A duty to enforce the law

The Feb. 1 edition of The News and Sentinel carried a front-page story about Sheriff Ken Merritt. It said Merritt had signed a nationwide petition, along with other sheriffs, declaring he would not enforce any new government regulations on guns.

This man is supposed to be the leading law enforcement official in Wood County. When he was sworn into office he took an oath to uphold the law. That means upholding all of the laws, not just the laws he likes.

Essentially, Merritt told every reader of The News and Sentinel that he’s planning on violating his oath of office for personal reasons. Hello! An oath of office doesn’t allow that kind of latitude. You either do the job, as prescribed, or you move on and get yourself a job in the private sector where individual creative style is unrestricted by an oath-of-office.

And sheriffs don’t get paid to question the constitutionality of the law. That responsibility belongs solely to judges and appellate justices. Sheriffs are paid to uphold the law. All of the law. Period!

I think maybe our sheriff has very poor judgment. He foolishly allowed himself to be bamboozled into signing a politically motivated petition he should never have signed. I think maybe he is too easily impressed by those self-proclaimed, super-patriots who wrap themselves in the national flag and then go trolling for gullible people anxious to sign bogus petitions. Merritt is too gullible to be our sheriff.

Ralph Chambers

Parkersburg