Sheriffs should be peacekeepers
December 4, 2019


To the editor:

I am so disappointed in the candidate Jim Leavens. He wants to be the sheriff of Lee County and he won't agree to the basics on how to protect us. He has adopted a position to create a sanctuary for gun rights in Lee County, stating that any federal or state law in disagreement with his beliefs will not be enforced by him.

This is an irrational abandonment of those of us who live here.

In a recent Fox 4 program, two other candidates joined him to promote this position: Dan Severson, candidate for Congress, and Michael Dreikorn, who is running for the Cape Coral seat on the Lee County Commission. None of them showed a lick of sense.

It is ourselves and our families who need sanctuary -- from gun violence. Anything that slows down the impulses of someone intent on murder or suicide is a good thing. We can delay the actions of those with rage and despair and protect both the public and the person losing control.

Three initiatives for gun safety slow down the dangerous person and prevent violence and death. Adherents to the "gun sanctuary" like Leavens, Severson and Dreikorn pledge to not enforce federal or state laws that provide the following:

1. Emergency protective orders - rapid assessment of dangerousness level in an individual

2. Enforcement of gun background checks

3. Red flag laws - permit family members or police to petition the court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person, with a date scheduled for their return. The gun owner has full legal rights in the hearing

Any reasonable person can have an episode in life which she/he cannot manage safely. Anyone. To deprive all of us of the safety that a delay will bring is to abandon that person and the rest of us to violent outcomes, even loss of life.

Those who wish to hear both sides of this issue can watch online the recent 60 Minutes show -- Red Flag Gun Laws, and its overtime segment.

Mary Lewis Sheehan

Retired psychiatric nurse , clinical specialist

Pine Island


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