Union Democrat staff

Law enforcement authority misunderstood

To the Editor:

I have seen several recent Letters to the Editor that indicate a misunderstanding of the enforcement authority of California law enforcement agencies. California law enforcement is not empowered to enforce federal laws. Police and sheriff's officers can only enforce laws passed by the state of California. A couple of examples are federal immigration and marijuana laws. A California police officer cannot arrest an individual for being in the country illegally. Nor, can a person be arrested for possession of medical marijuana that is prohibited by federal law.

Further, if a federal law were passed concerning weapons, a similar law would also have to be enacted by the California legislature in order to be enforceable by state authorities.

Richard Nutting

Former Tuolumne County



Speaking up in defense of the NRA

To the Editor:

Since most of the articles on gun control are putting the blame on the NRA I would like to voice the NRA's point of view.

How do we protect our children right now in a way we know works? We care about our money, so we protect our banks with guards. Airports, power plants and sports stadiums are all protected by armed security.

We care about our President and congressmen, so we protect them with armed officers and agents.

Yet when it comes to our children, we as a society leave them defenseless.

Meanwhile, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40 percent - the lowest level in a decade. Why add more laws when this is allowed to happen?

There exists in this country a corrupt industry that sells violence against its own people through vicious video games like "Bulletstorm," "Grand Theft Auto," Mortal Kombat," Splatterhouse" and "Kindergarten Killers," which has been online for 10 years. They label all of this as entertainment.

A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders by the time they reach age 18, according to the NRA. Where are the laws to change that?

Rather than face their own failings to expose and change things the media demonizes lawful gun owners. They perpetuate their notion that one more gun law will protect our children when dozens of laws already exist on the books are not being enforced.

Several years ago in Columbia, Colorado a school was devastated by bad kids with guns that took the lives of several others. Since then it had been well-protected by armed guards and nobody has been hurt. It's a model of what works.

What more evidence is needed?

Wayne Sparks