Electing ridiculousness

Here’s something comical: A woman taking a concealed weapons permit class was accidentally shot today by a sheriff’s deputy teaching the course.

I’ll give you a moment to process this. (It looks like this woman, the wife of another deputy, is going to be okay.)

Now here is what that means: That whole “guns are safe as long as people are safe with them” argument flies right out the window. The man who pulled the trigger (by mistake, granted) was a trained law enforcement officer. On top of that, he was SO trained that the state police allowed him to lead a class teaching people how to handle guns.

But I’m not here to once again suggest allowing regular Joes to have and use guns in this country is a bad idea. Ladies and gentlemen, I have received a near perfect score on the state of South Carolina’s concealed weapons permit course. Ladies and gentlemen, I should not be allowed to use a gun because, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know a damn thing about guns. In fact, if I were another person and came across me brandishing a handgun, I would get the Hell out of Dodge.

I know nothing about guns. But again, I took and passed with flying colors the concealed weapons permit course a couple of years ago. I didn’t miss a flippin’ thing when I shot those targets.

Something just isn’t right.

But the purpose of this writing is not to stir the coals of the age-old “people shouldn’t have guns” fire. That’s as cliché, tiring and useless as the abortion or gay marriage debate, both of which are emotion-bogged, tiring discussions in which I do not wish to partake.

I love irony. Irony, folks, is the purpose of this writing.

This incident, shown here, occurred in Spartanburg County, S.C. You may or may not remember Spartanburg County from news stories such as this one, in which the sheriff of this crime-laden county, Chuck Wright, stated he believed all women should take a concealed weapons permit course and pack heat all of the time.

It attracted national attention because, well, people know the probability of an accidental shooting without a gun is far lower than the probability of an accidental shooting with a gun. It’s sort of like telling people to live in a house that keeps out oxygen in an effort to prevent house fires. An officer of the law should probably never say this.

Silly, silly man. Now the rest of the nation gets to laugh at you. Now the rest of the nation, where crime is lower and it’s not as easy as buying a refrigerator as it is to buy a handgun, gets to say, “Really? Really, man? You really think it’s a good idea to encourage an entourage of housewives and salesmen to carry instruments constructed exclusively to end life?”

For some reason, sheriff is an elected position. It conjures the same question as it does for the position of county coroner, which is also a job filled by a person who wins an election: Why? Why is anything more than previous experience, education and overall qualification considered when it comes to the question of who should fille these roles? Why should sheriffs and coroners also be politicians? They don’t know how to run for office, nor should they have to. These people should be chosen by the county council – plain and simple – since the county council is elected to make decisions that reflect the interest of a particular county. As it stands now, these offices are filled by people who can win a popularity contest.

And that, friends and foes, is why the Spartanburg County sheriff is left with no choice but to justify his earlier statements that all citizens should carry guns. He has an election to win and cannot look spineless.

If all he had to worry about was what county council thought of him, he very well might’ve backtracked on what he said before – and his bosses would respect him for it. If that were the case, Spartanburg County might not look so ridiculous right now.

But right now, it looks ridiculous.

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