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Sheriff Richard Stanek objects: Why didn’t others?

 

ThroughMyEyesnewThe National Football League’s directors of security ordered all 32 NFL teams to ban law enforcement officers working NFL games from being armed: no more bringing their weapons to work at the stadium. Besides “why,” why did they try to keep it secret?

Two stood up against it. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek stood their ground. Our Sheriff Stanek reminded them that he is in charge of law enforcement at the stadium, following Minnesota law. So why did the Minneapolis chief of police, the Minnesota Sports Authority, and the Vikings cede control to desk riding ex-FBI agents acting as Wild West sheriffs?

Why would they think they could keep this low key as if it never happened? Any law enforcement officers or security personnel that resisted would have risked being fired. Once again we pull the covers off, exposing the unintended consequences: inviting bad people to bring even more guns to Vikings games.

Now don’t get me wrong, in a perfect world of perfect people we could have a gun- free society. But the pursuit of perfection in an imperfect world of imperfect people throws everything out of balance. And after Sandy Hook, the Naval Yard in Washington, D.C., and the elementary school outside of Reno, Nevada, among others, we know how being out of balance can cause bad things to happen to good people.

In Reno, Nevada two weeks ago, a 12 year old terrorized an elementary school and killed a beloved teacher. A student’s anger issues took over.

How does the NFL, the Minnesota Sports Authority and the Minnesota Vikings think they will be protecting the fans at Vikings games by disarming security personnel, who are all sworn police officers? We expected to hear something from the police chiefs of Minneapolis and St. Paul and the State Highway Patrol that supply the majority of sworn police officers to work security at Vikings games. As of the writing of this column, they remain silent. Why?

Vikings fans have gone through enough, especially in the last month, to now be faced with the possibility that while at a Vikings/NFL game with their family, friends and loved ones, if bad people decide to perpetrate violence there will be no one who can protect them.

I don’t understand this kind of thinking. I don’t understand how they could possibly consider such a decision with all of its political, procedural and safety ramifications. And I don’t understand why only Sheriff Stanek is saying no.

As we have said before, Vikings fans and the general citizenry need to be protected and respected at every level, in every community, at every event. You can’t have balance if you disarm the protectors.

We applaud Sherriff Stanek and Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, and wonder, given Minnesota law, what Minnesota Vikings General Counsel, Kevin Warren said. Or did the NFL order him to be silent also? Better and accurate legal advice is needed.

Law enforcement heads needs to join Sheriff Stanek in demanding that the policy decision by the Sports Facility Authority and the Vikings be reversed immediately. Banning law enforcement security personnel from having their weapons doesn’t make any sense in an America that unfortunately is extremely fragile in her battle against those who would do harm to our citizens and threaten the safety of us all.

This is not England of the 1840s when all police needed were night sticks. This is America 2013, where bad guys can get guns no matter how many laws are passed against them.

Stay tuned.

 

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