Maureen Smilkstein: Missing the mark

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Sheriff Wiggins, along with the Weld and Moffatt County sheriffs, were elected into office to enforce all the laws legislated regardless of their personal or political views. They had their chance to vote, and now that their preferred party lost, it is crucial they put their own views behind and follow the law, as we all are expected to do.

Just because the sheriff doesn’t believe this law will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and will punish law-abiding citizens doesn’t make it so. Many of us think otherwise, including the majority of law enforcement officers across this country, as well as in this state.

I would like the sheriff to tell me how the new gun law will punish law-abiding citizens? Is it the inconvenience of being limited to a 15-round clip or a background check that is the problem? Don’t all law enforcement officers undergo a background check? If so, why would that be a problem for other “law-abiding citizens?”

I also would like an explanation from the sheriff as to how the limiting of ammunition clips to 15 and a background check somehow infringe on the Second Amendment, which guarantees everyone’s right to bear arms. I cannot find any information regarding the type or amount of ammunition addressed in that amendment.

By his own admission, our sheriff has shown his inability to problem solve when he states that the new law “would be impossible to enforce.” Maybe he should be conferring with the other sheriffs, such as Arapahoe County’s, who strongly supports the new laws, and find out how their departments will solve the problem.

The sheriff sets a terrible example to his many subordinates by publicly declaring his disdain for the law he was sworn to uphold, as well as to the public by claiming his right to prioritize the laws he deems fit or not.

I believe “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” as they say. So, one last question to Sheriff Wiggins is this: If you, as sheriff, can pick which laws to enforce, can I pick which ones I chose to follow? I often find those pesky traffic laws impossible to follow, so hopefully you and your officers will understand when you find me clocking 80 mph in a 65 mph zone. Just think of it as me “prioritizing.”

Maureen Smilkstein

Steamboat Springs

Comments

mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

You go Maureen... drive 80 mph! I'm with you 100%!

Know any other DUMB laws that need to be ignored? Then, by all means IGNORE THEM! I cloudn't agree more.

Heeding stupid laws just encourages stupid lawmakers to make more stupid laws which stupid people follow like stupid cattle which are... stupid.

Let's all just pick our favorite "top 10" stupidest laws and just ignore them!

Man, what a wonderful world that would be if people gave a big collective middle finger to stupid laws and the stupid lawmakers who write them !!!

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

Maureen,

No you cannot pick which laws to follow. Even Routt County gun owners should not trust Sheriff Wiggins to not enforce these laws.

Anyone really think that if Sheriff's dept busts a habitual criminal, recently released from jail, with newly purchased guns that they will walk away saying the gun laws are unenforceable?

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Don Thayer 1 year, 8 months ago

Maureen,

Loretta Van Norstrand's opinion is alongside yours in today's paper. I made the same point last week on these forums. You're right, but start right at the top with President Obama.

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David Ihde 1 year, 8 months ago

Traffic Laws and unconstitutional gun laws are apples and oranges Maureen. And where in the constitution does it allow for a limitation on gun clips? U.S. or State? It doesn't! And his first obligation is to uphold and protect the constitution, not just any law coming from the legislature.

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beverly lemons 1 year, 8 months ago

The constitution says NOTHING about limiting abortion, gay marriage, voter rights, or birth control. Yet, you tea party folks scream about issues that are none of your business while vilifying rape victims and any non-white right wing Christians. The second amendment was intentionally left open, allowing for revisions as technology and attitudes changed, and you know it. Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Kercheval on July 12, 1816: " Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to it, and labored with it. It deserved well of its country. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times." You can have all the standard guns you want, I do not care, but if you want killing toys to make your cute political statements at the expense of children, students, and government employees, the rest of us will take legal means to protect ourselves and our fellow citizens from right wing rampages. My civil right to live and have my being supercede's any civil right to stockpile weapons designed to kill as many people as possible for sport.

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brian kofke 1 year, 8 months ago

Jefferson also said "Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God". I am pretty sure you are teetering on the tyrant side of this issue currently. Unconstitutional laws are not laws.

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David Ihde 1 year, 8 months ago

Intentionally left open? Where on earth did you get that idea? And where are you seeing voters rights limited? And where are birth control choices being limited? As for Gay Marriage, the constitution does not confer power to the Federal Government to re-define marriage or over rule the states as intended by the 10th amendment. In other words it is a state issue.

" Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched." That is why they instituted the amendment proccess!

"Yet, you tea party folks scream about issues that are none of your business while vilifying rape victims and any non-white right wing Christians."

Oh really? Like what? What kind of guns I can own? What kinda of soda I can drink? What kinda of health insurance I should have? You gotta be kidding me! Stop drinking the Kool-aid and stop watching cartoons!

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beverly lemons 1 year, 8 months ago

Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Kercheval on July 12, 1816:

Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to it, and labored with it. It deserved well of its country. It was very like the present, but without the experience of the present; and forty years of experience in government is worth a century of book-reading; and this they would say themselves, were they to rise from the dead. I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.  As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.
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David Ihde 1 year, 8 months ago

What the amendment proccess is for! Not government fiat.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 8 months ago

let's see in 2010 there were less then 20,000 deaths from guns - a tragedy for sure and there were over 1.2 million abortions. Hmmmmm from wikipedia In 2010 there were 358 murders involving rifles. Murders involving the use of handguns in the US that same year totaled 6,009, with another 1,939 murders with the firearm type unreported

1,200,000 or so abortions in US in 2010 http://www.mccl.org/Page.aspx?pid=400

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

3D printing & gun control. "If prohibited or restricted items can be created in the privacy of your home or office, the law doesn't matter." http://reason.com/blog/2013/04/03/3d-printing-will-make-gun-control-laws-i

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

"...the rest of us will take legal means to protect ourselves from right wing rampages."

What "legal means" will possibly protect you, Beverly?

Laws against murder do not stop murder.

Laws against rape do not stop rape.

Laws against theft do not stop robbery.

But, alas, you have figured it all out! You will write a law against "killing toys" that is sure to be observed by even the most evil monsters among us!

How fortunate we all are to have such wisdom in our midst.

I am also forced by your quote of Jefferson to wonder if what Thomas Jefferson meant was that when mankind advances and his government develops technology such as battle tanks, etc then the right of the people to have battle tanks would require that the second ammendment be altered in favor of MORE weapons, not fewer.

One last thought: Have you any idea how utterly stupid the term "standard guns" sounds???

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Essam Welch 1 year, 8 months ago

Maureen, I am offended at your threat against my family's safety. Rights and privileges are very distinct from each other. It is my right to prepare myself for the defense of my inalienable rights, property, and family from all threats, foreign and domestic. I have the right to arm myself as I see fit to counter such threats. I am born a Free Individual. We were afforded these rights by violent and forceful expression of freedom and independence, often with necessary firepower. We have the right to maintain the superior firepower to protect these rights. We must retain the right to prepare ourselves to overpower even the police force that serves us, in the case that they overstep their duty's and become agents of tyranny. This as important as the other (sometimes failing) checks and balances that keep the institutions of society from breaking down.

In contrast, it is our privilege to share in the use of our public transportation network. We have created a regulated and shared public space to enable efficient transport for people and commerce. Participation is voluntary and users of the potentially lethal high speed vehicles are licensed to participate within the regulated guidelines. By threatening to defy the rules of the road that limit the inherent dangers of shared public road use you have crossed the line of wright and wrong. You have threatened to endanger my family. Please do not drive dangerously on our public roadways.

It is a fact that we are at higher risk of injury or death from the use of our roadways when compared to gun violence. Please reconsider your inconsiderate and dangerous threat.

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