Readers respond: Sheriffs shouldn’t pick and choose

Responding to the passage of gun safety Measure 114, Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe said “Anybody in law enforcement, including the state police, including the governor of the state of Oregon, has to pick and choose what laws they are going to be able to enforce.”

Oregon voters should ask why we bother creating laws when our government officials believe they can “pick and choose” which of those laws they will enforce? Are they laws, or merely suggestions? Anyone running afoul of the law in Malheur County could now argue they have the right to “pick and choose” which laws they are “going to be able” to follow, just like Sheriff Wolfe. We all know that wouldn’t fly, begging the question: Why can law enforcement “pick and choose” without consequence while citizens cannot?

Oregon has a codified process to modify or rescind ineffective, poorly written or ill-considered laws. If you believe the law is flawed – convince the people to change it! That’s called democracy. Wolfe’s idea that he can “pick and choose” speaks to a deeper problem within law enforcement. They also “pick and choose” who they enforce the laws upon. What are their criteria? Race? Ethnicity? Economic status? Their mood? Crime statistics, bystander videos and news reports repeatedly reveal those as motivations.

Wolfe’s stance is the opposite of law and order, justice and equal rights under the law. It should concern everyone when any law enforcement officers, not just Wolfe, believe they are a law unto themselves and can “pick and choose.”

Bill Graffius, Gearhart

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