National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre represents a terrorist organization. The NRA does not represent the Second Amendment; it does not have any interest at all in the safety of humankind or the greater good for society. It is a business that masquerades as a patriotic entity. But the truth is, this business, like all businesses, has as its primary focus increasing profit. LaPierre and the NRA are shameless about exploiting human fear and without care about placing weapons into the hands of anyone, with no regard for their mental state or associations with hate groups. As we increasingly kill each other, their profit goes up.
Here's a statistic you will never hear them cite: More Americans have died from guns in the United States since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history.
Shame on you, LaPierre! Shame on you, NRA!
Thank you for publishing Thomas Morabito's outstanding letter (Sept. 26) regarding the glowing dichotomy exposed by candidate for Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick in his Open Mic piece from Sept. 20.
I agree with each of the observations reflected in his letter and am in a unique position to do so, since I, too, attended many of the same meetings of the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Task Force and was also able to observe and assess Mr. Essick's conduct while he served as a member. However, I have some assessments of my own that I would like to add.
You do not "correct problems with oversight" by opposing the very vehicle advanced to fulfill this important purpose (the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach and the attendant Citizens' Advisory Committee), as Mr. Essick did when he cast the lone vote (19–1) against sending a package of final recommendations from this task force to the board of supervisors. Interestingly, at a recent candidates forum on Sept. 28, Mr. Essick tried to give the public the impression that he favored the creation of the IOLERO and supported its mission all along, prompting me to ask: Will the real Mark Essick please stand up?
You don't "correct problems with community relations" by bitterly and angrily rebuking individuals with whom one disagrees, such as Mr. Essick did when he publicly rebuked a fellow task force member on one particularly memorable occasion. And you sure as heck don't engender "better community relations" by handling a scene to which law enforcement personnel have been summoned to respond in the abhorrent manner in which he handled the Glenn Swindell matter in Larkfield, which ultimately led to Mr. Swindell's death.
If this sampling of Mr. Essick's conduct represents the embodiment of his interpretation and embrace of what it takes to be a "community policeman," then I'm afraid I'll have to put my internal candidate-screening software into overdrive and start doing some serious sheriff-shopping for another candidate—that is, if one is left in the dwindling field that remains come election day.
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