Citizen Editorial: We are to blame
After reading the article in todays Mason County News about Police Body Cameras and the dilemma faced by the Poulsbo Police Department, I am compelled to offer the following comments:
In our rush to protect ourselves from abuse by our own government, we have repeatedly demonstrated to our professional politicians that we really know not what we do. We have smugly declared that body cams are the way to protect the public as well as the police from abuse of authority. Concurrently, we have run headlong into our own public disclosure laws setting up the ludicrous situation where someone anonymously demanded a public disclosure of police videos and requested the videos be provided to an internet entertainment website ( You Tube). The volume of material requested, and the invasion of privacy this would create requires the material to be reviewed and redacted to protect individual privacy and yet comply with the law dealing with such requests. If this situation were not so serious, I would laugh.
In our recent election, we voted to reduce class sizes without bothering to determine how the cost of these changes could be funded thereby putting our already inept legislature in a no-win situation.
We also voted to institute background checks for anyone wishing to obtain a firearm from a private transaction or from a gun show. This initiative did not provide much information about how to accomplish this task and how to pay for it. Now, our Governor is responding to global warming by suggesting increasing the tax on gasoline to fund efforts in reducing our carbon footprint on the environment. I don't recall any ballot to make changes or amendments to our State Constitution which states gasoline taxes are to be used for the construction and maintenance of roads and highways.
Do you see a pattern here? People want to do something to "fix" a problem. But, they do not want to give the issue careful and thorough consideration so as to avoid the situations described above. Voting carries the same responsibility as deciding to drive after drinking alcohol or possessing a firearm. You must accept the responsibility of the consequences of your choices/actions. Before making serious decisions, get all the facts, not just the campaign propaganda. Ask the question "How are we going to pay for this?"
Richard Barnes, Shelton
November 18, 2014