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Focus on the future

I was pleased to read the article about Bandera resident Susan Real, who attended the rally and march in Washington, D.C. on January 5-6. It helped me to understand that not all of the attendees were angry and violent and determined to disrupt the proceedings of Congress.

However, the belief that these gatherings were patriotic protests in defense of our nation cannot be supported by the facts. In fact, President Trump had already availed himself of all the legal processes designed to question the outcome of the presidential election. In fact, multiple courts, including the US Supreme Court and Trump’s own Attorney General, had determined that there was not evidence of widespread voting fraud sufficient to reverse the outcome of the election.

Therefore, Ms. Real and the other peaceful protesters were not supporting our democracy, our Constitution or our nation. They were supporting one man who was falsely claiming to have won the election. History tells us how dangerous it can be when we believe in a person and not in our constitutional processes.

I can understand their disappointment that their preferred candidate did not win. However, to turn that disappointment into a fervent belief that a vast, nationwide fraud was committed, simply because one man said so, is connecting dots that don’t even exist.

Our nation faces multiple challenges that affect all of us, regardless of who we wish was elected President. Let’s not keep emotions and distrust elevated over an election that was conducted fairly, but didn’t yield the results that many of us were hoping for. Let’s focus on the future and not on the past. We have a lot of work to do; let’s do it together.

- Susan Hull


Support our Marshals

Last week a writer penned a letter to the Bandera Bulletin suggesting that our local police “drive around town doing what appears to be nothing.” He or she then suggests abolishing the marshal’s force and replacing it with citizen’s patrols. Unfortunately, across the U.S., some folks believe this is the simple answer to a complex problem.

All of us have the right to expect professionalism from our law enforcement community. And certainly, there have been abuses. Somewhere along the way to the righteous demand for police reform has given way to a knee jerk strategy of simply tossing the baby out with the bathwater.

While it may seem like officers in Bandera (and elsewhere in the Hill Country) may be “doing nothing,” they are actually engaged in proactive policing. Their presence prevents crime. Simply knowing that a marshal is never more than 2 minutes away is what helps keep our community safe.

And while I have no objection to neighborhood watch programs, who is goingto respond when trouble occurs? Not too long ago a young woman and her son were confronted by an armed career criminal (one who had just escaped prison) upon entering a local ranch. A well-coordinated response from local, county and state law enforcement captured the fugitive. It’s not often but bad things do happen in our little community.

When you call 911, do you want a citizen’s watch responding? Will they be there in under 2 minutes? Will they be patrolling 24/7/365? Do they know all the local ne’er do wells? Do they know who has outstanding warrants? Who is the subject of a protection from abuse orders that are designed to protect victims of domestic violence?

It’s time to rally round our marshals, constables and deputies. They put their life on the line for us each day and night. A thoughtful dialogue on suggested improvements or reforms is much more productive than simply saying defend the police.

- Brian Mahany Bandera