OC BLOG (CA): Penetrating insights from behind the Orange Curtain
Jubal | 11/18/2008 10:21 PM
Welcome to Orange County, Sheriff Hutchens.
I say that figuratively, of course, since the Sheriff has lived in OC for many years. I'm referring to the LASD law enforcement mentality that seems to have left her unprepared for the backlash that has whipsawed her over her CCW policy.
Today was one of those rare Board of Supes meetings that is really worth watching (the CCW portion begins at the 1:14:00 mark on the media player) to watch our local elected officials wrangle over this aspect of an ancient liberty.
I don't know how to characterize today's hearing as anything other than a black eye for Sheriff Sandra Hutchens:
- The legal rationale for her restrictive CCW policy was fairly well demolished, leaving her with Barely five months into her tenure as Sheriff, she has managed to create -- needlessly -- an organized, energized group of activists who will certainly place themselves at the service of any credible, pro-permissive CCW candidate who decides to challenge Hutchens in 2010. Chuck Michel[/b], an attorney for the NRA and a professor at Chapman University School of Law. It was he who blew away Sheriff Hutchen's claim that a 1977 state Attorney General's opinion binds her to a restrictive CCW policy. Michel made this observation:
- The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution that stands as a rebuke to Hutchens' CCW policy.
With all due respect to the Sheriff, who came into a very difficult situation -- and perhaps with a bit less respect for the opinions of people who are giving her legal advice -- I suspect that this clinging to a 30-year old Atorney General lettter is perhaps a post hoc rationalization for implemewnting a policy decision that's come under a fire storm of criticism that she didn't anticipate.Michel continued with this:
She, the sheriff -- any sheriff -- needs to make a policy decision that their constituents can then evaluate, and decide whether or not they agree with that sheriff's exercise of discretion or not, and if they don't, then maybe that sheriff doesn't get re-elected.Keep in mind the speaker preceding was Ed Worley, the NRA political liaison/lobbyist in California. It's probably not a good thing for Hutchens to have already caught the negative attention of the NRA.
Going forward, the ball is in Hutchens' court, and the Sheriff has to decide if she want to stop, listen and act on the criticism and input she's getting, or else damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead on her new CCW policy.