Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue issued the following statement in response to the gun violence reduction plan announced by the White House:
First of all, and let me be as plain-spoken as possible as to two issues: First, gun ownership is not a political issue; it is a constitutional right. Second, what happened in Newtown isn’t a political issue, it’s a tragedy. People who confuse these principles have no business telling me how to do my job. I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, enforce the law, and protect my community, and that’s what I’ll do. Law abiding citizens have every right to own legal firearms, and I am confident that our Congress would not be so foolish as to let anyone strip us of our Second Amendment rights.
I’ve looked at the 23 Executive Actions signed by the President today, and I don’t see that they accomplish anything. It’s just political posturing, and I’m not going to fight hysteria with hysteria. I’ve worked for years with dedicated ATF agents, and other local law enforcement officers, to keep illegal guns – like sawed off shotguns – off our streets and enforce laws prohibiting felons from owning or possessing firearms.
The President says he wants to provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers. Let’s do it. I’ll be first in line, and stand ready to devote as many officers as I can to schools just as soon as he provides that funding. I am a strong advocate of having certified police officers serve as SRO’s in our schools. He wants to require law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations. We already do. He wants to maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime. Each and every day, law enforcement officers in our communities put their lives on the line to prevent gun violence and uphold the constitution. Those men and women don’t have time for hollow political posturing. When the White House is ready for meaningful dialogue, perhaps we can then talk about the real issues: for example, a culture of violence and disrespect of law enforcement, mental health issues, and the flow of illegal drugs into our Country.
God bless the United States of America.
Canyon County Sheriff