Let me define my ground at the very beginning of this reflection. I am not against the right to own guns for the purpose of hunting nor, in most cases, for self-defense. There is a lot of difference, it seems to me, between owning a gun in rural areas of Texas where snakes and varmints abound than there is in the suburbs of Waco. I hunted as a teenager and enjoyed it. So don’t paint me into the corner that interprets any effort at gun control as meaning that I want the government to come get your guns.

Hearty congratulations to the League of Women Voters of Waco for not only staging an engaging and informative candidates forum Tuesday at Knox Hall but pursuing a more active role in helping voters better acquaint themselves with both candidates and issues. At a time when more and more dubious sources on social media mislead if not outright lie to Americans about politics — and when too many of our so-called “friends” are happy to oblige the enemies of democracy by posting such filth — the nonpartisan league in its newly reinvigorated incarnation seeks to provide deeper insight into those individuals vying for our votes.

The March 6 primary election is right around the corner with early voting beginning Tuesday. One issue fellow McLennan County voters will do well to examine carefully is fundamental honesty and integrity in government. At the most basic level, we don’t want our elected leaders putting their fingers into the public treasury — outright corruption. That goes without saying. But we should demand even more. We should want — and expect — the execution of all functions of our elected government to be consistent with the rules of the road. Citizens are expected to obey the law; so must our public officials. They should set shining examples of scrupulous adherence to the law and principles of integrity.

Flashback

What were we talking about one year ago? Take a look back.

Kudos to new Waco Police Chief Ryan Holt for demonstrating the courage, humility and maturity to acknowledge serious mistakes were made in police management of protesters during Gov. Greg Abbott’s Feb. 9 appearance at the McLennan County Republican Party’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at Knox Hall of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. Too many people in positions of authority would have cavalierly dismissed protesters’ concerns or sought to marginalize them. Holt did neither.