Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Dotson released a public letter today in which he said he does not favor banning assault weapons. He accused President Obama of opening a “Pandora’s Box” by pushing for administrative, not legislative action on gun issues. Dotson was responding to a recent letter from Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller to Vice President Joe Biden, in which he said he would not uphold gun control laws there. Here is the complete text of Dotson’s statement, released this morning:
“A recent letter from Sheriff Tim Mueller to Vice President Biden has received national attention.
“As a result, Sheriff’s around Oregon are receiving phone calls and email from concerned citizens asking if they support the comments made in Sheriff Mueller’s letter. I have received similar inquiries.
“My response is yes, I too swore an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and I will do so.
“A single sheriff writing a letter is one way to attempt to influence or inform someone of their opinion and intentions, but there are other ways to also act.
“I am advocating that the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association which represents 36 Sheriffs take a similar position in opposing the President’s concept of Gun Control; however, it is important that we first learn and fully understand what the President’s proposal incorporates.
“Banning assault weapons is not the right thing to do nor will it eliminate the risk of a violent event occurring in the future. Other actions are necessary and a national debate is needed to identify what those actions should be. That is occurring and once we filter through the emotional responses, some effective ideas are likely to be identified.
“Our Constitution must be defended not only by Sheriffs and other elected officials, but by all Americans and we are seeing this occur right now.
“This morning’s national news displayed a banner on the TV screen – Gun Control Rebellion.
“It would appear the President has opened Pandora’s box. While I applaud Sheriff’s Mueller’s courage and action, Americans are speaking out and their message will be much louder than one sheriff’s letter.”
Dotson also expressed support for the National Sheriff’s Association response to the President’s plan to Protect our Children and our Communities by Reducing Gun Violence.