Monday, July 21, 2008

Florida Giveth, Then Taketh Away

Retired law enforcement officers qualifying for national gun permit

|South Florida Sun-Sentinel

SUNRISE - "For some retired law enforcement officers, the sense of duty hasn't faded.

On Saturday morning, 40 retired officers -- many of them New York Police Department retirees -- completed a shooting course at the Markham Park gun range to qualify for a relatively new kind of concealed weapons permit that is honored nationwide.

The aim of the national program is to get the retirees to demonstrate that they can still handle a gun so that they may legally carry one almost anywhere and be ready to act if they happen upon a violent crime.

The Broward Sheriff's Office hosted the tests and has planned additional sessions at the park on Aug. 16 and Nov. 15.

Retired New York Police Office Alan Rich, 72, was among the students Saturday morning. He said he spent most of his career as a detective in Brooklyn.

"I haven't carried my gun in 31 years, since I retired," Rich said, beaming as he passed the 40-round course using his Glock 38.

The course is the same required for active law enforcement officers statewide.

Florida lawmakers in 2007 approved the course as a means to qualifying retirees for the concealed weapons permit. In 2004, Congress passed a law creating the permit and leaving it up to each state to decide how to qualify retirees, including former federal agents.

Though other local law enforcement agencies are offering the shooting course only to their retirees, the Sheriff's Office program is open to retirees from any agency as long as they live in Broward.

"It was something we felt we needed to do," said sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal."
Sure. Anything that perpetuates the myth of superiority, right, Jim?

While back I was speaking to a hotshot lobbyist who was telling me that there's some interest in allowing career military personnel to qualify for the same type of universal concealed carry permit. "It's still on the ground floor and we need to shoot this sucker all the way to the top," he said, or as reasonable facsimile thereof as my dander was rising faster than a 16 year-old on Viagra. I've had many episodes of auditory exclusion, some times even before an explosion and this was one of those times so I can't be certain. I stopped myself before playing see-if-the-little-guy-bounces-or just-goes-splat, and calmly (ha) offered that any Marine participating in such a travesty would be on my personal list of them to ass kick until the cows came home.

I don't give a rats ass what the cops do. Those participating in such a gee, aren't we special program have proven that the oath they swore was so much bullshit to be said then done with, and I'll be damned to be seen in such company. All gave some, some gave all, and the whole idea was to be honored to protect and defend what was willed to us by giants among men.

These "men" make me sick.

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