New York State Assemblyman Pete Lopez added his support for the recent surge by several New York County Sheriffs urging the legally authorized concealed pistol permit holders to carry their firearms more often and responsibly. Assemblyman Lopez said it is a “show of courage” in response to terrorism.
Ulster County Sheriff Paul J Van Blarcum was the first New York State Sheriff to issue a public request urging legal gun owners who have a conceal pistol carry permit to take the initiative and carry their firearms whenever possible. Five more County Sheriff’s added their voice as well issuing the same request to their respective counties.
They each made it clear that this was not a call to vigilantism or made them law enforcement officers, but to urge them to responsibly carry their legal firearms as a matter of personal self defense in the event of a terrorist attack. This public call by the Sheriffs demonstrates a profound understanding of their constitutional authority and moral honesty, that public safety is also a public duty.
The Sheriffs understand that terrorism is psychological warfare, in part to instill fear into the public psyche. This demonstrates to the world that New Yorker’s are not so easily terrorized by “Jihadis”. It sends a message to the world, New Yorker’s are willing to defend themselves, their neighbors and country against any terrorist attacker. On 9-11, Todd Beamer led his fellow passengers in a counter attack against the “Jihadi” terrorist hijackers and caused the plane to crash in a field at Shanksville, Pa. saving thousands of lives, by courageously fighting the terrorist in single hand to hand combat.
There are nearly one million legal gun owners in New York State. Among these there are thousands per each County who underwent the strict scrutiny of having to face a judge and undergo background checks, in order to be issued a concealed pistol carry permit. Concealed Carry Permit holders are by and large, retired law enforcement officers, military veterans, business owners or professionals in the security industry, all of which, received firearms training, qualifications, and are considered upstanding citizens in their respective Counties.
“Jihadi” terrorist planners target what is called “soft targets”, such as “gun-free zones” and areas where there would be unarmed civilians, as we have learned by the recent bloody massacres in Paris and San Bernardino, California. These 6 New York Counties do not qualify as soft targets but are now a hardened target because there is an armed public willing to defend themselves.
The American national anthem written by Francis Scott Key ends with the refrain by asking a question; “O’ say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of brave?”
The Sheriffs from these 6 New York Counties have answered that question boldly and declared pure confidence in their citizenry. It would be a formidable counter terrorism strategy to alert the “Jihadi” terrorist planners that there are no “soft-targets” here.
Let it be known to the world, that New York is the land of the free and home of the brave. It is a good idea for the remaining New York Sheriffs to declare equal confidence in their community. Francis Scott Key would be pleased to know the answer to his question are found in the noble gesture of courageous New York Sheriffs, District Attorneys, and County Executives.