YAKIMA, Wash. - The Yakima County Sheriff, Ken Irwin, issued a statement Tuesday on gun control. Below is his statement:
As your elected sheriff for
these past twelve years, I have renewed my oath each time you elected me to
this high office, "I, Kenneth William Irwin, being first duly sworn upon oath,
do depose and say that I will support the Constitution of the United States and
laws of the State of Washington and faithfully and impartially discharge and
perform the duties of SHERIFF of Yakima County, Washington, according to the
best of my abilities, so help me God."
Both the Constitution of the United States (in the 2nd
Amendment) and the Washington State Constitution (in Article 1, Section 24)
include the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Our nation is going through a
very difficult and disturbing time of violence against one another in which
many types of weapons have been used. I
have given this much thought and conclude that the best answers to curbing this
violence will be the most difficult to achieve, will take continued effort, and
should not be focused on a certain type of weapon as the symbol of
violence. Taking guns away from eligible
law abiding people who love this nation and its freedoms is not the answer and
cannot be recognized as a lawful strategy.
The only common thread in all
violent acts is the perpetrator of the violence and that is where our
focus should be. Individual rights can
be protected if we move smartly to lessen violence in our society as together
we improve awareness, treatment and maintenance of people in mental distress
while also expanding keystone strategies such as the effective campaign against
bullying and for positive role modeling in accepting and nurturing others. Additionally, we need to make sure we have a
practical and effective process for background checks on all firearms
transactions, stress continued improvement of firearms safety and firearms
security, and definitely improve safety in public places such as schools.
I strongly believe we must focus on strategies that
will truly make people healthier and safer, while we also protect each of our
Constitutional rights. We can do this