To Lane County Residents:
The Sandy Hook shooting has prompted many recent discussions regarding gun control in the United States. Our own state of Oregon suffered a shooting at Clackamas Town Center in the Portland area last December and many of us remember with great clarity the murder of Officer Chris Kilcullen in April of 2011, and the Thurston High School shooting that occurred over a decade ago, killing four and injuring more than 20.
In response to Lane County residents’ many inquiries, I wanted to provide you with my stance on the issue.
As the Sheriff of Lane County, I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of Oregon. I have upheld that oath for 31 years as a law enforcement officer in our community. While I understand the sense of urgency on behalf of citizens, I believe that any reaction, decision or response to issues that impact the rights of all people should be done so without haste and after careful consideration. Ultimately it is the Supreme Court, not any individual, that determines the constitutionality of any law.
As a member of the law enforcement community, I am supportive of our lawmakers evaluating the recent tragedies and engaging in discussions on how we can avoid the loss of more lives in the future. It would be irresponsible if we didn’t consider ways in which to make our Country safer. As law enforcement providers, we are tasked with conserving the peace and ensuring preservation of life.
As the details of the President's proposal emerge over the coming days, there will be many discussions on whether improvements can be made to increase public safety while upholding the Constitution and following the laws of our Country.
I remain committed to the preservation of the law, to the protection of life, and to you as residents of Lane County. We will continue to work together as a country, and as a county, to make our home a safer place to live.
Our primary focus here in Lane County needs to be on strengthening our failing public safety system. We must continue to work together to make Lane County a safer place to live. As your Sheriff, I ask for your support.
Thomas M. Turner