Union Democrat staff

Shocked and saddened by Mele

To the Editor:

Last Thursday's edition held shock and sadness for me.

Most disturbing, was the report of Sheriff Mele's letter to President Obama, in which he holds himself and his opinion above the law. It is frightening to think that our top county lawman refuses to enforce a law he "feels" infringes on gun rights, though such a law does not exist. It is even more troubling to read that "there are some other federal laws his office does not enforce." I wonder what they might be. May Sheriff Mele stand by his statement that if his non-enforcement position meant stepping down, he would do it.

I am thankful that the Sheriff's voice is not that only one we hear in the current discussion of gun laws, and that others supporting reasonable gun controls are emerging from Washington D.C. and elsewhere. I am especially grateful to our Senator Dianne Feinstein for reintroducing the assault weapons ban and laws against ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds.

The Rev. Dr. Sally S. Smith


Is the Sheriff above the law?

To the Editor:

It was interesting to read Sheriff Mele's letter and the accompanying article. The interesting part was his mention that there are federal laws he chooses to not enforce. I wonder if when taking his oath he listed the laws he felt he should not enforce. Did he say, " I will enforce the laws of the state of California except for the following…?" Does his perspective mean that if I get pulled over by the Sheriff can I say "I choose to not obey this law today?" The attitude of our Sheriff does little to increase my faith in law enforcement. It is an untenable position to be above the law and have the responsibility to enforce the law.

Jon M. Sturtevant


Gun violence is at the hands of men

To the Editor:

I'm surprised that with all the public comments about gun control, Second Amendment rights, etc. not one article I've seen has zeroed in on one big fact: most gun violence involves males using guns as weapons. Whether it is gangs, domestic violence, deranged, or emotionally crippled individuals, predominantly more men than women resort to violence using guns.

All the major horrific killings that have taken place at schools, theaters, shopping malls, have been at the hands of men, or more accurately, young men. Why women are less prone to go "postal" than men is a subject that needs further discussion, understanding and remedies. The male mind apparently is wired differently than a woman's. Perhaps cultural and societal differences have influenced women to either handle their grievances in ways that don't initiate physical attacks using guns as weapons. Perhaps our culture rich in historical sagas of Western settlers taming the West with six guns, the glorification of action films over the top with gun battles, and a de-sensitivity to killing in general, and society breaking down with family bonds and responsibilities on the ebb, have played a part in our society's growing disassociation between morality and savagery.

Wayne Kirkbride

Twain Harte

A leader should be more professional

To the Editor:

While Sheriff Mele's letter to our president was written in respectful language, his message shows startling disrespect for his duties as a law enforcement officer.

Is it his job to only enforce laws he agrees with?

And should he use his position as a bully pulpit for the free expression of his opinions?

All of our interactions with Tuolumne County's finest have been positive. Our deputies need leadership who will support their professionalism. James Mele should make way for such a leader. He himself may find a more promising career in talk radio.

Melissa Holcomb


Let the high schools know what's coming

To the Editor:

Before merging the two high schools why not merge the elementary schools into a unified school district with the high school that they send their students on to? Then the high schools would know what's coming their way!

Martha Weathers