When it comes to a choice between political candidates, you’d hope their policy and history would trump voters’ preconceived notions about them regarding party affiliation or lifestyle. This finally seems to be the case in the race for San Diego County Sheriff.
The job of a Sheriff, or the reasons a voter should vote for one candidate over another, are pretty simple: uphold the Constitution and the limits it places on them, protect the public from victimizers, and equal application and just enforcement of the law. For some, this may seem like lofty expectations, but it doesn’t need to be much more basic than that.
There’s no better example that meets these categories than how a sheriff handles California’s “may issue” laws regarding concealed carry permits, and no better example is the differing views on the equal application and protection of the law than those between current San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore and the person looking to unseat him in 2018, Commander Dave Myers.
“May Issue” is a discriminatory and arbitrary policy that allows a Sheriff to decide who gets to lawfully protect themselves outside the home based merely on the Sheriff’s discretion of the applicant’s “good cause”. If a Sheriff doesn’t believe your reason is good enough, he can deny you a permit, while giving another individual a permit for the same or lesser reasons. Simply stating “protection outside the home” isn’t a good enough reason for some Sheriffs.
Washington DC was recently dealt a blow to their “may issue” policy in the DC Court of Appeals, stating that arbitrary application of the law violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, and violates the 2nd Amendment’s protection of an individual’s right to bear arms in that the policy offered no other form of carry which amounted to a total ban on the right to bear arms.
However, in CA, the 9th Circuit declared this denial of rights to be just fine, that there is no right to carry a concealed weapon even if there is no other alternative (open carry is also banned). The case, which the Supreme Court has denied to hear but is being asked again in light of the DC decision, is Peruta v Gore.
Gore. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. Republican. A Republican who arbitrarily denies your right to carry a gun outside the home for protection, and who has the endorsement of local State Senator Toni Atkins – Democrat, California LGBT Caucus Member, and rabid gun control proponent, which earned her a place on the Tyrant Registry.
On the other hand, his challenger, Commander Dave Myers, is an openly gay liberal Democrat who has vowed to make the application and approval of concealed carry permits consistent and equal. From his website:
Sheriff Gore has avoided his statutory responsibility to set consistent and clearly understood regulations regarding concealed carry weapon (CCW) permits. The standard to obtain a CCW for personal protection is arbitrary and unclear.
• As Sheriff, I will enforce the law. I will not push for greater restrictions, nor exceptions in laws related to firearms.
• As Sheriff, I will set consistent and clearly understood regulations regarding CCW permit qualifications and processes.
• As Sheriff, I will issue CCW permits provided that:
1. The applicant passes all necessary background checks
2. The applicant passes a safety curriculum approved by the Sheriff’s Department.
3. The applicant demonstrates good cause.
4. As Sheriff, I will honor personal protection as good cause sufficient to issue a CCW.
For a candidate to state that he will apply the law equally to all citizens looking to protect themselves lawfully outside the home when California unjustly gives him the power not to says more about his character and ability to carry out his public duties than party affiliation or lifestyle. Protecting equal rights, with the human right of self defense being at the apex, ought to be the standard bearer for all those in public office, and this is why Republicans and gun owners in San Diego are flocking to Commander Dave Myers in droves.
Now, concerned that this issue alone may sway his reelection chances, Bill Gore is stating he is in support of more CCW issuance, despite his record to the contrary.
Beyond his discriminatory and arbitrary policy regarding concealed carry permit issuance, Sheriff Bill Gore is not without many other controversies.
His involvement in the Ruby Ridge killings for instance, taking the 5th to not incriminate himself whether it was him or another agent who issued the shoot on sight orders which led to the murders of Sam and Vicki Weaver.
On a related note, an amusing 1st Amendment violation case was brought against him for deleting… let’s just call it “non supportive”… comments from the Sheriff Department’s Facebook page from a concerned and politically active citizen regarding Ruby Ridge. Gore settled, and instead of allowing negative feedback on his Facebook page, he deleted the page altogether. If Dave Myers is savvy, he ought to vow to reinstate the department’s Facebook page if elected.
Similar to the tactics at Ruby Ridge over a shotgun barrel being 1/8” too short was the raid of a couple for growing medical marijuana. While the case against the couple was dismissed, the overall handling of the raid was an example of abuse and misconduct.
“This case is an example of a phenomenon that has gained national attention recently: military-style SWAT tactics used in everyday law enforcement,” said Nathan Shaman, the attorney representing the couple in a civil suit. “More and more we are seeing law enforcement treat our citizens as enemy combatants,” continued Shaman. “The Littles’ situation provides a stark reminder that even harmless, law-abiding, seriously ill people can be and are terrorized by their own police force. We hope this will send a message to law enforcement that their egregious, unconstitutional behavior will not be tolerated.”
There have been multiple complaints against the Sheriff’s Department regarding excessive force, one in which a 70 year old woman was left paralyzed after suffering a stroke, and another of a 13 year old boy who was tasered.
There has been an outbreak of Hepatitis A in San Diego which has sparked criticism of how Gore and the county jail has dealt with vaccinations where the homeless are concerned, not following CDC guidelines. His policies may have lead to the rapid spread of the disease.
While Commander Dave Myers may not be the perfect candidate for everyone for whatever reason, there’s definitely enough reason for Republicans, gun owners, and Democrats alike to not support the likes of Sheriff Bill Gore.