Seriously, it’s not about you

I’m heartsick as I write this, and that is hard to admit. I love this community, but somehow people have begun to think that their personal rights usurp civic responsibility.

On September 12, traffic was delayed traveling East on Highway 140. There were fires near the roadside and law enforcement personnel were asking people to wait. It was a matter of protecting citizens and the firefighters extinguishing the flames. As I waited, I saw people skirt the roadblock, causing police officers to chase them, and one gentleman cursed a blue streak because he was only traveling two miles.

At what point did it become permissible to put yourself and others in harm’s way, because laws and rules should not pertain to you?

I spent a great deal of my seventh grade year serving in-school detention, supervised by Mike Stahl. He provided a lasting lesson that education is important, but all of the knowledge and wisdom available was to no avail if you did not assume personal responsibility for your actions.

Some are supporting Sheriff Skrah. That is their right. However, it’s been an open secret that his demeanor has been inappropriate for a long time. He castigated others who had been investigated during the election. Now he’s not only been investigated, but indicted. He will have his day in court, but his obstinacy in not taking leave is preventing the community from being well-served in routine matters. That’s his right, but is it responsible?

Commissioner Mallams chose to use water to which he wasn’t entitled. “Everybody has done it” was a refrain on Facebook. Well, we should be able to hold our elected officials up as being supportive of laws and regulations, not above them.

On that topic, many people are now angry that the commissioner board has not moved proactively in sanctioning use of marijuana in the county. It is still a federal offense, and it wasn’t that long ago that federal agents destroyed Oregon “legal” grows in the Rogue Valley that were destined for medical use.

Legalization is a relatively new proposition, which would necessitate being cautious and conservative. What could be the negative ramifications, in addition to the benefits? Don’t get me wrong, in a perfect world I believe vice would pay for social services. However, it would be wise to develop some infrastructure before opening the floodgates for dispensaries and the like. We are not the only community being slow to endorse this new element of commerce.

There is an electronic article making the rounds about alcohol being the gateway drug, not marijuana. I’d offer that the most offensive gateway drug is thinking your personal desires trump thoughtful citizenship.

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