Editor's Note: What follows is a Letter to the Editor. Occasionally, I'll opt to place them on the online version of the paper. Both of today's letters can be found online.
I would like to commend Sheriff Cutting for standing up for our right to bear arms and to defend ourselves if we are attacked with deadly force or are in imminent danger. We live in a dangerous world; anyone that thinks because we live in rural upstate New York we are immune to this danger is very naïve.
In regard to Mr. Chirlin’s letter to the Editor, there is nothing in what the Sheriff said that implies we should engage in “vigilante justice” or that he was “looking for a posse”. He clearly said he was calling for us to exercise our right to carry a gun in order to protect ourselves, if we have a permit. He also was very clear about being knowledgeable of New York laws concerning the carrying of a weapon and when it is legal to use it. His message was to be prepared and to be safe. Additionally, although we aren’t all trained police officers, we aren’t all gun stupid either. Many of us have had military training in the use of firearms, and responsible gun owners know how to use their weapon without shooting innocent people. We have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, so why in the world would we leave it home on the kitchen table when we leave our house? Are we safer out in public than we are in our home? I don’t think the Sheriff sounded like a “spokesman for the gun lobby” at all, but I did think Mr. Chirlin sounded like a spokesman for Michael Bloomberg and his league of minions seeking to disarm everyone except criminals.
We all pray we’re never put in the position of those people that were the victims of mass shootings. However, should I ever be faced with an active shooter, I will feel a lot safer knowing I have a gun with me, and the ability and knowledge to protect myself with it. The alternative is to whip out your cell phone, call 911 and then listen while the operator tells you to remain calm and stay on the line until help arrives. Good luck with that.