Wednesday, July 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

D’Agostini’s visit to the lion’s den

By
From page A7 | March 22, 2013 |

EDITOR:

Chris Daley’s report of March 15, “Sheriff takes his second amendment talk into the lion’s den,” is a good snapshot of D’Agostini’s meeting in front of the Democratic Women Club of El Dorado County. (N.B. They’re lionesses, not ‘lions.’)

Unfortunately, Chris does not fully convey the contrast between the two speakers: D’Agostini on one hand and Dr. Larry Beutler on the other. D’Agostini comes across for what he is: a typical gun-lovin’, gun-totin’ cop who, according to his own words, “belongs to the Tea Party because he believes what the party stands for.” Lest we wondered if D’Agostini was politically moderate, his letter to VP Biden, besides being a cheap political stunt, makes him look like one of his TP buddies: extremist to the extreme.

On the other side of the lectern was Dr. Larry Beutler, a recognized expert on terrorism and gun violence, author of 26 books on the subject, as well as countless professional articles. Dr. Beutler is professor emeritus at UCSB and visiting professor at Stanford. His bona fides as a man of science are beyond reproach.

Dr. Beutler brought facts and statistics galore to the presentation. Far from calling Beutler’s data into question with “facts,” D’Agostini simply brought bombast and his favorite word: “knuckleheads.” According to the good sheriff, if only we got rid of the knuckleheads, we’d all be safe. He never told us how we can pre-emptively sort “knuckleheads” from non-knuckleheads without doing away with the Bill of Rights. He never explained the process that turns a jilted lover, a jealous husband, a drunken, angry man and a kid who found his father’s loaded pistol from “knucklehead” to “dead.” Nor did he make the biggest connection of all: suicide and knuckleheads. All he offered were Tea Party and NRA nostrums that asked listeners to suspend critical thinking. Perhaps Mr. D’Agostini thought he was still addressing the bobbleheads at the GOP Women Club.

The studies and the evidence cited by Dr. Beutler connecting gun violence with the easy availability of guns made no difference to the sheriff. He did mention that for every independent, peer-reviewed study Dr. Beutler cited, there was another proving the opposite. He did not cite a single such study because none exists.

From the very beginning, most members of the audience realized that D’Agostini was not there to enlighten, or teach or offer insights into gun violence; he was there to regurgitate NRA and Gun Owners of America propaganda and ensure his re-election two years hence.

Yet, D’Agostini and Dr. Beutler, theoretically, have a lot in common. Both are in the investigation business: one into crime and the other into science. A good cop and a good scientist operate on the same principle, the “scientific method.” They gather evidence from as many sources as possible, analyze it, and come to conclusions based on that evidence, and the evidence seldom points to “knuckleheads.”

Why Sheriff D’Agostini, a civil servant, cannot put his personal and political biases aside, and accept the evidence that every single, reputable organization and social scientist recognizes is beyond my comprehension. But it does raise an important observation: If the Sheriff is as biased in his investigations as he is in looking at causes of gun violence, then justice is not well served.

JOHN GARON
Placerville

Comments

comments

Letters to the Editor

.

News

Six file for Dist. 2

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

 
District 2 candidates forum Aug. 14

By News Release | From Page: B1

EID ditch customers get relief

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1

 
Veterans receive wildland fire training

By News Release | From Page: B1

Market data open for local biz

By Ross Branch | From Page: B1

 
Heard over the back fence: Attorney to warn about scams

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Road zone of benefit protester reaches dead end

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Volunteers clean up national forest

By News Release | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Opinion

My turn: Special interests at EID

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Russian metastasis

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

The Democratic-Chronicles: Not invented here

By Gene Altshuler | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

DA hogging Main St. parking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
CAO and staff hiring friends

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Altshuler’s hypocrisy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Small Farm compromise

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

EID and Dale Coco

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
.

Sports

Roundup: July 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Dolphins ring up another title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Sharks defeat Loomis Basin in season finale

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Celebrity golf at Tahoe

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Dodgeball: Not the national pastime but …

By Shane Theodore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

At a glance: Comets to meteors

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Taste the best at the State Fair

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Tractor Supply Store recognized

By Uc Cooperative | From Page: B3

 
Amador Fair honors cowboys

By Amador County Fair | From Page: B3

 
Arbor Day book helps to identify trees

By Arbor Day | From Page: B4

Learn about lavender and its many benefits

By Christian Women's Connection | From Page: B4

 
Lee’s Feed appreciates customers

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B5

 
My Time meeting in August

By Senior Day | From Page: B5

Builders’ Exchange honors scholars

By El Dorado Builders' Exchange | From Page: B5

 
En garde at Silver Screen Classic

By Auburn Silver Screen | From Page: B5

.

Essentials

Weather stats 7-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 8-10

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Walter Vali

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Jean Lachelle Taylor

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Arthur J. Funston

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Thursday, July 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8