Bill Rappaport Expounds On Resignation

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To the people of Star Valley:

I love this town. That is why it pained me so deeply to step down. For the record, I am not going anywhere. Star Valley is my home, and I plan to stay here and serve this community in every way I can.

I chose to step down because the town’s political climate has become so toxic, and the vitriol from some on the town council so intense, that I decided my presence in town hall was becoming too disruptive to the town’s essential business. I stepped down in the hopes that my absence in the mayor’s office would allow the council to get back to the important issues facing our community.

Some of you may be wondering what all the fuss has been about. A few weeks ago, certain members of the council began a campaign personally attacking me because I support strengthening criminal background checks — already conducted by licensed gun dealers and strongly supported by law-abiding gun owners — to ensure these checks also cover private sales at gun shows and over the Internet.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would stand in opposition to making it harder for felons, the mentally ill, and other potentially dangerous people to acquire guns. The members of the council should know that 90 percent of Arizonans are in favor of requiring background checks for all gun sales. They should know that 80 percent of our nation’s gun owners support requiring background checks for all gun sales. They should know that 74 percent of the NRA’s membership, of which I am one, supports requiring background checks for all gun sales. And they should know that, regardless of their rhetoric, expanding background checks is a common sense proposal that will save lives, protect the Second Amendment, and is supported by the overwhelmingly majority of Americans.

Unfortunately, Arizona has recently been moving in the wrong direction on this critical issue. Severely weakening our laws, getting rid of permit requirements, and tying the hands of law enforcement has clearly done nothing to stop gun violence in our state. No one knows this better than former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who has exhibited remarkable courage and leadership on this issue — both here in Arizona and in Washington.

There are some in our society who will do whatever they can to stop gun violence prevention measures of any kind. They are a small but vocal minority. The Washington gun lobby thinks that if they make enough campaign contributions, peddle enough misinformation, and spew enough intimidating rhetoric, that no one will have the courage to stand up for the safety of our communities. The recent failure of the U.S. Senate to pass even the most modest gun violence prevention measures is a testament to the fear and influence wielded by this minority.

Too many senators, including Arizona’s very own Senator Jeff Flake, ignored the overwhelming will of their constituents, and they shamefully caved to the pressure of the gun lobby. Senator Flake made a bet when he voted against strengthening background checks — he bet that the people of Arizona were not paying attention, and that our memories are short. I hope we prove him wrong.

This is not goodbye. I am not going anywhere, and I stand by my support for the strengthening of background checks. I simply hope that my resignation will allow the Star Valley Town Council to get back to work and provide this community with the local government that it deserves.

Bill Rappaport

Comments

Ted Paulk 1 year, 7 months ago

I knew when I looked at Mr. Rappaport's excellent letter about common sense background checks, there would be a comment and it would be from the usual first clown out of the clown car; Evans has proven me right again. This time the clown car is armored and I'm pretty sure Donald C. will be the next one out thinking he is shooting such bullets of wisdom which in fact are just more BS blanks. Less than 10%, that is TEN PERCENT, think background checks are bad. The same percentage of mentally ill persons in America according to my Psyhology class professors!! Keep it up guys, you think you are so deep and mysterious; I remember your type sitting on Coke crates in gas stations and domino halls in East Texas in the 1960's: Whittling, spitting tobacco juice on the ground, and complaining about how the Blacks are getting too uppity. You anachronisms crack me up!

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 7 months ago

Aaahh Teddy, Teddy, Teddy, and your analogies crack ME up!! I am fairly certain that Mr. Evans did not make any reference to "Blacks are getting too uppity". You know they say that there is nobody so racist as a white liberal, as you tend to need to put other races in a little box with clear definitions, and the minute someone steps outside of one of your definitions, ie; Dr. Ben Carson, et al. they are called some derogatory term because they are not behaving in the manner which you expect. However, I digress.

Mr. Rappaport states, "For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would stand in opposition to making it harder for felons, the mentally ill, and other potentially dangerous people to acquire guns." I had to read this several times in hopes of it making sense, and it never did. Does Rappaport truly believe that stronger background checks would REALLY make it harder for felons, the mentally ill, gang bangers and other generally bad people to acquire guns? Does he truly believe that stronger background checks would have alleviated the Sandy Hook massacre? Or the Aurora, Colorado horror? Or, for that matter, the attempted suicide in a classroom, of the young boy back east?

I would be the first to hop on the bandwagon of stronger background checks for gun purchases, if I truly believed that the only way for ANYbody to obtain a gun was through legal, proper and public means. However, I KNOW that stronger background checks would only make it more difficult for LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS. Stronger background checks would have zero affect on the felons, the mentally ill, the gang bangers, the illegals, and the persons with true evil in their heart and mind. Those people don't walk genteely into a gun store and politely ask to view a weapon please. They don't courteously and respectfully provide their identification, and meekly accept a three day waiting period before they can pick up their new purchase. No, they make back alley, dark room, cash only, no identification or questions, deals in the less savory areas of the community.

...continued...

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 7 months ago

...continuing...

Finally, Bill Rappaport attempts to come across as almost a martyr: "I love this town. That is why it pained me so deeply to step down. I plan to stay here and serve this community in every way I can...I decided my presence in town hall was becoming too disruptive... I stepped down in the hopes that my absence in the mayor’s office would allow the council to get back to the important issues facing our community." Mr. Rappaport had also previously stated that he "has done so much for this town". As I've met Mr. Rappaport only once and therefore cannot accurately give an opinion as to his personality or his motives. I can say that while it was only one (some, although not I, would say small) error in judgement he made, by writing a letter expressing an extremely volatile and not necessarily unanimous opinion ON TOWN OF STAR VALLEY LETTERHEAD; this was a grievous and egregious mistake. So much could have been alleviated, had he just chosen to use his personal stationery. Although, methinks that perhaps he felt as though he was.

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Ted Paulk 1 year, 7 months ago

Kim, Bill was the MAYOR; Why wouldn't he use town letterhead? Our gov uses the State of AZ letterhead to write crazy stuff all the time that not all of the pols in AZ agree to. PS, you can deny over and over but it's the Teabaggers and the Conservatives, not liberals, who keep bringing the hate against our black President, that you referred to as "Obummer", along with ALL other minorites. I have followed Evan's rants for years and I have a pretty good feel for what goes on in that paranoid head of his; and above all else he is a hater.

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Kim Chittick 1 year, 7 months ago

Oh my goodness Mr. Paulk, you never cease to amaze me. You actually have the audacity to state, "I have followed Evan's rants for years and I have a pretty good feel for what goes on in that paranoid head of his; and above all else he is a hater." Anybody who has followed this Forum for any length of time, is aware that Mr. Evan's and I had a MAJOR falling out a few years ago. Furthermore, I have been acquainted with Mr. Evans much longer than I think even he realizes. That being said, I would NEVER presume to say that I know what goes on in his head, or in anybody else's head, for that matter. Additionally, under the circumstances in which I became acquainted with Mr. Evans, lo, these many years ago, I can state that "hater" is most definitely NOT a term by which I would describe Mr. Evans. (are there snowballs in hell yet, Mr. Naughton? Yup, you read it right, I am defending Mr. Evans!!)

I realize that I am addressing your comments in reverse, but, deal with it. As for "it's the Teabaggers and the Conservatives, not liberals, who keep bringing the hate against our black President, that you referred to as "Obummer", along with ALL other minorites", sorry, Mr. Paulk, once again, I find that I must set you straight; I am certain that there are some Teabaggers and Conservatives who are racist, as I am equally certain that there are liberals who are racist. However, YOU yourself in this very comment, referred to our president as "our black President". First, Barack Obama is genetically less than half black. I will make no bones about the fact that I dislike him, but, hey, here's a news flash, I would dislike him if he were all black, all white, Asian, pink, purple, green or multi. I DISLIKE HIS POLITICS, NOT HIS COLOR. It is the liberals who put minorities in a clearly defined box of expected behavior, and when the people behave in a manner that is not in keeping with the liberal expectation, those people get called vile names, such as, sell-out, Uncle Tom, oreo, etc. Ben Carson is a perfect example. Why, if Dr, Carson were to throw his hat in the political ring, I would be jumping on his coattails as fast as I could!!

Finally Teddy, in my opinion, Mr. Rappaport has been running Star Valley like his own little fiefdom. He took it upon himself to write a letter supporting a not entirely popular cause, and he did so using town letterhead, thereby, sending the inference that the Town of Star Valley was in full support of that cause. then, when he got called on the carpet for the impropriety, rather than owning up to the error in judgement and apologizing, he resigns his position. In other words, "if I can't play the game my way, I'm going to take my toys and go home".

I have a favorite expression, "in living a life in the light, one of transparency, one must always avoid the appearance of impropriety". Read that again, AVOID THE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY.

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John Lemon 1 year, 7 months ago

Kim, Pardon me for not responding sooner. I think that your remarks are well considered and well written. Most certainly I agree with your thoughts on negativism, haters, and racists. I am awed by the singularly inappropriate and inaccurate remarks by Mr. Paulk. I also know Mr. Evans and would never describe him in the terms used. Mr. Evans has a wealth of experiences that allow him to see events from an aspect somewhat different than mine. So what ! Especially when done without personal denigration, is that not part of what I understand to be freedom of speech? As regards Mr. Rappaport : by using town letterhead when dealing with personal opinion he ventured into the territory of a lot of people nowadays. Bad judgment. Aditionally, he does not recognize his error.

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don evans 1 year, 6 months ago

Gee whiz, I think I got my first media 15min's of fame! LOL.....

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