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2004 Election: Attorney General Debate

1828 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  tapehoser
For those of you who didn't know it, there was a debate held on the U of U campus between Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (who is running for reelection) and his challenger, Greg Skordas.

I didn't catch the debate when it was held, but had an opportunity to watch a tape of it later, since it is available to U of U students to check out (and I have a son who is a student).

It was a very interesting debate. I thought that Mark Shurtleff did a very good job explaining what he has accomplished in the last four years, and what he plans to do for the next four years if he is elected. I was quite impressed.

Greg Skordas also talked about what he plans to do if elected.

Both spoke quite well, although I was much more impressed with Mark Shurtleff.

Then the moderator asked a question about CCW and the U of U, asking the candidates what their personal opinions are on the topic. Each candidate had the opportunity to respond. Here is where it got very telling.

Mark Shurtleff responded, saying that his personal opinion does not enter into this discussion, and indeed his personal opinion must be left out of it. He is the chief law-enforcement officer of the state and it is his duty to enforce the law as passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. He doesn't have, nor should he have, the luxury of picking and choosing which laws he will enforce. His position is very reminiscent of the recent actions of Attorney General Jay Nixon of Missouri, who was personally opposed to the shall-issue CCW bill before the Missouri Legislature a few months ago. Once the bill passed, however, he did his duty to vigorously and successfully defend it before the Missouri State Supreme Court when the state was sued over it. That's called integrity.

Greg Skordas, on the other hand, had a very different take on it. To paraphrase what I recall of his statements: He indicated that with so many laws on the books and limited resources, that one must choose which laws to enforce and which to ignore. Then he went on to criticize the notion of people needing to carry concealed weapons for self-defense. He said that in the last forty-seven years of his life, he's never needed to carry a gun and for the next forty-seven years he never anticipates having to carry a gun. He even belittled the notion of having a self-defense gun at hand to use in one's own home for self-defense. Of course, he qualified his statements (as many anti-gun politicians do) by saying that he is a gun-owner, but that he makes sure that they are unloaded and locked away in his safe. (We call that locking away your protection.) By the way, the first issue on Greg Skordas' website is his anti-gun position: "Greg Skordas will lead the fight to keep guns out of our public schools"

It sounds like Greg Skordas, if he is elected Attorney General, plans to somehow usurp or undermine the law-making function of the legislature. Maybe he doesn't understand the Utah Constitution and the fundamental principles of government. Maybe he doesn't understand the proper roles of the executive vs. the legislative branches of government. Then again, maybe he's just a typical liberal for whom such distinctions are not important.

It is not up to the Attorney General to decide what laws to pass, nor even what laws should be enforced.

This post is just my take on the debate and my opinions on what I heard. I'm providing this analysis for your reading pleasure just in case it can help you in your decision-making for November 2nd.
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And you're right, Mark Shurtleff seems to be a man of integrity. He said his personal opinion was that guns don't belong in schools. But then he went on to say that he would uphold the law as passed by the state legislature.
Wow. I had no idea. Guess I'll be voting for Shurtleff.

Along the concealed carry lines, I was discussing the issue of carrying in churches and schools with my wife and a colleague. My wife feels that even concealed permit holders should be prohibited from carrying firearms into churches and schools.

My colleague, however, is a gunsmith and feels that a concealed carry permit holder should be allowed to carry a gun any **** place he pleases.

I feel the same.

What's the point of carrying, if I can't carry EVERYWHERE?

I was reminded of a case here in Salt Lake about a guy who walked into the Salt Lake Library (???) years back, with a gun, and demanded money from everyone. As the guy started shooting, an off-duty LEO pulled his gun, popped the guy between the eyes, end of story. Saved everyone's lives.

I want to be able to do the same thing - I don't want there to be another Columbine. Imagine if just ONE teacher had carried a concealed wepaon to school that day?! How things might have changed......

[stepping down from the soapbox]

[Oh! And you can correct my version of the story if it's incorrect, also!]
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