DOUG HOFFMAN

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April 18, 2013
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Guest column: Isn’t restricting firearms possession an act of profiling?

Retired after a 30-year career in law enforcement, I am confused why liberal legislative and community leaders choose to target gun owners based on the type of legal firearm they possess.

Given similar circumstances as a police officer, I was not allowed to target an individual based solely on nationality or culture, as long as his or her conduct was lawful.

The term “profiling,” in law enforcement vernacular, was given negative context. There were certainly examples of misuse that liberals and defense attorneys exemplified into allegations of wholesale abuse, but the basic principle of identifying specific criminal conduct is used and legally justified as a reasonable law enforcement tool.

Now we see unrestricted profiling by liberal community and legislative leaders being projected as a justifiable way to respond to the insane acts of a few individuals.

Their liberal agenda, which seeks to restrict or eliminate all firearms possession, acts to make otherwise lawful individuals into criminals merely for possessing an item that has specific guaranteed protective mandates, as well as proven historical value protecting basic freedoms against governing excesses. Their actions constitute the use of profiling in its worst context.

Compounding the hypocrisy of their profiling abuse, these community and legislative leaders hide behind the emotional grief and suffering of the victims, making false claims in defiance of existing factual data. Using the tactic that allows falsehoods oft repeated to become truth, they continue their assault on personal freedoms.

Gun-ban proposals, computer registry, mandated fingerprinting and photos and other legislative actions proposed or already passed impose restrictions and penalties on law-abiding citizens. Citizens respond by purchasing firearms and ammunition at historical rates.

As a retired law enforcement officer, I am concerned that the response to individual acts of violence are addressed inappropriately, that they are based entirely on an ideological agenda and that they violate personal freedoms and guaranteed protections.

This action leads to citizen unrest, and will ultimately boil down to police/citizen conflicts in our communities.

It is important that citizens and police maintain a cohesion of trust and professional respect. The recently formed Retired Law Enforcement Officers Alliance (www.retiredleo.com) is an organization founded to allow retired officers in all Oregon communities to work with citizen groups, community leaders and public administrators to address concerns of trust and responsibility.

It will act to promote the highest levels of trust and respect between citizens and law enforcement, promote conservative values and protect constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

Gun-control issues speak to the basic principles of freedom. Gun violence generally involves a criminal act. Criminal acts should be prosecuted. Laws currently exist that provide for such prosecution, and, when used, statistically reduce the overall rates and impact of violence. Responsibility is owned by the individual. Flock shooting to control one violator is not responsible leadership.

Yet current gun control proposals are just that — flock shots. The new laws or proposals make criminals out of law-abiding citizens, are based on extreme profiling violations, and miss the intended target. Identify and target the criminal act (or potential) — follow with strict prosecution.

Maintain the trust, act as responsible leaders!

Doug Hoffman retired from the Oregon State Police in 2002 after serving as a patrol officer for 28 years in the Roseburg Area Command. He is an Army/Airborne veteran with Vietnam service and a National Rifle Association Member. He recently formed and directs the Retired Law Enforcement Alliance-Oregon. He can be reached at doughoffman1039@charter.net.


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The News-Review Updated Apr 18, 2013 11:32AM Published Apr 18, 2013 01:18PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.