(This letter is in response to a statement issued by Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett on Jan. 17 following President Obama announcing 23 executive actions regarding gun control. Garrett said, "I will protect your Second Amendment rights under the United States Constitution - I will not enforce federal law that will infringe upon those rights.")

To Sheriff Pat Garrett:

While I respect your decision on law enforcement of the Second Amendment rights, background checks, safe schools and adding capacity to mental health services, I DO NOT support your decision, if a new law were enacted, from possessing certain firearms or ammunition magazines of 10 rounds or more.

There was a law banning the production and sale of high capacity weapons from 1994 to 2014, but it was allowed to sunset. Had you been sheriff during that time, would you have enforced the law while it was in effect?

When the Second Amendment was enacted, little did the Convention delegates to the United States Congress foresee the development of such mass-killing weapons developed for the armed services as there are today. They have nothing to do with self-defense or hunting, only for mass killing of people.

The Second Amendment reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Since the Colonies did not have, at that time when the Constitution was ratified, a well-regulated militia in 1787-1791 for security protection, the right to bear arms was necessary, in my opinion.

Also, I do not believe the president, vice president or the Legislature is attempting to infringe upon law-abiding citizens right to own certain guns for self defense and/or hunting, nor do I.

They are attempting to protect children and teachers from having to have armed guards in schools for protection. What does having armed guards in schools say to these children? FEAR! The attempt to legally control weapons of mass killings, high-capacity clips and magazines to prevent further killings that have been happening and will continue, is justifiably appropriate.

I, William E. Gerkin, am the only volunteer left from the original class in 2003 of the Disabled Parking Patrol Program. After much thought and deliberation, I cannot support the position of the Washington County sheriff in regard to this matter.

I therefore submit my resignation as a volunteer with the Washington County Disabled Parking Patrol effective Jan. 31, 2013. All material and equipment will be turned into Sgt. Tim Tannenbaum by that date.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve in the program.

William E. Gerkin


(Patrol volunteers write citations for parking in a disabled parking space without a disabled person parking permit or for unauthorized use of a disabled person's parking permit.)

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