Letters to the Editor

Shots fired: No rights and no protection

It has taken almost one week for me to digest, then research, what occurred at the hunting/shooting meeting held April 20. I now realize that we citizens on Whidbey Island have no property rights. We also have no protection since the Sheriff’s Department is under-funded for the job they are required to do. Hunters can invade our property, endanger our lives and our brave commissioners will watch.

A woman from Langley presented them with a shotgun shell found on her deck; people from Hastie Lake spoke of being shot at across the lake; a man brought arrows that had been lodged in his house. No reaction from the commissioners. When I said a gun had been pointed at my back, I was interrupted and shouted down by a hunter who said he and his friends would patrol my property. Oh yes, they will patrol my property so that they can hunt it themselves.

I agree that the hunters in attendance at the meeting were probably the legal, ethical hunters. So what! We are still in danger from poachers on our own properties.

When Mr. McDowell said the county commissioners had no control of hunting, State Senator Haugen corrected him saying the commissioners had the authority to create a local ordinance to protect the citizens. Senator Haugen advised further that she had had to re-write a law so that Island County could be considered “rural.” We have a higher population density than King County, at 355 people per square mile. These commissioners are the ones who have pushed development of the island into what is now a bedroom community.

In my neighborhood, we will be patrolling our woods, forests and meadows. People live there. Personally, I am considering hiring security guards to patrol our property during bow and gun seasons. It is correct that no one has been shot yet. That it is just a matter of time.

The new slogan for marketing should be: “Come to Whidbey and do nothing, but please wear an orange vest.”

Donna Painter

Oak Harbor

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