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Sheriff goes off half-cocked

January 25, 2009
The Orange County Register
1/25/2009

police-state1Sheriff Hutchens’ hostility to the Second Amendment is matched only by her hostility to the first one.

I’ve been appalled at Sheriff Sandra Hutchens’ hostility to the Second Amendment, as she has tried to revoke the concealed-carry permits of law-abiding Orange County gun owners. But nothing prepared me for what happened at the Board of Supervisors meeting last Tuesday, when the sheriff displayed not only her hostility to gun rights, but her deep disdain for gun owners themselves and a clear disregard for open government and the First Amendment.

Based on a rumor that gun-rights activists would show up to protest her policies by carrying unloaded guns in holsters, the sheriff sent more than 20 deputies to the public board meeting, where they searched, watched, followed and questioned those residents who showed up to speak out against the sheriff’s new-and-not-so-improved plan to move up the expiration date of gun permits. The deputies targeted only those people who showed up wearing pro-gun-rights buttons or who appeared to be part of that group. The department told me that “only” three “subjects” (what an ironic term!) were searched or contacted, but I talked to CCW activists who said the number was higher. Many felt intimidated and monitored.

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