Interview with Colorado Sheriff Terry Maketa

Colorado was once a staunchly conservative state but things seem to be shifting, at least when it comes to gun laws. The state jammed several new restrictions down the throats of the citizens - but some Sheriffs are standing up and vowing not to enforce the measures. Glenn interviewed one of these brave Sheriffs on radio today.

Full transcript of the interview is below:

we have a Colorado sheriff Terry Maketa on. He is a guy, he's one of the 55 of the 62 sheriffs in Colorado who are signed on now to a lawsuit to stop the new gun control measures in Colorado. He says that they're vague and unenforceable and he's going specifically after the high‑capacity magazine ban and the background check. We had him on the TV show a couple of days ago and I want to make sure you heard of his cause and his name because I think these guys need some help and need some people standing behind them. Terry, how are you, sir?

MAKETA: I'm doing real well. How are you doing?

GLENN: Very good. How far is El Paso County from Denver?

MAKETA: It's about 70 miles to the south, straight south of Denver. And what's surprising to a lot of ‑‑ what's surprising to a lot of people is we are the most populated county.

GLENN: Really?

PAT: Really? What cities ‑‑

GLENN: What towns?

PAT: Yeah.

MAKETA: It's Colorado Springs, and a lot of people don't realize, but the Denver metro area is made up of numerous counties, and El Paso County, Colorado Springs has the highest population.

PAT: Hmmm.

STU: That's interesting. We're always told, Sheriff, that law enforcement is very much behind the left's movement of gun control. They don't want guns on the street and yet in your state it's 55 of 62 sheriffs are standing with you, right?

MAKETA: That is absolutely correct. And one thing that isn't talked about a lot is there are also a lot of chiefs of police that are behind us at the municipal level, but they don't have the freedom to speak their opinions that the sheriffs have.

PAT: Now, this was brought on, Sheriff, by the fact that Colorado just passed, was it four gun measures, and two of them in particular you take exception to. What are those two? And can you describe them a little bit? What do they do?

MAKETA: Well, yeah, there were four bills passed. And of those four, there are two that the sheriffs really have a problem with. The first is the background check, which was really sold to the public in vague terms as a universal background check under the auspice of "We're trying to keep ‑‑ stop criminals from buying guns." And the reality is that it is not limited to just the sale of private firearms. It's far overreaching and it extends to, I like to give the example of a real life scenario of a military friend who goes off on deployment, leaves a firearm with his fiance with whom he shares the house and they are violating the law not only because he doesn't obtain a background check every 30 days but because the magazine possesses more than 15 rounds, which leads me into the second law, and that's the magazine ban. And they banned ‑‑ they set the number arbitrarily at 15 rounds when so many very common firearms are sold and designed with magazines that hold more than 15. But more importantly is they put language in there that if, if it has a removable base plate and can be modified. And when you get into language like that in law, it just subjects law‑abiding citizens to being criminalized and that's really the problem we have with those two in very general terms.

STU: Is there any possible ‑‑ this is interesting because I can't think of anything, in any category of anything you could possibly own that could not potentially be modified in some way. Of course it ‑‑ but anything you buy can be modified if you wish to modify it. How can that ‑‑ I mean, how can you add a restriction like that?

MAKETA: Well, that's our contention is number one, there's some other language that says, you know, what was the intent of the manufacturer? Did they design it with the intent that it could potentially be modified? How is law enforcement supposed to know the intent of the manufacturer? And, I'm not familiar with a magazine that does not have a removable baseplate. They all do because of maintenance and cleaning and so forth. And then for a family ‑‑ or let's say you have a 30‑round magazine. You can never transfer them. I think that's an infringement on your property rights. I mean, we're all ‑‑ we all share a common goal of keeping criminals from obtaining guns. But to be honest common sense should tell us criminals usually don't go to the retail outlets and subject themselves to a background. And when I talk about the lack of empirical evidence to support it, look at how many people are prosecuted who are turned down for checks and it's a dismal, dismal number.

STU: I always find it fascinating. There he an a law in New York that passed, there's this sort of new flurry of gun control laws after Sandy Hook obviously and the one in New York was fascinating in that it said you can have ‑‑ you can't have over, I believe it was seven ‑‑ ten rounds in a magazine, I think it was ‑‑ or seven rounds in a magazine. But, of course, a lot of these guns had a 10‑round magazine. So they had to adjust the law that you can have a 10‑round magazine but you can only put seven bullets in it. That is ‑‑ there is absolutely no way a law like that can have an effect on a criminal. It can only have an effect on a law‑abiding citizen. No criminal is going to stop loading bullets at seven when he's going to shoot up a school. He's going to load as many bullets as he can into there. I mean, do you see any other motivation from these laws, of these laws other than just to take guns?

PAT: Criminalize.

STU: Is there any sort of law enforcement purpose that could possibly be applied to these rules?

MAKETA: Absolutely not. I mean, that is what is absolutely ridiculous is there is absolutely no fact to back these laws, to arbitrarily set numbers at 7, 10, 15 is absolutely absurd. And that clearly shows there's an agenda. And what we saw in Colorado probably is a Republican indication of what occurred in New York, where facts were not allowed into the debate. It was purely emotional and it was purely political posturing and agenda‑driven with one goal in mind: To disarm law‑abiding citizens. Let's focus on the criminals, let's pass laws that hold them accountable and not punish law‑abiding citizens for the actions of one.

And I'll tell you another thing that was forgotten in all of the tragedies involving mass shootings is in most cases the gunmen had multiple firearms. They didn't just have one weapon that they had to reload. They had two and three and four weapons.

STU: Mmm‑hmmm.

PAT: That's not important to those who are just trying to take our guns, though. They don't care about any of the facts. They skip over them. They ignore them. They lie about them. But your contention is right now that not only are these laws unenforceable but you and your fellow sheriffs have no intention of ever enforcing them, right?

MAKETA: Well, we've made that position clear because you can't enforce them without violating citizens' constitutional rights.

PAT: That's fantastic.

MAKETA: Under the Fourth Amendment and the Fifth Amendment.

GLENN: How do you expect this ‑‑ how do you expect this to end up? I mean, we are headed on a collision course here.

MAKETA: Well, I'll tell you I think we've assembled a phenomenal group of people to defend the citizens and their rights and I think we've raised some very key points in our lawsuit, and I'm pretty confident that this could be a pivotal time, a historic time at least in Colorado to start pushing back. And we've got tremendous ‑‑ it's shocking how much citizen support we have. But I think we're going to be successful ‑‑

GLENN: How can we help you?

MAKETA: And I think the lie told in the legislature is going to come true. And to answer your question, I think the key is to get the word out, get the truth out, and I think citizens will apply the common sense and say, okay, not only was I misled on what these laws are but the facts just don't ‑‑ the facts they were sold to us on just don't add up.

GLENN: All right. Thank you so much and, Terry, let us know how we can help El Paso County, Colorado sheriff Terry Maketa who is leading the fight, new lawsuit now to stop the new gun control measures in Colorado.

You know, as I'm listening to him, I'm thinking the sheriffs like him are going to be the first that are targeted. You know, the ‑‑ I don't know if you saw those pictures on TheBlaze a couple of days ago when there was the small protests that were happening around the country at the IRS offices and these protests were happening and there were police cars there, and in very fine print it said "Homeland Security." In big print it said "Police." And I thought when did we have ‑‑ when did we develop a national police force? When did that happen? We've never had a national police force before. We don't want a national police force, a national police force that would report right directly to the president. You need a national police force, that's the National Guard. And they are called out by the governors, not by the president. By the governors. What they've done is they've destroyed the Tenth Amendment, and this national police force is going to be there to back the other police force, and the first ones that they will bust will be the sheriffs. And the sheriffs are the only ones elected by you. They are elected directly by you. To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. And these guys are going to be outlaws. They really are. I really, truly believe they are going to be in real trouble. Preachers, look. Follow their lead. Follow their lead. If you are a preacher or a pastor or a rabbi, if you are a so‑called community leader, if you don't ‑‑ if you don't know in your heart of hearts that if a tyrant, left or right, ever took control of this country and you don't know that one of the first doors that would be knocked on would be yours, you are not doing your job. You're not standing for man's freedom. What is it you are doing? If you're not the first to be targeted, what purpose do you serve?

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.