Union Democrat staff

Gun saved the life of Groveland man

To the Editor,

Congratulations to Sheriff Jim Mele on his letter to President Obama on gun control. I feel the same; a gun saved my life. My father taught me and I taught my boys gun safety and locked guns in his closet. I was trained by the Navy and Monterey Police Department. When at MPD they started calling me "Dirty Harry" when the movie came out. The handle stuck!

I had close calls while hunting and found myself being the hunted. It was like Vietnam! Later I was the Monterey County Sheriff's Department Liaison Officer for the Sheriff's Motorcycle Squad arranging shoots and publicity.

In December 1999 I fell and broke my leg; unable to stand, I pulled my body around the house trying to survive for four days and nights. I had to contend with excruciating pain, a carpet burn and my newspaper retrieving Dachshund, Wimpy, licking my face. Realizing no help was forthcoming and unable to reach the telephone, I managed to crawl to my .44 Magnum and fired at the dirt embankment until traffic stopped. I then opened the cylinder and unloaded the gun. I pulled myself up on the bed and waited until the SWAT team rescued me.

Reporter Chris Bateman labeled me "The Groveland Shooter" in The Union Democrat. Then the Stockton Record publicized my story as did Channel 13 TV news. The publicity didn't "make my day" as my home was burglarized.

I believe in the Second Amendment. Even though my kids no longer own guns, they were given the opportunity to enjoy target shooting having that choice under the Constitution. I now wear an emergency call buzzer in case I fall and can't get up.

My advice to all: Wear ear plugs!

Harry Eugene Shaw


Tired of officials ignoring the law

To the Editor:

Writers to The Union Democrat have expressed concerns that elected Sheriff Jim Mele would chose to selectively enforce gun laws. I also am concerned about this trend of elected and appointed officials selectively enforcing and obeying the law.

President Obama has chosen to disregard the U.S. District Appeals Court ruling Jan. 25, that he violated the Constitution by declaring the Senate to be in recess when it was not and making unlawful appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The illegally appointed members are still in office and making policies which the court has held is invalid and the Chairman of NLRB has stated he disagrees with court's ruling and will continue to remain in office. Most regular citizens would be held in contempt of court and thrown in jail for such actions. The President has also directed the Director of the Homeland Security Department to not assist Arizona in returning apprehended illegal aliens after the Supreme Court upheld portions of Arizona's law enabling law enforcement personnel to arrest and detain illegal aliens. The President has said repeatedly that if Congress will not act has he demands, he will go around it.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been held in contempt of Congress for not complying with subpoenas regarding Holder's Justice Department's "Fast and Furious" gun walking operation which resulted in the murder of Border Patrol personnel. Holder has also refused to prosecute Black Panthers dressed in military type garb intimidating voters with clubs at a polling station during the 2008 presidential election, a clear instance of voter suppression.

Elected officials and their appointees selectively enforcing and obeying the law should be a concern to all citizens. At least Sheriff Mele is vowing to uphold the Constitution and the Second Amendment as he should.

Mike Schmitz

Mountain Ranch