To the Editor:
Much has been made of Sheriff (Glenn) Palmer’s claim to be a champion of the United States Constitution. A recent letter to the editor complained that the dispatch supervisor “spoke to the media” while in uniform. The very same media on the very same day interviewed Glenn Palmer who spoke freely with them while on duty, so what is the problem?
The bigger issue here is our constitutional right to free speech as guaranteed under the First Amendment. Just because a person is a commissioner or an undersheriff or anyone else in public service, that does not negate their inherent right as United States citizens to speak freely and express their opinions. How often have you seen a respected senator or state representative publicly participate in a peaceful protest, without breaking the law or destroying public or private property? They are not violating your civil rights. They are exercising their First Amendment rights as provided under the U.S. Constitution.
Turn back the clock to 2011 and recall the suspension of then Undersheriff Todd McKinley by Sheriff Palmer for disagreeing with him concerning Palmer’s refusal to work with the USFS. It seems freedom of speech only applies to those people who agree with Palmer, and if you work for him better watch your mouth (or your pen). On the other hand, it’s perfectly fine for our sheriff to write a letter to the vice president of the country regarding his intention to disregard any federal law which he thinks might infringe on our right to keep and bear arms. I respect his right to do so, even though I disagree with his approach. However, he (Palmer) doesn’t give the same respect or rights to those who disagree with him. It is too bad the “Ultimate Authority” in Grant County can’t afford everyone equal billing under what he claims to be a staunch supporter of, the United States Constitution.
Dan E. Maynard Jr.