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Will the real Duke Schirard please stand up?

For 19 years I had no beef with re-electing Duke Schirard, again and again and again.

Quiet, dignified, invisible, all business - just the way I liked my sheriffs. Then last spring I was startled to learn that our Duke appointed himself constitutional judge to defend my rights to hold on to my cherished three-gun collection. I learned that piddling minor restrictions on keeping records at gun shows, on background checks (do I REALLY want felons and the mentally ill to own guns?) and on magazine size (I can't shoot my yearly elk with less than twenty rounds!)  trampled on my sacred  2nd Amendment rights. And I learned, most curious, that my county Sheriff reserved the right to decide which state laws NOT to enforce.

And so, a few months back, I went to listen to Duke's first debate with Sean Smith, at long last laying eye on Duke in the flesh. Whereby my law-enforcement hero started off  by reminding us of his pioneering work on fighting domestic violence, but then informed us that it was really not much of a problem in the good ol' days, when all of us were the RIGHT kind of people. Well, the records in the sheriff department's files, dating back to 1985, 1989 and 1990 - right here in my own neighborhood on C.R. 510 - suggest otherwise. What the heck, I thought, as our Savior had reminded us, we are all sinners, let he who is without blame cast the first stone.

The straw that broke this old camel's proverbial back (mindful of our Savior again) came in Friday's Durango Herald, (Sept. 12, 2014) reporting how my Duke had unburdened himself - in private or so he thought, to the RIGHT kind of people - of who the enemy (I am tempted to say the Devil) really was: "...your liberal, democratic, gun hating, pot loving, abortionist, Obama supporting socialists...".

I must confess, I score disappointingly low on Duke's Devil list (Democratic, pot-loving). But I score high on refusing to demonize people who just happen, for their own perfectly good reasons, to disagree with me on the issues. So I wonder if the real Duke Schirard would consent, at long last, to stand up? Just curious.

Tom Givón