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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Sheriff: Time For Citizens To Arm Themselves" - The Flip Side

Like a lot of folks, I heard the story about Spartanburg County SC Sheriff Chuck Wright’s news conference on Monday, and his advice to women in his county: Get a concealed carry permit, get a gun, and carry it.

It was full of such observations as "when you can get your barrel back on the target quick. That’s gun control."

I wasn’t so much surprised that a Sheriff was offering this advice. After all, this is the south, and his views are in no way in the minority here. I was more surprised that so many news outlets covered it, without offering any opposing viewpoint at the end.

I felt pretty good about it, and even sent the link to some friends.

Then I heard the story reported on the local news radio, and the reporter then said that the Sheriff said that women don’t have to be accurate, they just have to get close.

I re-read the article, and there it was:

At one point, Wright held up a fanny pack and said, "They make this right here where you can conceal a small pistol in them. They got one called The Judge that shoots a .45 or a .410 shell. You ain't got to be accurate; you just have to get close."

Now, I agree that with .410 shot, the Taurus Judge is probably accurate enough at "rapist distance" to do enough damage to stop an assailant even with a hit to a non-vital area. However, while I’ve never shot a Judge, from talking to those who have, and from reviews I’ve read, with buckshot the Judge is quite a handful to shoot. It would be all the more so for a woman. Couple that with an attacker who is, at best, amped up by adrenaline, and at worst, by meth or more, and "just get close" probably won't do the job.

In fact, what bothers me is many women may hear the Sheriff, and opt instead for the cute pink Airweight, and then never practice with it. Because, after all, “You ain't got to be accurate.”

Sheriff Wright needs to be sure women in Spartanburg, and all gun owners for that matter, understand that carrying a gun brings with it a responsibility to practice. Now, South Carolina’s concealed carry permit program does require training and a proficiency exam, but shooting is a perishable skill, and we all owe it to ourselves to stay up with our skills.