John McCroskey Commentary: Where on Earth Are We Headed?


There were several items in the news that got my attention recently.

A couple weeks ago, I read about another result of the poorly thought out language in the “police reform” bills passed out of Olympia. In Snohomish County, a stolen car was spotted several times with a couple suspects in it. Based on the new legislation, all the cars that came across it had to just watch it go by and let them go.

The sheriff who wrote about this experience made a number of points, one of which was that the police in Washington have been forced by politicians in Olympia to watch felonies in progress and do nothing. Sadly, the car and suspects were later involved in an armed robbery, but by now of course were long gone.

He went on to say the suspects are well aware of this handcuffing of the police and it’s only going to get worse.

He closed out by saying this isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue, and it’s not conservative or liberal issue either. While I agree it shouldn’t be, one party — with total control — did this.

They need to fix this nonsense. Sadly, only politics matter these days, so I doubt they are capable of doing it.


And speaking of politics, it’s no secret there has been an uptick in interest in school board meetings around the country. One might think that it's a good thing that parents are involved in what is being taught in their child’s school. In Virginia though, in the contested governor's race, candidate and former governor Terry McAuliffe stated that in his world, parents do not have the right to say how their schools are run.

Let that sink in a moment.

Parents who pay for schools should have no say? But it got even worse.

The National School Board Association wants parents who object to gender, critical race theory and other controversial topics unrelated to reading, writing and arithmetic investigated as “domestic terrorists” by the FBI and Department of Justice, using the Patriot Act. And of course, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland jumped right on it.

First, threats of any kind shouldn’t happen, but to be fair, where was the outrage at the endless riots, looting, and arson around the country? Those were actual domestic terrorist activities and as far as we can tell were simply ignored.

Apparently, parents who disagree with their school board are a bigger threat.

But it would seem if there were threats at a local school board meeting, it would be a local police matter, and I’m sure they are capable of handling it.

But I’m not sure the federal government has any jurisdiction at all. Garland should know that. With limited resources, it would seem they might actually have other things that are under federal purview to deal with, perhaps the endless stream of illegal drugs, illegal southern border crossings, many with communicable diseases, being sent all over the country.

No, parents concerned about the direction of their school are a higher priority.


While the movement to defund the police continues, it was noteworthy there has been a significant spike in violent crime this past year. So I was excited to see that the Centers for Disease Control has decided that gun violence is now a public health crisis and they must investigate. I’m excited because they’ve done such a bangup job on the COVID-19 crisis and have time on their hands to look into guns.

I’m sure it won’t be political or anything, because we know they only follow the science — right?

I do wonder if they will consider criminals and their behavior, the failure to prosecute gun crimes, releasing violent criminals without any bail back into the community, while ignoring other crimes altogether.

Actually I don’t wonder at all; I doubt it. I suspect by the time they get done with this, only the law abiding folks whose guns don’t do anything to anybody will be the problem.

Folks, there is a lot going on around us that could make you wonder where on earth we’re headed.

You’re not alone. There are a lot of people wondering the same thing.


John McCroskey was Lewis County sheriff from 1995 to 2005. He lives outside Chehalis and can be contacted at