article also drew attention to a 2013 letter Hanlin drafted to Vice President Joe Biden in the wake of the Sandy Hook Shootings, indicating his unwillingness to enforce regulations he deemed to be unconstitutional.

A photograph of the letter is still live on the Department Facebook page:

hanlin letter to biden

The article also shines light on a 2013 Facebook post from Hanlin’s personal timeline discussing a video touting conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook shooting and 9/11 attacks.

The Times has a screenshot of the post, which has since been deleted:


The video that Hanlin posted is still available on YouTube. It comes with a warning of graphic content:

Of note: nowhere in the Brady Campaign’s statement, the Times article, or anywhere else is it suggested that a failure to perform on Hanlin’s part in any way contributed to what happened in Oregon. No failures have been alleged on the part of law enforcement.

No—his crimes are thought crimes, dusted off and trotted out as evidence that he is unfit to serve or lead. We’re free to agree or disagree with Hanlin’s world views, but what the Brady Campaign is doing here is despicable. Instead of having the courage to dig deep at the true nature of the crime, these activists are happy to hoist up an innocent person as an example.

In other words, par for the course.

Follow Amy on Twitter @ThatAmyMiller


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