by Eli Stone
“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” Old German Proverb
“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Ronald Reagan
So the latest articles Showdown In Divide, Top Cop Defends His Record, and Teller County Commissioners Fire Away At Gun Control have caused a proverbial cow pie to hit the fan storm on Tellercountytalks.org. Man the garbage is flying, okay maybe a lot of it isn’t garbage, but some of it is.
After digesting the articles I did some scrounging at Tellercountytalks.org, look around and talk to folks the way I usually do and then I go to work on an opinion…..my opinion is that there are a lot of folks pretty irate with Sheriff Mike Ensminger. That the county commissioners stance on gun control wasn’t tough enough in the direction of liberty, to whit; what part of shall not be infringed don’t you understand? And Sheriff Ensminger’s statement sure wasn’t very convincing to me in the least. That it seems to me that showdown at the Smokin’ Q was ill handled by the Sheriff’s Department. But, I’m not the Sheriff or dispatch, and I wasn’t at the Smokin Q at the time of the incident.
There is lots of colorful language and lambasting going on at the tellercountytalks.org website. But there is also a lot of good information. Folks took the time to go look up the lawsuits, there are currently three non-prisoner related lawsuits that could be found.
Yup, Sheriff Ensminger was correct there is some pretty unflattering stuff about the Sheriff on the website. I was mostly looking for anything that would be considered anything like, close too, or akin to, or even “almost like” what I would consider domestic terrorism. The Sheriff said that statements made by his detractors were “Almost like a form of domestic terrorism.” My wife said the Sheriff needed to stop being so sensitive and start acting like a man, after she read the article. Seems to me there is a lot of nanny nanny boo boo going around.
So let’s look at how the dictionary defines terrorism;
ter•ror•ism [ter-uh-riz-uhm] noun 1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. 2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization. 3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.
There’s one for you, a terroristic method of governing. This would be beating people into a proper level of submission using whatever means is necessary to “gain” compliance. Or calling them almost like domestic terrorist to shut them up….that is called state terrorism. It is also an infringement of the First Amendment. If some of the allegations are true that the Sheriff sought an injunction against Steve Kerrison reference his signs at the Smokin Q that would be grounds for still another lawsuit had the Judge allowed an injunction.
Then we have domestic terrorism – terrorism practiced in your own country against your own people; “the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City was an instance of domestic terrorism”. act of terrorism, terrorism, terrorist act – the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.
The way I see it the Sheriff is a public servant and the leader of our Teller County primary law enforcement. I read what a lot of his detractors had to say and I saw no overt threats of violence against him.
You can draw your own conclusions. I am not beating around the bush here. I see a lot of deflection of blame, demonization, and justifying in Sheriff Ensminger’s statements. He demonizes his detractors by hinting that they are almost like terrorist. In one article I read on line by Channel 7 News the Sheriff wouldn’t release his 911 records because “it wasn’t in the public interest”. I think anything a public servant does or fails to do is in the realm of public interest. The Sheriff then minimizes the effects of the law suits on taxpayers by saying that the “county insurance” takes care of the defense for those law suits and it won’t cost the taxpayers a penny. You should expound on that Sheriff and how the lawsuits won’t cost taxpayers a penny. The last time I checked we voters don’t really want any lawsuits because it will cause the insurance to go up thereby ensuring less real services for the taxpayers.
Norm Steen said he had no concerns whatsoever, “we have to deal with facts and these are allegations”, that the lawsuits were merely allegations and had no basis. I would call the current lawsuits filed are in fact accusations and most attorneys won’t file frivolous lawsuits, because the attorney won’t get any money. Dave Paul says “We really have hardly any lawsuits compared to most counties.” Really Dave? Not so there Norm and Dave, seems that of all counties in Colorado the “non prison lawsuits” are about 27% higher in Teller County than any other county in Colorado. But then again the county commissioners may have been referring to all counties nationwide. But I doubt the voters really care. So we have Jackson v. Teller County, Colorado et al Filed: January 28, 2013 as 1:2013cv00216, Weatherill v. Ensminger et al Filed: January 4, 2013 as 1:2013cv00030, Bauman v. Teller County, Colorado et al Filed: October 15, 2012 as 1:2012cv02735. We have the most non prison law suits of any county in Colorado with more to follow.
Number one rule in leadership there gentlemen, “Be responsible, and take responsibility for your actions.” I don’t see a lot of responsibility taking for what is going on, like I said, minimizing, demonizing, and deflecting. Nowhere on the tellercountytalks website did I find anyone claiming that they were mad that Manriquez didn’t win the election or that they hated law enforcement in general. There were some other questions that these folks had for the Sheriff in reference to what went down at the Smoking Q as the Sheriff stated that the situation was being monitored from afar. Afar? Is that the three tenths of a mile from the Sheriff’s office to the Smokin Q? Who was monitoring the disturbance? Where were the monitors monitoring from? Why didn’t monitors react and stop the assault? Why didn’t Ensminger respond to the disturbance? Where was SWAT and why didn’t they respond to a gun-in-progress call? Why do we pay taxes for 911 if calls are ignored? All relevant questions, I think. Also if the Sheriff’s Department is down so many deputies that the department can’t properly respond why don’t some of the generals following the Sheriff around at the RCC get put out on the road for patrol duty? I can’t for the life of me figure out how the Sheriff’s Department needs “generals” anyway. You are a Sheriff’s Department and not an army. In fact, rumor on the street is that the Sheriff’s Department has so much money that it is even giving out bonuses to departing deputies these days. How about looking into that there Norm and Dave?
So at the end of the day there Sheriff, if you don’t know what the problem is with Kerrison being arrested for defending himself on his own property and the DA did not prefer charges, why did you revoke Steve Kerrison’s CCW and why can’t he have it back? Also, why haven’t you gone or invited Steve to settle differences in a public setting…I dunno, maybe you calling him a “liar” could have something to do with it.
As far as the stance on gun control goes, word has it that the Sheriff stated that he is all about the Second Amendment at the last RCC meeting but that his subsequent speech was lukewarm and political in nature and was not convincing to some of the attendees. I see that our own county commissioners are lukewarm as well in the article last week.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the state it would appear to be more of the same going on here in Colorado. State Senator Angela Giron (D-District 3) and one of the chief proponents for gun control in Colorado had one person arrested for saying someone should Gifford her (that was in bad taste) and I can’t seem to find the article. She had such success; she has now accused general manager of The Pueblo Chieftain, Ray Stafford of making threats because he asked to vote against gun control. It was only a threat because he was with the Chieftain.
This is what Senator Giron had to say; “You don’t use work e-mails to send personal stuff out and you certainly don’t send and he’s literally typed in his name, general manager of The Chieftain and a gun owner,” said Sen. Giron. “I didn’t even know his name so if he didn’t send it from The Chieftain, if he didn’t say he was the general manager, if he didn’t say he was in charge of the newsroom, it probably wouldn’t have even been noted.”
Supposedly there may be an additional 4 emails being investigated because Senator Giron is feeling, well, threatened. I don’t blame her, I feel increasingly threatened as our state becomes more of a police state every day. Just goes to show some people want all control over what you are allowed to say, do, or breathe. Senator Giron needs to get a life and stop violating the constitution. Maybe if she honored her oath to protect the constitution instead of trying to dismantle it she would feel better about herself and people wouldn’t be hounding her for her stance.