Sheriff Merritt is courageous

I am very disappointed to see Wood County Sheriff Ken Merritt and the other courageous sheriffs in our great state subjected to such a thoughtless, knee-jerk response from what should be a responsible community commentary source (Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down opinion column). Clearly, the issues at stake here deserve more than a capricious comment such as this, accusing them of “picking and choosing which laws to enforce.” The issues at stake here are serious and at the very heart of the freedoms we hold dear in West Virginia. The commentator may hold an anti-gun opinion, which I respect, and would defend his right to hold that opinion (1st Amendment right).

I would also expect any conversation or commentary regarding these hard-fought-for freedoms, both 1st and 2nd amendments to our Constitution, among others, would bring with them a level of thoughtful consideration for the positions taken. All too often, political discourse falls to the low level of characterizing one’s opponent in a way that is very undeserving.

I believe, if you took the time to speak with these courageous, elected law-enforcement officials, you would conclude the decision to sign such a petition did not come without much soul-searching and gut-wrenching deliberation. These men took an oath to defend the Constitution and are taking that oath seriously, as is not the case for so many others in office these days. Yes, they are probably in a minority, as so many in this federation of states know so little of the “rule of law” upon which this country was established. The stand they are taking is not necessarily the “politically correct” position to hold, but for this, I admire them even more.

Tom Zawatsky

Parkersburg