Political Animal


January 25, 2013 3:02 PM No, I’m Not “Fighting Fascism”

By Ed Kilgore

I’m sure a lot of readers have “Googlegangers,” someone with your name whose writings, life-events, legal activities or friends/enemies pop up when you enter your own self. My most famous one is a veteran Buffalo sportscaster who for obvious reasons dominates the Google Image Search of our common name. There are various and sundry other Ed Kilgores out there, my name being more common in the Scots-Irish Diaspora than you might think.

The only political Ed Kilgore I’m aware of, however, is the current Sheriff of Humboldt County, Nevada. And I bring him up because he’s getting press for having joined with other sheriffs in announcing the intention to defy any gun laws that emanate from the Obama administration, per this report from a Reno TV station:

Humboldt County Nevada Sheriff Ed Kilgore Friday sent a letter to Vice President Biden blasting the possibility of new gun laws following an “emotional tragedy”. The letter continues to read, “As such, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada will use my discretion and not enforce any new gun laws that may appear unconstitutional.”
Sheriff Kilgore also wrote, “In Humboldt County, Nevada, we enjoy the freedoms that the United States Constitution allows each and every one of us. The fact that this current administration seeks to arbitrarily take away one of the very fundamental freedoms that we all are afforded strikes directly at the core of what we value as Americans.” The Sheriff continued to write, “The fact remains that banning particular firearms and restricting magazine capacities will not stop criminals from using firearms to do harm. The firearm is not the problem. There needs to be a concerted effort towards the mental health topic as it relates to firearms.”
The letter ends with the Sheriff saying he believes the gun control issues should be handled at the state level and concludes, “You are on notice that my constituents and I will not assist in this attempt to strip previously given Constitutional rights away.”

A separate bulletin from a right-wing website lists my Googleganger as one of 127 sheriffs across the country whose “swelling ranks…lead the charge against fascism.”

Stout fellows, aren’t they?

Well, I’ve said a lot of rather negative things about people whose public policy views do not accord with my own, including those who believe they have the right to stockpile weapons in case they decide it’s time to violently overthrow the federal (or presumably state and local) governments. But I try to draw the line well before calling them “fascist,” much as I am sometimes tempted by their authoritarian attitudes and contempt for democracy.

So if you want to distinguish me from Sheriff Kilgore of Humboldt County, Nevada, I’m the one who isn’t “fighting fascism.” Just ignorance, bigotry, and inequality.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Peter C on January 25, 2013 3:11 PM:

    We have a major hole in our system of checks and balances when it comes to Sherrifs. I'm continually astonished that Sherrif Arpaio isn't in jail for his flagrant abuse of power. We shouldn't have officials who feel they have this amount of discretion to interpret laws. That power is supposed to be invested in the judiciary.

  • c u n d gulag on January 25, 2013 3:23 PM:

    Real Fascists never see themselves as Fascists.

    They see themselves as the people trying to restore the old pure ways or yore.

    They are purists.

    And, purists insist on not having any impurities - like those who don't march in lockstep with their purist ways and means.
    Impurities, bust be eliminated, or the sought-for purity will never be reached.

  • Kathryn on January 25, 2013 3:44 PM:

    me too Peter C, Arpaio seems to run a criminal little fiefdom in Arizona unscathed by state or federal control. Also read the other day that the Kansas Governor Brownback is defying a court decision that says state cuts are hurting the public schools and ordering money be returned for education. We, as a country, need to be free of these troublesome officials.

  • Bob on January 25, 2013 3:46 PM:

    Ed, you need to get a bigger, better picture of yourself posted where Google can find it. The photo of you that jumps to the top is a tiny little thumbnail from the Democratic Strategist. You can do better that this for your many fans!!

    Say, that sportscaster is certainly photogenic.

  • Theodore Wirth on January 25, 2013 3:47 PM:

    I just don't get it. If I were a cop I think I may be concerned about assault/concealed weapons, high-capacity magazines and armor-piercing bullets. Virtually all of the above are cop-killers.

    What are they thinking? "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."

  • SteveT on January 25, 2013 4:13 PM:

    “As such, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada will use my discretion and not enforce any new gun laws that may appear unconstitutional.”

    I wish law enforcement here in Maryland took such a broad view of Constitutional rights.

    I'd REALLY like to be able to get a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile to take care of the woodpecker who wakes me up on weekend mornings.

  • emjayay on January 25, 2013 4:21 PM:

    The sheriff is right. Limiting clips and banning assault type rifles will not reduce the gun violence statistics that much. It may however reduce the massacres of elementary, high school, and college students. And Representatives and whoever is in the vicinity. The part of the proposed new rules about all gun purchases being subject to background checks might help however.

    And I think the general idea getting out there that every person in the country running around armed to the teeth is not the best thing since sliced bread can't hurt. It's more like life in such paradigms of advanced civilization as Afganistan and Somalia. And the idea that maybe obviously mental people and guns aren't necessarily a good mix getting out there can't hurt either.

  • SteveT on January 25, 2013 4:25 PM:

    Now that I have that snark off my chest . . .

    The more vehemently a conservative declares that the Second Amendment is absolute, the more likely they are to believe that the First Amendment and Tenth Amendment ("powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution . . . are reserved to the States") are SITUATIONAL -- you have those rights as long as you don't use them to do something that THEY don't like.

    And the more likely they are to believe that the Fourth (unreasonable search and seizure), Fifth (due process), Sixth (speedy trial, right to counsel), Seventh (right to civil trial by jury) and Eighth (ban on cruel and unusual punishment) Amendments are MERELY ADVISORY.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on January 25, 2013 4:33 PM:

    I wonder how they'd feel if us lady-folk decided to arm ourselves to protect our wombs: You think yer puttin' that ultrasound wand where, boy? *pumps shotgun*

  • boatboy_srq on January 25, 2013 4:59 PM:

    @Sgt. Gym Bunny: As an example of how it's done, check out the Pink Pistols. OTOH, the 2nd Amendment does cover the rights of the citizenry, and we've all seen how broadly wingnuts define that.


    Reminder how nuts these people are: I was traveling recently, and grumped to a fellow traveler about security. In his eyes, I discovered, the TSA and all the discomfort of airport security are all caused by federal denial of 2nd Amendment rights. I was too flabbergasted to point out that an airplane filled with armed passengers might not be hijacked successfully, but there's no guarantee that some well-intentioned passenger wouldn't shoot the pilots by mistake, and all the fuselage perforations from the shots that missed would cause the plane to disintegrate midair.

    I'm waiting to hear how mightily they stand behind Colorado's marijuana growers' arming themselves to protect their plantings now that weed is legal...

  • golack on January 25, 2013 6:01 PM:

    oh contraire!!!

    (and no, Obama is not the fascist)

  • Donald C. Kosloff on January 26, 2013 1:50 AM:

    Well Ed, you certainly aren't fighting ignorance by telling lies about the Second Amendment. It would be more constructive to mention what Thomas Jefferson and St. George Tucker had to say about it.

  • John Patton on January 26, 2013 11:11 AM:


    while I sympathize with your discomfort at having the same name as sheriff nutcase out there in the backcountry, I suppose one could spare a moment to savor his discomfort in the fact that when hard-working, tax-paying, gun-tottin' all Americans google his name to find a solid right-thinking guy, the entire first page is devoted to the writings of a (gasp) DEMOCRAT LIBERAL LATTE SIPPING PROGRESSIVE COLUMNIST.

    I'm amazed he hasn't changed his name to something like Clint or Rocky where the odds of shareing the name with someone like you are much lower.