Boquist at Senate

An Oregon state trooper stands guard as Oregon State Republican Sen. Brian Boquist waits with his wife, Peggy Boquist, to walk onto the Senate floor Sunday in Salem.  Sen. Democratic Sen. Shemia Fagan said Sunday that some Democrats are demanding Republican Sen. Brian Boquist not be allowed to return to the floor. Boquist drew criticism for saying police should "come heavily armed" if they tried to return him to the Capitol amid a GOP walkout over climate legislation. 

I was born and raised in Corvallis.

In grade school we went on a field trip to the Oregon Capitol. Inside the rotunda one of the murals had a bunch of guys with guns, dressed up as trappers. Our teacher explained that the very area we were standing on had been fought over as a war zone for a long time. Indians, British, American, French, Spanish, Russians. By 1840 there were enough settlers that they met at Champoeg, to form a provisional government.

To replace the rule of guns with the rule of law.

In high school I was involved in the YMCA Youth & Government program. My senior year they tried a new program involving the Court of Appeals. Jim Eickelberg, a local lawyer, offered to help me with the process. I argued my only case to the Oregon Court of Appeals as a high school senior.

I went to law school at Willamette College of Law across the street from the state Capitol. I worked for the Republican secretary of state, Clay Meyers, during second year. Dad and I took him steelhead fishing a couple times; he was the luckiest fisherman I ever saw. The secretary of state oversees elections.

Elections are the soul of democracy.

When I returned to Corvallis as a brand new lawyer, our district attorney, Jim Brown, asked me to help him with the YMCA Youth & Government program. I became South District chairman.

As part of my volunteer job I became adviser to the youth governor. The governor was elected at the opening of the session and while the committees met I got the new governor oriented. We took over the ceremonial office for three days. One of my youth governors, Aaron Felton, went on to law school. After he graduated, I asked him if he would like to help me out with the South District. Then we elected him chairman. He is currently the Polk County district attorney.

I practiced law in Corvallis for 41 years. I understand and celebrate the rule of law. I understand elections. I have heard it said elections have consequences. Our system says majority rules unless the majority wants to unfairly limit others. Basic constitutional guarantees may not be taken from individuals by even an overwhelming majority. Everything else, majority rules.

Government by minority is tyranny.

Government by threat of arms is terrorism.

This brings me to Sen. Brian Boquist.

Boqusit is retired special forces, and has been involved with a training company to train for real time combat situations. Is he a broken warrior? I sure have known a bunch of them starting with my dad’s generation form World War II.

If the Republicans think for one minute that I do not see their “constitutional” movements for the armed terrorists they are, think again. If they think veiled threats and innuendo to incite violence against our duly elected representatives, even by our elected representatives, to achieve political ends is not terrorism, think again. If they think they are under attack, and are justified in using violence because they lost an election they are delusional, and dangerous.

Sen. Sara Gelser is my senator. I believe we can meet this threat with reason and process. We rely on our constitutions, state and federal. We rely on the laws we all had a part in adopting, even if we were on the losing side of the debate. We submit to duly authorized law enforcement officials making arrests, even if we know they are not justified and we will ultimately prevail in court.

We do not threaten to kill police officers doing their job.

This is personal for me; it should be for all of us. I will not be threatened or intimidated by threats of physical violence. If physical violence is necessary, we have institutions to carry it out, subject to civilian control, which is from the duly elected representatives of the majority of us.

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Robert D. Corl Jr. lives in Corvallis.