Today I had the pleasure and opportunity to go to the Aspen Business Luncheon with featured speaker, Sheriff Joe DiSalvo. This was one of the most refreshing experiences I have had – hearing an elected official speak to the people in the room, letting them know that he does “work for them”, wants to “hear from them”, and is dedicated to their safety and security by protecting their constitutional rights.
Sheriff DiSalvo said that the focus of hiring and interacting with his deputies is to find “excellent human beings”. Not necessarily people who “want to be cops”. Wow. This is really the meaning of law enforcement – to protect good people – not necessarily to police everyone with an authoritarian hand – to scare people – and to intimidate people. His focus is on finding people who want to serve the community – in many more ways than just policing the streets – in also being good neighbors. Officials that people can count on to help them in a time of need – even if their plumbing goes haywire.
When Sheriff DiSalvo talked about Amendment 64 in Colorado (“legalization” of marijuana), he said that he does have several local initiatives aimed at educating young people about the use and abuse of this substance. He is okay with the “legalization” of this substance because it helps get rid of the more violent and dangerous black market. He also made it clear that it is primarily the parent’s responsibility – not government’s – to raise their children. He said, ‘If you trust the government to raise your kids, they’ll let you down…”. Wow – a government official who understands what the real role of government is – how refreshing.
The only point he made, that I disagreed on, was not signing on with the other 54 sheriffs in Colorado who are suing about the State legislation that passed that makes it “illegal” (as if criminals ever follow the law) to purchase weapons with more than 15 rounds of ammunition. Legislation does not prevent violent crime – that is up to the morals of the people. I am against the State legislation (House Bill 1224) and would want my sheriff to be as well, because, yes, although it does not seem like any person in their “right mind” would ever “need” more than 15 rounds of ammunition for self-defense – if we have a police force, government officials, and the military with these types of weapons, then why shouldn’t individuals deserve to have them too? Because we have to be able to protect ourself against all enemies – including those that may work for the government (working for the government, does not automatically mean that someone is a good, moral, or just person). So, if the police officers, government officials, and the military don’t have weapons with 15 or more rounds – I am okay with not having them either. I believe in equality of self-defense. I just don’t’ think that this is a compromise that will happen anytime soon.
Sheriff DiSalvo is running for re-election next year, and I am going to be excited to support him because I think his philosophy of what the role of Sheriff is – being compassionate, serving those in need, fostering peace, and understanding the role and limitations of government – is exactly what we need in Pitkin County, Colorado, and the United States.
– Tisha Casida