Tea party draws hundreds to Angels

By Claudette Langley
An ex-Arizona lawman rode into Angels Camp Saturday and got a crowd of more than 300 residents and visitors fired up over the Constitution of the United States.

Richard Mack, the former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, rose to national prominence in 1994 after he sued the administration of President Clinton in the U.S. Supreme Court and won. His suit over the intrusiveness of the Brady Bill, a piece of gun-control legislation, resulted in a “landmark decision on the issue of state’s rights and local sovereignty.”

“I fought the Brady Bill because it forced me to violate your Second Amendment rights,” Mack said Saturday evening to the crowd gathered to hear him at Utica Park.

Mack, who has traded his badge for a pen, brought his three books on defense of the Constitution with him to Saturday’s tea party in Angels Camp. Participants eagerly grabbed copies of “From Cold Dead Fingers,” The Proper Role of Law Enforcement” and his latest book, “The County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope.”

Power held by local jurisdictions is the only power that will trump and defeat the growing intrusiveness of the federal government was the main message Mack carried to the crowd Saturday.

He said that the Congress of the United States has a clear mandate and that it is spelled out in the 10th Amendment.

“Congress has 18 assignments spelled out in Article 1, Section 8, of the 10th Amendment,” Mack said.

And none of those, he said, give the Congress the right to override states’ rights.

He delighted the crowd when he said he had an answer to California’s budget crisis.


“You, the people of California, can tell Washington, D.C., that you are going to keep all of your money and just send in what you think it needs,” he said.

The main message Mack carried Saturday was that the only hope for America is through the actions of counties and cities taking back their power.

“We have got to shift our paradigms to local control,” he said.

He drives home his message in his latest book on county sheriffs. The book, he said, is proof positive that “sheriffs are indeed the ultimate law authority in their respective jurisdictions.”

He asserts that, “The sheriff has the power and responsibility to defend his citizens against all enemies, including those from the federal government.”

Many of those gathered in Utica Park clearly delineated their politics from the current Obama administration. Participants proudly brandished signs declaring everything from “The current government is what our founding fathers tried to prevent,” to, “Vote the commies out of office.”


The tea parties, which are being thrown regularly across the nation, are distinctly partisan and strongly anti-Obama.

However, Mack didn’t go into party politics with his admonishments. He told the crowd that every administration since Franklin Delano Roosevelt till today has been making unconstitutional laws and incursions into state’s rights.

He said that he has recently partnered with the Oath Keepers, a nonpartisan association of currently serving military, veterans and peace officers to further spread the message that the Constitution of the United States is under attack and has to be defended at all costs.

At the core of the Oath Keepers mission is a list of 10 orders that they will not obey. The members of the organization vow that they will not obey orders to: Disarm the American people; conduct warrantless searches; detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants”; impose martial law or a state of emergency on a state; to invade and subjugate any state that asserts sovereignty; blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps; force American citizens into any form of detention camps; assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to keep the peace or maintain control; confiscate the property of the American people; or that may infringe on the right of people to free speech, to peaceably assemble and to petition their government.

“We got married,” Mack said of himself and the Oath Keepers. “It was an easy marriage, just don’t tell my wife.”

After regaling the crowd with his history and the importance of the county sheriff in defending the Constitution, Mack then asked participants who were interested in doing so to stand raise their right hands and take an oath themselves to defend with their lives the Constitution of the United States.


In unison, right hands raised, hundreds stood up in the park and followed along as Mack read the oath.

For more information on tea parties in Calaveras County, visit teapartypatriots.org.

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