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Letters to the Editor May 14, 2013

We've gone extremely far from Constitution

I can’t help but wonder how many folks, besides myself, if any, have noticed how extremely far away from our Constitution and/or Bill of Rights we’ve gone?

We’ve gone so far that, in my opinion, the founding fathers would be ashamed!

Teri V. Markanson, Crescent City

Sheriff's oath precludes enforcing arms control

After rereading all of the many letters and opinions regarding Sheriff Wilson and the recent gun control legislation being considered at the state level, there seems to be several issues that remain voiceless.

Chief among them is a troubling detail that all elected official must give an oath of office once elected. That oath says that they will defend and support the Constitution of the United States which includes the Second Amendment regarding the right to bear arms. While the wording of that amendment could be subject to a wide range of interpretation, it is useful to understand why that amendment exists and how narrowly focused it was meant to be.

Within the melting pot of the formation of the Constitution, one of the greatest fears of the framers of that document was their perception of the historic growth in size and subsequent abuses of the many governments that proceeded our founding. As a result, much of the finished product was directed first at limiting government and then providing the citizenry with the means to resist all the way up to and including by force if necessary.

The framers of our Constitution clearly understood that arms control has had but one purpose throughout history and that is to protect the power and wealth of the members of a central government. Historically governments are directly responsible for more horrific deaths of their own citizens than anything a single individual or group could possibly achieve.

One only has to review what has happened over the past two hundred years where unarmed citizenry in Germany, France, Italy and Russia were killed by the millions by their own governments. More recent events have shown that to continue to be true in Libya, Syria, and Iraq, to name a few.

Returning to Sheriff Wilson, an elected official who has given an oath of office to defend the Constitution in its intended form; therefore, cannot, whatever his personal philosophy might be, enforce arms control laws currently being legislated without violating that oath.

Citizens who have not taken that oath, and do not have the years of experience as a peace officer, should have limited standing when they say that he has exceeded the scope of his authority.

Sheriff Wilson was elected by a majority of voters in Del Norte County to set enforcement policy within legitimate authority whether everyone likes it or not.

Samuel Strait, Crescent City 

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