Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Wheeler urges against 'hyper-partisan bickering'

News editor | January 19, 2021 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler contends residents' Second Amendment rights are secure and is urging them not to engage in "hyper-partisan bickering" ahead of President-elect Joseph Biden's inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Wheeler posted an open letter to social media over the weekend which assures residents that their right to possess firearms is not in danger in Bonner County and they are obligated to push back against Gov. Brad Little's "unlawful dictates" issued to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Wheeler also asks residents to refrain from wading into the morass of Republican and Democratic rhetoric and avoid taking to the streets to display a show of force as neither will accomplish anything. He also urges residents to appreciate where they live and to take an active role correcting the "injustices" of the current administration at the ballot box.

"Every member of the Idaho Legislature must go on the record where they stand in reopening Idaho," Wheeler said in the one-page letter posted to Facebook.

Wheeler opened the letter by saying he was sworn into his fourth term as sheriff with a "heavy heart" due to the events of the previous week in D.C., which were compounded by "various nefarious events" that are anticipated this week.

"I have heard a myriad of unsound political advice peddled to people who have legitimate concerns for their future. I have watched well-intentioned persons herded across the country in hopes that their presence would change the results of the presidential election," Wheeler wrote.

Wheeler adds, "The fallout from all of this played out in a predictable fashion. Despite this, I have been informed that many more saber-rattling/virtue signaling events are in the works. I predict that these events will not only lead to violent exchanges but could also result in a second Patriot Act."

Wheeler has been a vocal opponent of Little's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and a Panhandle Health District mandate requiring face masks in Idaho's five northern counties. Wheeler has told constituents he will not be enforcing the mandate, leaving Bonner County's incorporated cities to enforce the requirement.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and followed on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.