The proposed Ballot Initiative Petition 43 (restriction of the sale, production and ownership of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines) is running a parallel course to the ballot measure that outlawed hunting cougars with dogs. At that time the Oregon Wildlife Commission sat on its hands and presented no news releases showing predation on wildlife, livestock and pets. They also failed to explain the rules and humane techniques employed by trappers.
Now the ball is in the Oregon State Police’s court. When reporting on the proposed initiative, the news media nearly always shows an AR15-type weapon and dwells on assault weapons. The OSP must put out public statements that show the true devastating affect that hundreds of thousands of legal, law-abiding gun owners will suffer. In 120 days these citizens will be charged as felons if not submitting to the irrational demands of the proposed initiative. Upon conviction as a felon, all their guns will be confiscated.
I’m positively sure that the rank and file state police officers do not want any part of the consequences of this proposal. The years I proudly served as an OSP officer we were told not to let any political influence sway our judgment. Several times during investigation of a case and individual would say they were a friend or close associate with the mayor or governor. I took great pleasure in smiling and asking that person to say “hello” to the politician mentioned.
The OSP leadership, along with all other police agencies, must dredge up some intellectual integrity, stand tall and do what is right to protect lawful gun owners and the once-proud OSP reputation. This plea should be tripled for Governor Brown, who professes to serve all Oregonians. She must make sure all news media outlets report the full impact Initiative Petition 43 will have on legal gun owners.
This initiative, reported by the media as aimed at restricting assault weapons, is much more insidious. Let the Oregon Legislature resolve the issue.