Humboldt County Sheriff Ed Kilgore sent a letter, on official letterhead of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, last Friday, to the Vice President of the United States deriding his audacity to propose fire arms regulations following “an emotional tragedy.” From the tone and tenor of the letter, it appears he believes he’s been elected “President” of Humboldt County … or that he’s the equivalent of “Judge Roy Bean” and that he alone can decide which if any laws of our great nation he may or may not support or enforce.
“You are on notice …???” ” … my constituents and I” ? Wait just one minute! Mr. Kilgore needs to understand that he was elected to the office of Sheriff and not “King.” He may have a personal opinion about any given subject, but that opinon needs to stop at the door of your office and once on the other side of the door, like it or not, YOU swore an oath to enforce the laws of our County, our State AND our Nation. I am a resident of Humboldt County Nevada and while I may be served the Sheriff’s office, I certainly do NOT agree that YOU are King of Humboldt County nor that YOU have the sole discretion as to which laws he chooses to support or not support, enforce or not enforce.
Oath in State Constitution
Article 15, Miscellaneous Provisions, Section 2. Oath of office.
Members of the Legislature, and all officers, executive, judicial and ministerial, shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe to the following oath:
I, ……………., do solemly [solemnly] swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the constitution and government of the United States, and the constitution and government of the State of Nevada, against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any state notwithstanding, and that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties of the office of ……………., on which I am about to enter; (if an oath) so help me God; (if an affirmation) under the pains and penalties of perjury. (Nevada Constitutional Debates and Proceedings, pp. 104-107, 609, 610, 662, 744, 809, 847.) [Amended in 1914: proposed and passed by the 1911 Legislature, agreed to and passed by the 1913 Legislature, and approved and ratified by the people at the 1914 General Election. See: Statutes of Nevada 1911, p. 458; Journal of the Assembly, 26th Session, p. 20 and Journal of the Senate, 26th Session, p. 37.]
I own guns and I’m a veteran. And despite what you believe Mr. Kilgore, I believe that assault weapons should be banned along with 50- and 100-round clips, that guns should be licensed and that no one should be able to purchase or own a gun without first undergoing a thorough background check. And I’m not alone in that thinking:
- “I do not believe i the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” — NRA President, Karl Frederic, 1934
- “I do not believe in taking away the right of citizens for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But, I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon, or needed for defense of a home.” — Ronald Reagan in a speech at his 78th birthday celebration in Los Angeles on February 6, 1989.
- “Certain forms of ammunition have no legitimate sporting, recreational, or self-defense use and thus should be prohibited.” — Ronald Reagan, August 28, 1986 in his signing statement on a bill that banned the production and importation of armor-piercing bullets.
- “With the right to bear arms comes a great responsibility to use caution and common sense on handgun purchases.” — Ronald Reagan, speech at George Washington University in a on March 29, 1991.
- “I support background checks at gun shows …. I would sign a bill that mandated trigger locks with the sale of guns …. The federal government ought to be involved is it’s the federal government that issues licenses to gun dealers and therefore has the access to the computer to determine whether or not a citizen is eligible or not eligible to purchase a weapon.” — George W. Bush in an interview with Jim Lehrer on April 27, 2000
We’ve all heard the common phrase, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” Well, they certainly do with the help of a gun. They don’t just stand there and go “bang!” and watch the other person drop dead. Well, cars kill people too, and we have to jump through a considerable number of hoops to be able to license and drive a car. After all, the Second Amendment does speak to “a WELL-REGULATED militia.”
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. — U. S. Constitution, “Amendment II”
So, as part of that “well-regulated,” maybe we should have to jump through at least as many hoops to demonstrate our ability and responsibility to own and operate a gun as we do to be able to own and operate a car. For example, let’s start with having to undergo universal background check and by having to take a written test on gun safety covering the proper means of carrying, loading and unloading that weapon, how to turn the safety on and off, BEFORE we’re allowed to get a gun owner’s permit. In addition, just like we have to physically “drive” the car before we get our license, potential gun owners should be required to actually shoot and properly clean it before a licensed evaluator. Then, after an appropriate waiting period, potential gun owners should take an actual test involving everything from loading and unloading, proper locked storage, even shooting proficiency. Plus, each gun should be registered in each state in which it is to be carried or used. And lastly, each gun owner should submit to an annual inspection for their weapon, and each gun purchase should come with mandatory liability insurance.
You would do well to remember that it’s covered by the 2nd amendment, not the 1st. Thus, while you might argue that those items I’ve proposed as a means of “well-regulation” infringe upon your right to own and shoot your gun … nevertheless, your second amendment rights should NEVER infringe on anyone’s 1st amendment rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”