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Letter: Howard should resign if he cannot do his job

Howard should resign if he cannot do his job

In a letter that was published on Sept. 11, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard accused our New York State government of trampling on our fundamental rights in the passage of the SAFE Act. Just five inches away, on the same page, the same day, George Will commented on the Kentucky county clerk who chose to go to jail rather than follow the law of the land and issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Will wrote of “the 1892 case in which a Massachusetts policemen claimed that rules restricting political activity by police violated his constitutional rights. Rejecting this claim, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court wrote that the officer ‘may have a constitutional right to talk politics, but he has no constitutional right to be a policeman.’ ”

Howard’s bizarre anti-government tirade features unsupported generalizations about incompetent legislators, unhealthy lifestyles and reliance on drugs. He offers no wisdom whatsoever on how our laws might improve gun safety. It is embarrassing to think that anyone might take him seriously.

It is equally embarrassing to realize that these are the opinions of a person elected to uphold the law. Drawing on the wisdom of Holmes, let us remind Howard that he “may have a constitutional right to talk politics, but he has no constitutional right to” be sheriff.

John Rex

Buffalo