One thing that it’s important for us to understand about any law enforcement officer is that they’re human. While we often expect things of them through the course of their job that we may not expect of other people, they’re still people. They make mistakes.
However, from time to time, they make really, really big ones.
Take Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly. She left her firearm in a casino bathroom last week. The firearm was found by a staff member and turned into management.
On Monday, she apologized in a video posted to Facebook.
Public Release–Sheriff Wehrly addresses public inquiries about gun left in the bathroom.
Posted by Nye County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 21, 2018
Yeah, I’m sorry, but that’s not good at all.
However, it is amusing in an odd sort of way. I’m able to feel that way because the gun didn’t fall into the wrong hands, mind you. Yet there’s another dimension, which Dan Zimmerman over at The Truth About Guns sums up perfectly.
We’re told, repeatedly and forcefully, by many who would like to limit or eliminate civilian-owned firearms, that law enforcement officers are the only people with the knowledge, training and degree of responsibility necessary to be entrusted with carrying a gun. At which point gun owners immediately Google “Lee Paige” and hold their phones up for all to see. It’s as effective a comeback as any.
But while most law enforcement officers are well-trained and treat their firearms in a responsible manner, there will always be the exceptions that prove the rule. So our friends in the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex will have to forgive us if we choose to highlight them when they come up. Today’s example is Nye County, Nevada Sheriff Sharon Wehrly.
Frankly, I’m not going to argue with Dan because he’s dead on right.
This doesn’t help Wehrly’s reelection chances in what the Las Vegas Review-Journal calls a “crowded” race. If one of her opponents doesn’t hit her with something like this, they’re missing a golden opportunity.
Yes, it was a mistake, but it’s the kind of mistake that police officers really can’t afford to make. No one who carries a firearm really can.
Wehrly claims that part of the problem was that she wasn’t wearing a gun belt. Well, that’s something to remedy, in my opinion. Everyone should have a proper gun belt when they carry a firearm. Again, just my opinion. But having one negates the need to remove your firearm, even if it’s a full sized weapon, from your belt when you have to answer nature’s call.
Let this be a lesson to all of us.
In the meantime, the sheriff offered up her mea culpas to the people of Nye County. Whether they’ll accept it or not remains to be seen. If she has until November before reelection, she’s probably has a good chance of people forgetting all about it. If not, well…
Unfortunately, though, Sheriff Wehrly isn’t the only officer this has happened to through the years. She won’t be the last, either.
Just remember this the next time we’re told only police are responsible enough to be trusted with firearms.