Parkinson asks Biden not to support new gun laws
February 25, 2013
San Luis Obsipo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson issued a letter to Vice President Joe Biden requesting that he address the country’s flawed mental health system, rather than lobbying for stricter gun control measures in response to recent shooting tragedies.
In the Feb. 9 letter, Parkinson said that he supports the 2nd Amendment and that he will not enforce any laws that take firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.
“I believe that every law abiding citizen has the right to acquire, own, possess, use, keep and bear firearms under the 2nd Amendment,” Parkinson wrote. “I will not take firearms from law abiding citizens and turn law abiding citizens into criminals by enforcing gun control legislation that will not solve or prevent tragedy.”
Parkinson said that new gun laws in response to the recent Connecticut school shooting would be “reactionary and cosmetic.”
“Many people’s first reaction after a tragedy, like what occurred in Connecticut, is to try and pass more restrictive laws and look for a quick solution, rather than address the real problem.”
The sheriff instead requested that Biden work to allocate more federal funding for mental health facilities and services.
“I do not believe that passing more gun laws is the solution to this problem. Many of these shootings and many of the homicides in my county, over the past few years, have been related to mental illness. I believe that it is very clear that we must address and put more attention to the mentally ill and the mental health systems in this country.”
Parkinson authored the letter to Biden in support of the 2nd Amendment after the North County Tea Party circulated a petition requesting he do so. Approximately 20 California sheriffs have taken public stances against stricter gun laws proposed by the White House. Several of the sheriffs have, also, written letters to Biden opposing more gun laws.
The North County Tea Party announced the Parkinson letter at a 2nd Amendment rally Saturday in Atascadero. Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and former Congresswoman Andrea Seastrand each spoke at the rally, as did executive director of Gun Owners of California Sam Paredes.
Parkinson did not appear at the event.