[Photo of Sheriff Blair from OcalaPost.com]
Here's his rationale: It's dangerous out there. We live in an era with "a level of violence and hatred ... that we have never seen before."
Of course he wants only those gun nuts "who carry firearms responsibly and are confident in their abilities," to handle their weapons to actually stick them in their pants, for they "can -- and should -- be our first line of defense in an active shooter situation."
This is all bullshit!
The argument about the right to carry guns has gone from stupid to horrendous. First of all, the Constitution does not give every Tom, Dick, and Mary the right to carry any weapon they choose.
It is very clear that only those members of a State Militia in a time of crisis can have weapons and that "right" is to be closely regulated. That's what the Constitution says. The NRA has become so extreme and so successful with their propaganda that even our Supreme Court is bamboozled by their unhistorical interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Be that as it may, to think that the people I meet on the street might be carrying loaded weapons which are made specifically for the purpose of killing other people, is scary to the nth degree! In fact, I know very few people who I would trust with a loaded water pistol in their pocket much less a real gun!
Another statistic that might set your shorts to twitching is that about one in ten of our citizens are mentally ill. And a whole lot more are merely neurotic. Do you want those people walking around your local mall with guns at hand?
Sheriff Blair teaches a "concealed weapons" course and implies that taking such a course provides the gun carrier wannbe with the necessary resources to "bring the fight to the attacker ... [and] help save lives."
What a crock. A concealed weapons course includes a few lectures and a few minutes on a shooting range. An "active shooter situation" is another world and would bring most people to their knees crying for their Mommy, whether they were carrying a concealed weapon or not.
Furthermore, just about every day we read about a "responsible" gun owner shooting a friend to death or shooting herself in the foot. My uncle Carl was a "responsible" gun owner and he put a hole in Grandma's kitchen while cleaning one of his rifles.
It takes a lot of work and very close attention to be a responsible gun owner and that is best left to the professionals that we hire to protect us from domestic enemies, and to the military who are in charge of keeping us safe from foreign nasties.
Finally, I cannot think of any mass shooting in recent memory where people carrying concealed weapons made any difference whatsoever nor can I recall any "active shooter" situation where a concealed weapons carrier had a chance of stopping the shooting. Take for example, the mass shooting in the Colorado theater of a few years ago. Can you imagine what horror might have ensued if a bunch of folks pulled out their concealed weapons and began shooting into the darkness?
When a person walks into a place of business only to pull out an automatic weapon and begins spraying the room, you could have a tank in your pocket and it wouldn't do you any good.
So why would Sheriff Blair suggest such a patently stupid proposal? It must be political. He's a Republican. The Republican Party belongs to the NRA. A Republican in good standing cannot be allowed to say anything negative about NRA policy, which is basically to put a gun or guns in the hands of every man, woman and child in the world.
Sheriff Blair's suggestion has little or nothing to do with making our community safer! It is painfully obvious that such a policy creates many more chances for gun violence, death and misery!
What we desperately need these days are leaders who are not bought and paid for by the NRA, who are not unconscious right wing nut cases, who have at least a modicum of common sense.
You would hope the local sheriff would be one of those kinds of leader. That's not the case in Marion County, Florida.