Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Response to LA Times Editorial "Under the Gun"

Under the Gun

The LA Times "discussion" section limits your input. Rather than break it up into multiple comments, I only posted the last two paragraphs. My complete response is below.

To be certain, there was corruption in Carona's issuance of CCW permits. He issued CCW, and actual Sheriff badges as political favors to friends and donors, but he also issued CCW permits to people he didn't know, and people who did not make any contributions to his campaigns.

The first BOS meeting open to public comment on this topic saw citizen after citizen stand up and state that they had never met Carona, nor had they ever contributed to his campaign. These were men and women who met his standards for good cause to receive a CCW permit.

One of Hutchens' first actions was to revoke the honorary Sheriff badges Carona had issued to friends and donors. This was the right move, badges, and the powers of a Sheriff deputy belong only in the hands of people who have the qualifications and training to hold them. Actively revoking the CCWs of regular citizens with valid permits for legitimate reasons is not the right move. Hutchens used an axe to trim fingernails, and she's paying for her heavy handedness.

I understand that this is an editorial, and that this paper likely does not support issuance of CCW permits for most cases, but what does the LA Times consider to be a "good cause?" Should a woman who is being stalked, but lacks documentation from the stalker declaring his intentions be denied? What about the disabled or elderly, who are often targeted by criminals for their inability to effectively fight back?

Does the LA Times support a Sheriff's complete discretion in permit issuance? A discretion with its roots firmly planted in the racist refusal of permits to blacks in the south?

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