Cry for attention; beseiged sheriff moves into gun-debate spotlight

Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman
Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman

Usually when a sheriff calls a news conference it's to announce that he or she has captured a suspect, solved a crime or found a new way to serve those who elected him.

Not so Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman. He held a press conference Saturday to announce that he won't enforce laws restricting guns that haven't been passed.

As a practical matter, it doesn't mean much, if anything, since these days Peyman is pretty much a one-man show and it seems unlikely he would be enforcing many gun-control laws anyway.

According to news reports, the county fiscal court and Judge-Executive William Smith have been at odds with Peyman for months over almost $300,000 they say the county advanced to the sheriff's office that hasn't been repaid. The county has bypassed the sheriff's office, creating its own police force, hiring away three of Peyman's former deputies (the fourth apparently didn't pass a drug test).

Smith wants either the state auditor or the attorney general to investigate Peyman's conduct in office. Peyman says he wants everyone investigated and has himself called in the FBI.

So, it's no wonder Peyman has both the time and motivation to turn his attention to becoming a darling of the gun lobby by holding a news conference to proclaim his dedication to at least part of the U.S. Constitution, as he interprets it.

We won't repeat or attempt to dissect most of Peyman's interpretations of either the Constitution or his duties and rights as sheriff.

Perhaps his most telling observation was that as sheriff he can't protect the people of Jackson County, so it's in their best interest to arm themselves.

So, to recap: Sheriff Peyman won't enforce the law if it's passed and in the meantime he can't offer adequate protection to the people in his county.

Remarkable, really.