By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers appeared on CNN Thursday on the Anderson Cooper 360 news program and provided the perspective of the organization Constitutional Sheriff.
Rogers is a member of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, a conservative group of law enforcement professionals who believe the federal government oversteps its constitutional authority in several areas.
Several customers watched the town hall-style meeting at A Constant Spring Bar in downtown Goshen.
Chris Beachy of Goshen said he admires the sheriff for stating his viewpoint.
“My personal position is in the middle. I can see both sides,” Beachy said.
Rachel Stoltzfus and Julia Stoltzfus, both of Goshen, watched the show and declined to share their comments about gun control.
The sheriff stated the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, is clear what the powers Congress has.
“Gun control is not one of them,” Rogers said. “The issue of any gun laws should be the individual states. However, in that endeavor, the states are limited by their own constitutions.”
He gave the example from the Indiana Constitution — it has a clear message in Article I, Section 32: “The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the state.”
Jeffrey Toobin, a legal analyst for CNN, didn’t agree with Rogers.
“He (Toobin) basically called me a liar and said it’s not true (what the sheriff said),” Rogers said. “I didn’t get a chance to talk as much as I would have liked.”
The sheriff said he received a call from Cooper Wednesday after reading a post on the Sheriff’s page on Facebook.
“Somehow, someone drew Cooper’s attention to my post,” Rogers said. “He knew pretty much what I was going to say and he bounced off that and had me say it.”
He was suppose to fly out Wednesday but had to wait until Thursday morning.
“It seemed a rather expensive trip for 30 seconds even though it was an all-expense paid trip,” the sheriff said.
The town hall meeting was held on the campus of George Washington University in Washington D.C.