Is Your Sheriff Worth His Salt?

By Sheriff Mike Cook


Many times during my time as the elected Sheriff of Coos County, Oregon, I was asked to explain my strong feelings about the office and my dedication to the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment in particular.

I told people that the office of sheriff is a unique and special Constitutional office. This office is part of what our founding fathers called the check and balance part of government. When a person is elected "Sheriff" they take on a special responsibility to preserve and protect the rights, liberties, and freedoms of the people who elected them. They must prosecute crimes committed by public officials working in the government. No other law enforcement officer is elected by the people to do this. So, the "Sheriff" is your protection from all criminals, especially those who would take your rights and liberties. Just so you know, violating your Constitutional Rights is a crime.

If the sheriff doesn't perform these duties as the people believe they should, they can remove this person from that job. Remember, it's all about public safety. Any sheriff who attempts to violate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, or allows anyone -- including a government official -- to do this should be removed from office by the people.

If you live in a county where the sheriff is appointed and doesn't stand for election, you need to get that changed so that you have the protection of this office as it was intended. A few years back Oregon got the last Home Rule County off top dead center and now all 36 Sheriff's in Oregon stand for election. No government official has authority over these sheriff's, only the people they serve. This is the way it should be.

I believe that also explains why I feel so strong about the Second Amendment. You see, without this right we wouldn't have any other rights and people wouldn't be safe nor would this great nation of ours be free.

Many people who think they are on the right side of the issue of firearms believe that the world would be much safer for them and others if there were no firearms in society. This may be true, however you can never take all the firearms from society any more than we can ever remove all the illegal drugs from society. They will always be out there as has been proven over and over in countries that ban firearms. The problem is that the honest citizen is then without protection and becomes the victim. It's that simple.

The latest Fact Sheet put out by the National Rifle Association tells me that firearms related deaths have decreased every year since 1993. Overall, they have decreased 27% since 1993.

Many anti-gun people then point to accidental deaths by firearms as the reason for taking them from us. Well, they are also wrong.

Accidental deaths from firearms have been decreasing since 1930. Since 1930 the annual number of deaths by firearms accidents has decreased by 74% while our population has more than doubled. The firearms accidental death rate is 0.3 per 100,000 population. this shows a 91% decline since the all-time high in 1904.

Accidental death in America by percentage is as follows; motor vehicles (42%), falls (13%), poisoning (12%), suffocation (6%), drowning (4%), fires (3%), medical mistake (3%), and environmental factors (2%). Firearms came in at (0.8%).

This shows that firearms are not the area that should be focused on by our elected representatives. The media and others have made everyone think the firearms are the evil in society and responsible for all our problems; this is a big lie they have put into the heads of those who take what they say as gospel.

So, any Sheriff worth his salt should be standing strong against any attempt to violate this Constitutional and God given Right. This is the best tool the sheriff has for protecting the people they serve. Use it knowing you are doing the right thing.

God Bless America. God Bless our troops still in harms way.

Michael E. Cook, Coos County Sheriff, Retired.



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