Letter writer: Is Hendersonville training center justified?

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Graphic by Lori Deaton

On Oct. 2, 2016, the Hendersonville Lightning reported, “The Henderson County Board of Commissioners on Monday committed to a $20 million law enforcement training center at Blue Ridge Community College … As [Hendersonville Sheriff Charlie] McDonald sees it, law officers need training that’s as sophisticated as the [sic] some of the advanced military training, because even Hendersonville could see an ISIS type attack, as San Bernardino, Calif., did.

“‘Law enforcement is at a place where we don’t want to be militarized, we wish we didn’t face the threat we’re facing but we’re facing military tactics, military type weapons, and in the case of ISIS — and they are here,’ he said. ‘I believe they are here, and they will strike on their time, whether it’s in Henderson County or some place else — we’re going to be facing a sophisticated enemy that knows how to fire and move to draw in to ambush and invade and our guys need to know how to fight out of that and how to live and how to come home. I’m telling you, we’re going to see more loss of life in the days ahead. I could have told you that five years ago. Nobody would listen. We don’t train near enough.'”

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism is a Department of Homeland Security-supported research and education center at the University of Maryland. In response to President Obama’s statement on Oct. 1, 2015, comparing Americans killed by gun violence to Americans killed by terrorist violence, START compiled the following information from its Global Terrorism Database. According to the GTD, 3,158 Americans have died in domestic terrorist attacks between the years of 1995-2014. [And] 2,908 of those deaths occurred on 9/11.

“In terrorist attacks from 2004 to 2013 … 36 [Americans] were killed in attacks that occurred in the United States.” By comparison, according to a report by The National Center for Health Statistics, in 2014 alone, 42,773 Americans died by suicide.

A 2016 VA study found that 20 veterans commit suicide in the U.S. each day.

While the threat of domestic terrorism is certainly real and merits public attention, when regarded dispassionately and juxtaposed with American suicide statistics, one must ask, which is the greater problem in our society?

— Patrick Walters
Asheville

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3 thoughts on “Letter writer: Is Hendersonville training center justified?

  1. luther blissett

    “During much of his career, McDonald was a member of SWAT, and a NC general and Firearms instructor. He also worked as a contract instructor for private companies specializing in law enforcement tactical training as well as serving as an instructor delivering training overseas in South America and the Middle East on Counter Terrorism, Crisis Response, and Tactical Command training and planning.”

    An ideal fit for the urban warzone that is Henderson County.

  2. Don

    Sheriff McDonald and the Henderson County Board of Commissioners are -and have been- so far out of step with their constituency that it’s only a matter of time before their lot is sent packing. In the meantime, they’re busy misspending as much of the taxpayers money as they possibly can. That’s the deal in Hendo, period. Oh, and let’s not forget Sheriff McDonald’s little rant/missive that made national news recently about how we need to save our country from the unAmerican liberal/progressives who are hellbent on destroying it. (by locking them up…. you know, the one he later disingenuously recanted once it went viral with his tail so far up between his legs is wasn’t funny…. nor very pretty…. sigh)

  3. bsummers

    These are the same people who talked about deputizing armed citizens to patrol the polls on Election Day. Have I missed something in the news recently – is Henderson County a glaring red target in the Global War on Terror?

    All I see in the news lately is they’re trying to take over the City of Hendersonville’s water system… Hey – terrorists! Here’s an idea – get elected in Henderson County, and you can terrorize people to your heart’s content!

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