Tuolumne County Sheriff James W. Mele. (Courtesy: Tuolumne County website)
TUOLUMNE COUNTY, Calif. - On Wednesday, Tuolumne County Sheriff, James W. Mele, issued a letter to President Barack Obama outlining his stance on gun control.
Following is the letter in its entirety:
Dear Mr. President,
As the elected Sheriff of Tuolumne County, like you, I have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I, like you, take this oath very seriously and I have the upmost respect for you and Vice President Biden. We as leaders should never allow the rights and freedoms that are provided for by the Constitution of the United States of America, to be threatened or infringed upon.
Our forefathers felt that among the most important rights one could have, are the freedom of speech and religion. They felt so strongly that they made this the first amendment to our constitution. To protect that right, they felt that the second amendment was needed to have the right to bear arms.
I believe that every law abiding adult citizen has the right to own, possess, use, keep and bear firearms. The Supreme Court of the United States of America has ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess and carry firearms. In the two Supreme Court Decisions, (District of Columbia v. Heller-2008) and (McDonald v. Chicago-2010), the Court issued these two landmark decisions officially establishing this right.
There is no doubt there have been several acts of senseless violence; sadly, perpetrated against those we as a society cherish most, our children. However to use a broad sweeping brush on the majority of law abiding citizens in America is not right.
Let us not look at trying to enact useless and unnecessary legislation targeting those Americans who are law-abiding citizens. Because sir, in my 25 years in law enforcement, I have not seen one gun law that kept a criminal from breaking the law. California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Even in our small rural county, we are taking guns off of our streets, not from law abiding citizens, but those who don't care about the laws.
In closing we will continue our fight for that which is right and that, is to protect and to serve the citizens of this County. I and the young hero's that serve our community, will not take guns from law-abiding citizens who have the right to protect themselves and their families.
James W. Mele