In the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, the Sheriff of Ulster County, New York made a surprising suggestion to residents in his jurisdiction. On Thursday, Paul Van Blarcum posted a message on Facebook which read “In light of recent events that have occurred in the United States and around the world I want to encourage citizens of Ulster County who are licensed to carry a firearm to PLEASE DO SO. I urge you to responsibly take advantage of your legal right to carry a firearm.”
What’s so surprising about that? Blarcum is a Democrat. While most Democrats are calling for more firearm regulation, as they do after every mass shooting event, Blarcum sounded confident that ordinary citizens could make a difference. During a recent radio interview he clarified his statement. “I was reaching out to people who are already legally licensed to carry handguns, so it definitely wasn’t a second amendment issue. Just encouraging them to help; you know, we’re partners with the public in crime prevention. So these people are legally registered to carry, and I’m encouraging them if they’re comfortable to do that to carry.”
He then added that “People get gun permits for various different reasons. I think the people that are out there that do carry concealed right now are probably as proficient with their weapons as police officers are.” For once it’s refreshing to see a politician recognize the rights of his voters, and not treat the citizenry like a bunch of helpless children.