To the Editor:
I thought the letter [“Wrong Side of the Issues,” Feb. 25] from Jay Spiegel criticizing state Sen. Scott Surovell was markedly offbase. Mr. Spiegel’s asserts that Sen. Surovell's action in voting against the bill to exempt judges from needing concealed weapons permits demonstrates that Sen. Surovell is “out of the mainstream.” My belief regarding Sen. Surovell’s action in this issue is that he definitely represents my interest and definitely is in the mainstream and he certainly has taken a reasoned vote in opposing the exemption.
Mr. Spiegel seems to base his criticism on the fact that the majority of legislators voted for the judges exemption. The fact that Sen. Surovell goes against the majority of the other Virginia Senators is certainly no
mark of unreasonableness given the sad itinerary of Virginia legislation. Sen. Surovell is elected to represent his constituents, not kow tow to the majority of other senators.
Also disturbing, it seems that Mr. Speigel incorrectly addresses the substance of the legislation. Currently, there is certainly no restriction on judges acquiring and carrying weapons, as there are no such restrictions for any Virginia adult. A concealed weapons permit is a special privilege but still is not overly difficult to obtain.
Exempting a person who is or was a judge from the moderate permitting process seems inexplicable, especially when the legislation makes no provision for judges who were removed from office for crimes, abuse, or mental instability. Also, and even judges tend to agree, that giving judges special treatment tends to make the judges less sensitive to the everyday procedures of the citizenry and thus less empathetic in their judicial duties.
Mr. Spiegel does himself a disservice in voicing criticism of Sen. Surovell on this issue since many of Mr. Spiegel’s other opinions on government an the environment are usually more enlightened and well reasoned. I can only wish that Sen. Surovell’s legislator compatriots were more mainstream in their vote to treat judges as regular people and not an ill defined, pampered, personage.