During an Oct. 31 press conference following the attempted rape of a woman walking her dog by a convicted felon, Spartanburg County, S.C., Sheriff Chuck Wright didn’t mince words. “It’s too bad someone with a concealed weapons permit didn’t walk by. That would fix it,” Wright said. Wright then repeatedly told his constituents “I want you to get a concealed weapons permit.” To hammer the point home he held up a fanny pack, saying, “They make this right here where you can conceal a small pistol in them.”
Almost three months later, Wright’s plea appears to be working. The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported a dramatic increase in Right-to-Carry permit applications in the area since the press conference. Further, on January 21, a permit holder eating at a Spartanburg County Waffle House defended himself, other customers and staff when he used a gun to thwart an armed robbery. Wright described the incident as “another example of how a [permit] may save your life.”
Unfortunately, at least one politician in Spartanburg County doesn’t share Wright’s respect for an armed citizenry. Just two days after the Waffle House incident, Spartanburg County Councilman Michael Brown launched a verbal attack on Wright, referring to his comments regarding Right-to-Carry as “irresponsible, irreprehensible [sic] and… incendiary.” Brown went on to describe his own lack of faith in law-abiding citizens, stating, “People say Spartanburg is coming to a boiling point and this is just the opportunity for people who are not trained law enforcement officials, people who do not have extensive training and the experience, to handle weapons.” Parroting a universally debunked gun control group standby, Brown likened the increasing number of citizens exercising their Right-to-Carry to the “wild wild West,” and expressed hope in “letting cooler heads prevail.”
After being made aware of Brown’s comments, Wright refused to back down, saying, “For anybody to say that I’m irresponsible for telling people they can exercise their constitutional right is ridiculous.”
The residents of Spartanburg County are lucky to have a sheriff who respects and promotes their right to armed self-defense, rather than one who would prefer citizens to rely on the “cooler heads” of armed robbers and convicted felons.
Criticism of the sheriff’s advice is outrageous.