At a time when a large group of people seem determined to destroy our Second Amendment rights, it’s always nice to see somewhere that they’re not only embraced but reinforced. That’s pretty much what happened in one Florida county.
The Lake County Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to allow county employees with concealed weapon permits to carry their guns while on the job.
Commissioner Josh Blake asked fellow commissioners to consider doing away with the county’s employee policy that prohibits the possession of weapons while on the job. Commissioner Wendy Breeden was hesitant but joined fellow commissioners in the unanimous decision to change the policy.
“I personally believe that the natural right to defend your life does not disappear into thin air when you leave your house in the morning when you go to work. I think that is something we have control over, which we do. It’s our employee handbook. I do think it’s a reasonable thing to allow employees to utilize that right and have the right to self-defense while they are on the job,” Blake said.
The change takes effect immediately and applies to those who have permits. It is illegal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
Blake said he started work on the policy change several months ago and was working with the county attorney on the right language for the handbook, when the South Florida school shooting happened on Feb. 14. The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by a former student left 17 people dead and threw the gun control debate into overdrive.
Unfortunately, the policy doesn’t trump gun free zones like courthouses. In other words, county employees working in those areas may be permitted by policy to carry but they’re still breaking Florida law if they do so.
Not ideal, to be certain, but that’s also beyond a county commission to do. For that, they need to recruit legislators to the cause and pray they can rally enough.
In this political climate, though? Good luck.
Still, the county commission’s stand is a sensible one. There are a lot of county workers who may find themselves in questionable areas. Any policy that requires them to be disarmed is a policy that requires them to be a victim. Now, that policy is history.
As a result, work is safer for all workers and not just those carrying.
What the anti-gun zealots don’t understand is that concealed carry works like herd immunity. Not everyone needs to be immunized for immunizations to work. The number of immunized people acts as a shield around those who can’t get immunizations for whatever reason.
The same principle works with concealed carry. Those who do carry act as a metaphorical shield around those who don’t.
As of right now, Lake County workers are able to carry. Those who would victimize them know this, and thus have to decide if the risk is worth it. The more workers carrying, the safer it is for those who don’t for whatever reason.
This is a smart decision by the county commission, one that should be mimicked around the nation.