Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Monday, Sept. 11, 2023 @ 3:13 p.m.

Curry's Constitution Week Proclamation Leads To COVID, Second Amendment Discussions

Curry County commissioners commemorated Sept. 17-23 as Constitution week. | Photo by Mr. TinMD via Flickr. Creative Commons license

Brad Alcorn and Jay Trost let their constituents know just how much they revere the U.S. Constitution by commemorating Sept. 17-23rd as Constitution Week.

The two Curry County commissioners applauded Cape Sebastian Daughters of the American Revolution members for requesting the proclamation at the Board’s meeting in Brookings on Wednesday.

Trost and Alcorn implored them to take the proclamation request to local school boards, urging them to add an extra whereas that promises dedicated instruction time to the “knowledge imparted by the Constitution.”

“That document serves us well in every capacity and we need to remind ourselves to let it serve us going forward and respect that,” Trost said, adding that the Constitution has been “under severe attack recently.”

Their colleague John Herzog was absent due to a “family tragedy,” according to Alcorn

Both Alcorn and Trost continued to refer to that Constitution Week proclamation during their commissioner reports. Alcorn brought up the Second Amendment to the Constitution and mentioned a new training facility for emergency responders north of Gold Beach that will include a gun range.

Wednesday's Board of Commissioners meeting in Brookings.

Trost said an Aug. 29 Coos County resolution in response to potential COVID 19 mandates got him thinking about the Constitution.

The resolution proclaims Coos County’s “rejection of unscientific mask mandates, closures or restrictions related to respiratory or other disease and reconfirming personal freedoms.” It states that county assets will not be used to support lockdown, closures, mask mandates or vaccine requirements, KPIC, Roseburg’s CBS affiliate reported.

On Wednesday Trost said he felt government went beyond its role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I believe the initial and intended role was to provide protection and preservation for the ability for you to have your rights, liberty and the right of happiness,” Trost said. “How you achieve that is your independent, is your freedom and when government decides to start making decisions to care — not give you the ability to care for yourself, but to take care of you — it’s different than protection and the ability to find your liberty, happiness, purpose and intent in life. In some respects, it’s the antithesis of that.”

Alcorn referred to a statement Brookings suicide prevention advocate Gordon Clay made regarding guns and suicide.

Clay, who started a bookmobile in an RV and traveled the country, said he often spoke with farmers, dairymen, truckers and mechanics about suicide. Clay estimated that 70 percent said they had a gun and about 40 percent had it for protection. Clay said he would then ask how many had to stop a home invasion with their weapon. That number was zero, Clay told commissioners.

“Gun manufacturers have done a really good job of creating a scenario to sell more guns,” he said. “And the trade-off is that nationally 58 percent of men and 33 percent of women who died by suicide used a firearm. In Curry County, 72 percent of our deaths were by handgun and 50 percent of them were women.”

Alcorn said he respected Clay’s message and supports his suicide prevention advocacy, but disagreed with his statement regarding home invasions.

“I have had to use a firearm on more than one occasion to protect myself and other people,” Alcorn said. “I thank God that I had it. I thank God that I had the training that came with it and I thank God for the ability to protect and defend myself and other people.”

Trost said he felt Clay’s statement that none of the people he spoke with about guns and suicide ever used it to protect themselves during a home invasion “means the Second Amendment works.”

“That statement says to me that the ability to protect yourself is also preventing issues from occurring,” Trost said.

Sept. 17 marks the 236th anniversary of the framing of the Constitution.


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