Kudos to Florida-based Second Amendment journalist Lee Williams for finding this story: the sheriff of Sarasota County is saying “no thanks” to a meeting with the local chapter of the gun control group Brady. Williams, a former reporter for the Herald-Tribune now has his own newsletter (which I encourage every gun owner to support) that focuses on 2A news and issues, and he got ahold of the letter from Sheriff Kurt Hoffman responding to the group’s request for an interview.
Go to Lee’s Substack to read the entire letter, but I’ll share the opening paragraph with you because it’s just too good not to quote.
Dear Mr. McLain and Ms. Rescigno,
Thank you for your recent request to meet. I am very familiar with the bradyunited.org 12- point platform and I have fundamental differences regarding nearly every objective of Brady. I am a member of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the 2nd Amendment Foundation, in addition to being a Life Member of the NRA. I have been a law enforcement officer in this state for over 32 years, eight years of which were as an Assistant State Attorney, and I am satisfied that the laws on the books in Florida sufficiently protect this community from gun violence.
As a board member of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, let me thank Sheriff Hoffman for his support as well as for his measured and professional response to Brady. Of course, the local gun control activists who were hoping for a confab don’t exactly see it that way.
Conyne Rescigno said Brady received the letter from Hoffman Friday.
“We tried to meet with the sheriff via a few…phone requests for a few months. We meet with most elected officials, candidates and others who are in a position to help the people of Sarasota. Seldom have we been turned down (we met with his predecessor, Sheriff (Tom) Knight, a few years ago). Our goal is always to let them know Sarasota has a Brady chapter and to see if there are ways we can work together,” she said.
Kaitlyn Perez, community affairs director for the sheriff’s office, said the Brady chapter reached out to the sheriff’s office twice in recent weeks requesting a meeting with Hoffman.
“With an anti-Second Amendment platform that focuses on federal gun regulation, the Sheriff respectfully declined as he did not see anything productive coming from a meeting. He authored an email Friday around 11 a.m. There is no specific policy against meeting with groups,” she said in an email to Patch.
Would it have killed the sheriff to meet with the local anti-gun activists? No, but it wouldn’t have been productive either. The Sarasota chapter of Brady is pretty vocal about the fact that they believe the way to safety involves putting more laws on the books that would have to be enforced by people like Sheriff Hoffman. Check out this 2017 profile of the group by Sarasota Magazine.
ON A GUSTY OVERCAST AFTERNOON, four days after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Carol Rescigno arrived at the Sarasota bayfront as she has most Thursdays for the past four years. She wore a blue T-shirt with the words “Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence,” to which she had affixed a large button that said “#FactsMatter.”
For the next hour, Rescigno and 30 other Brady campaign supporters stood along U.S. 41 in the shadow of the Unconditional Surrender statue, holding signs that read “Ban Assault Weapons,” “Support Background Checks” and “Ban High-Caliber Magazines.” Some drivers seemed not to notice the line of demonstrators. A couple made obscene gestures. But many waved or honked their support.
Actually, now that I think about it, a meeting with Sheriff Hoffman may actually have been of some benefit, at least if the sheriff could explain to the gun control activists that there’s no such thing as a “high-caliber magazine.” Still, with the activists in favor of banning commonly-owned firearms and putting people in prison for loaning a gun to their neighbor because she’s worried her abusive ex might show up at her door, I’m guessing the productive part of the conversation would have concluded within moments of its beginning.
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