Florida county considering allowing employees to carry

(Gavin Smith/Centinel Solutions via AP)

Florida is the butt of a lot of jokes. Well, Florida Man is, actually, but that paints the entire state in kind of a strange light.

Yet despite that reputation, sometimes things happen in the Sunshine State that aren’t just not insane but are actually pretty smart.

Take the action being considered by officials in Manatee County, where they’re talking about allowing county employees to carry firearms at work.

 Manatee County Commissioners are considering the question, do more guns in the workplace make it safe?

Commissioner James Satcher proposed a policy change that would allow county employees to conceal carry at work. He said this is about empowering them to exercise their Second Amendment rights and defend themselves.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners will discuss a report from the county attorney on potentially changing the policy that prohibits more than 2,000 county employees from possessing, using or threatening to use a deadly weapon on county property.

“I just want it to be for them to know this is not a soft target,” commissioner Satcher told News Channel 8. “I believe gun-free zones are criminal empowerment zones.”

A majority of commissioners agreed with Satcher that it is time to revisit the rules restricting county employees from bringing guns to work.

Commissioner Reggie Bellamy was the only one to vote against the motion in May.

Honestly, this is legitimately smart.

First, there are county employees who are, as a part of their job, required to go into rough neighborhoods. These employees are vulnerable to assault and robbery. If a policy allows them to be armed, they can venture into these areas with the means to defend their life should it be necessary.

However, they’re not the only ones who would benefit.

After all, while many have forgotten about it, I remember the Virginia Beach shooting, which took place in a municipal building. Armed employees might have stopped the killing.

Now, I’m not saying it’s likely such a shooting will take place in Manatee County, but the problem with mass shootings is that you don’t know where they’re going to happen. It could be a Florida county or it could be literally anywhere else in the country.

Yet if Manatee County wants to address that potentiality by arming their staff, then I’m going to applaud it.

Further, other counties in Florida and elsewhere should do the exact same thing.

With more places allowing guns, the fewer places a would-be mass shooter will be able to carry out his deadly attack without getting the Greenwood Park Mall treatment. If that happens, maybe more will start seeking fame by doing stupid dances on TikTok than by killing innocent people.

After all, we haven’t really talked much about the Greenwood Park Mall shooter, mostly because he got killed quickly and couldn’t rack up a horrifying body count.

What we need in this country is a lot more of that and a lot fewer gun-free zones.

If Manatee County, Florida is considering it, I say go for it. At the end of the day, it’s likely to save lives, even if you never realize exactly which ones.