Murder in the Sanctuary City

Golden-gate-bridge-sunsetHow many times have you heard it said “the law is the law” as a justification for or against a particular action?

As members of a relatively free society we are able to pursue the life, liberty and happiness that our founding principles afford us.  But only activities within the established legal confines are deemed acceptable while certain proscribed actions result in a variety of consequences and punishments.  The vast majority accept the law and live accordingly everyday.

But a disturbing trend continues where designated officials, the very authorities in charge of enforcing our laws, shirk the legal constraints of society.  And in so doing they leave law-biding citizens vulnerable to the elements that the law is meant to protect against.

The recent shooting of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco is a tragedy rooted in the dereliction of duty of the city’s leaders.  San Francisco prides itself on being a so-called “sanctuary city” where immigration status is a non-issue, despite federal laws to the contrary.  The result of this “compassion” led to an inevitable consequence, the murder of a young woman.

The shooter, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, had been deported on five separate occasions yet successfully returned each time to the United States, finally landing in San Francisco.  And in San Francisco, legal immigration is not worth supporting and illegal immigration is not worth pursuing.  “San Francisco and SFSD policy is to deny ICE detainer requests, barring special circumstances, such as a warrant for a suspected violent offender. The ICE detainer request was denied, and on April 15, 2015 Lopez-Sanchez was released. Two and a half months later Kate Steinle was killed.”

The same story notes that “Sanchez said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials.”

The hubris of the San Francisco policy is that it upholds its own relative standard, dismissing the  objective legal one, and does so at the expense of other values that such progressive ideology purports to extoll:

The man was on drugs, not busy at a job that Americans don’t want to do, as the justification for allowing illegal immigrants to remain so goes.

He somehow has access to a gun (he claims he found it) which would suggest that gun control measures are also lacking, not in substance but in practical application.  In other words, they exist but don’t work.

The cries for such control that follow tragedies like mass shootings, along with the regulations on smoking and trans fats, stem from the benevolent desire of the state to protect us from ourselves.  But keeping this guy out of the country, where he would not have been able to shoot Kathryn Steinle, is not a compassionate enough reason to enforce the laws regulating immigration.

Here is a guy who shoots a woman, thus conducting his own private, literal, War on Woman.

And for the animal rights folks, “Sanchez had initially told police he had shot the gun at sea lions, ABC 7 reported.”

But even an event as exposing as this will not sway the feeling-based, subjective reasoning that is a direct and tragic insult to the rule of law.  The mayor of San Francisco stated, “Let me be clear (a subconscious nod to the president I’m sure): [the policy] protects residents regardless of immigration status and is not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons,” he said.

He reveals the necessity of law by refusing to support the law.  Of course it is “not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons.”  That’s the very definition of an Unintended Consequence.  They occur without intention but nevertheless result from the flawed policy of his sanctuary city.

But do you know what the Intended Consequence is of immigration laws that deport, incarcerate or otherwise eliminate people like Lopez-Sanchez from our society?  That’s right! It prevents them from being on drugs at Pier 14 with a gun at the same time as Kathryn Steinle.  That law helps promote a sanctuary city for the legal citizens who reside there.

The law is the law because it was created following the rule of law.  If laws need to be changed, updated, amended or discarded there is a process that allows for such legal evolution.  But until they do change, we are subject to those laws and the corresponding penalties should we break them.  I sometimes speed, jaywalk and used to smoke in public in the city of Burbank (similar restrictions exist in Boulder). But I don’t get to absolve myself from consequence because I view those laws as mean, discriminatory or otherwise not worthy of my adherence.  No, I get a fine because I am subject to such laws and must follow them.  All of them.

This mayor, the president, all executive government officials of every city, state and the federal government are tasked to enforce existing laws, as well as follow them.  When they start choosing which ones they will enforce, people die, literally.  When they choose feelings and ideology over legal doctrine, they become rulers, not public servants.

Kathryn Steinle is dead because a man shot her in a drastically misnomered sanctuary city.  That man was subject to the law, and its punishments, on numerous occasions.  But because relative, subjective compassion rules in the not-so-sanctuary city of San Francisco, the law has become a suggestion, more what you call guidelines than actual rules.  This tragedy could have been prevented by the rule of law.  But those in power decided that “the law is only the law if I agree with it.”


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