Good old boy

Tom Collins is an unabashed, plain-spoken, manure-kicking cowboy. He wears the hat to prove it.

But the Clark County commissioner might have taken an old-school Independence Day celebration too far. He’s under investigation for an “illegal shooting” at his North Las Vegas home. A witness said at least seven gunshots were fired at the property the night of July 3, and that officers responded to the property with their weapons drawn. Mr. Collins would say only that he engaged in his “usual celebration” for July Fourth.

Mr. Collins has run afoul of the law before. He has a misdemeanor battery conviction, a gross misdemeanor battery conviction and a misdemeanor reckless driving conviction on his record. These were not uncharacteristic lapses of judgment. Mr. Collins has a tendency to say and do as he pleases. He makes few apologies.

We need more genuine people in elected office, folks who don’t work from a party script and aren’t afraid to say what they really believe. Mr. Collins, a former legislator, certainly fits that bill.

But we also need representatives who understand that they must live by the laws they impose on the rest of us, and that they must be held accountable if they break them. They must be held to a higher standard.

Mr. Collins enjoys the presumption of innocence during this investigation. At this point, it appears no one was hurt and no property was damaged. That’s fortunate.

However, depending on the resolution of this investigation, it will be worth asking Mr. Collins whether he believes he did anything wrong. If, in fact, Mr. Collins broke the law again, would he demand that similar prosecutions of residents be abandoned? Would he support repealing whatever statute made it a crime?

If he doesn’t respect the law, perhaps he should no longer make it.

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