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Democrat sheriff typifies ‘progressive Only One’ hypocrisy on guns

"Progressive" Sheriff Manfre swearing oath to uphold Constitution with full intent to undermine Second Amendment to Bill of Rights.
"Progressive" Sheriff Manfre swearing oath to uphold Constitution with full intent to undermine Second Amendment to Bill of Rights.
Flagler County Sheriff's Office

“Projection, perhaps?” the Billlls Idle Mind blog asks in a Sunday post linking to two separate stories about Flagler County (Florida) Sheriff Jim Manfre, his views on guns, and his lack of qualification at the time he shared them to offer anything on the subject but opinions he is politically rewarded for.

“Manfre discussed his stance on ‘sensible gun control’ from a law enforcement perspective during a ... meeting of about 35 people who are aiming to get Democrats elected in the county,” a May 7 “report” in The Daytona Beach News-Journal gushed.

Yes, "report" is in quotation marks for a reason.

“One thing Manfre said he and many other law enforcement officials would like to see in terms of sensible gun control is a ban on assault weapons,” the PR piece masked as news noted. “’In my opinion, there is no reason to have an assault weapon,’ he said.”

That, of course, was presented in the story right after the “reporter” noted the sheriff instructing that “there are three different categories: handguns, long guns or rifles, and automatic guns such as machine guns.”

No chance of confusion there...

Manfre also got his licks in against private sales, and also for the state disallowing citizens to have protection during times of declared emergencies, by disparaging “the chances of an average person having to confront an armed attacker” as “a hundredth of a percent.” What his source is for such an unimpeachable claim, so that it can be, you know, validated, is left unsaid. Perhaps he’s citing Shannon “Data shows it doesn’t happen” Watts, because he’s certainly not relying on anything as mundane as reality – and why an attacker would need to be armed to justify his victim having the means to discourage any kind of assault also goes unanswered.

Regardless, the case could be made that the sheriff's further claim, “only 1 percent of law enforcement members ever have to fire their gun in response to a crime,” makes it fair to ask why his deputies need guns. After all, in the next location to Flagler County’s east, Bermuda, police are typically unarmed and only true professionals, like Michael Bloomberg’s bodyguards, “need” to regularly carry firearms.

“He helped to clarify that gun control is important and that he wants to keep the people under him safe,” Merrill Shapiro, the interim leader of the local Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida bleated, letting slip the Prozi view of the proper relationship between disarmed citizens and armed enforcers by his reflexive use of the term “under.”

The safety praise curious, because it’s not exactly like Manfre had established himself as particularly authoritative -- or even competent -- when it comes to guns.

“Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre has not qualified for his law enforcement firearms certification, even though he attended an in-service training class two weeks ago,” a July 31 report reveals.

“[O]ne of his former lieutenants — a one-time firearms instructor the sheriff laid off in 2013 -- said Manfre has a history of poor performance firing his agency-issued Glock model 17, a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol,” the report explains.

“Manfre is the only Florida sheriff out of 67 who wasn’t a sworn law enforcement officer prior to being elected,” the report continues (he was previously Flagler's sheriff from 2001 to 2005), leading to the natural question of what his qualifications for being anything other than a “progressive” political hack are, and why that should give him “Only Ones” privileges.

Among other qualifications making his judgment in such matter superior to yours, “[h]e spent four years as an investigator and trial preparation assistant for the Bronx and Kings counties, New York District Attorney and 12 years as an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County, N.Y ... Manfre also has an extensive community service background, including being a past president of the Flagler County Rotary Club.”

He’s a New York import? Well, no need for concern then. And all that experience explains why he gets to wear four stars on his collar, just like a real career general or admiral.

Besides, the very next day after the paper exposed his lack of certification, a coincidence no doubt since he'd felt OK without it since being elected in 2012, Manfre went out and passed the test. At least, he and “an in-house instructor” who works for him both say he did.

“He shot very well,” the training officer said, in marked contrast to the capability assessment from a firearms instructor who no longer has to keep on Manfre's good side in order to eat.

“Greg Weston, who was range master for the Sheriff’s Office during Manfre’s first term, told the News-Journal that Manfre was careless and dangerous with a firearm,” the report explains. “He said that Manfre ordered him to go to the local gun club on at least two occasions and oversee his qualification. Weston said he signed off on Manfre’s qualification under duress because he was his boss.”

Seems to me a Florida Department of Law Enforcement audit is warranted by that allegation -- perhaps that will be another column.

No such controversies need trouble us this time though, right? Except to note there were no other witnesses and Manfre has the power to fire the only other guy who can dispute him on his test results.

“I told him, ‘You shoot better than some of your deputy sheriffs,’” the current employee fawned to the press about his boss.

That’s right, JL. Fantastic shot, JL! Brilliant idea, JL! Ho-ho, good one, JL!

Coffee, JL?

Weston still says “No way,” but the new report fleshes out more details.

“To pass the two tests, one must hit a target at least 80 percent of the time,” it explains. “Manfre shot better than 80 percent on both tests. A combined total of 60 rounds were fired.”

How that squares with a 40-round six-stage Florida law enforcement officer firearm qualification standard is unclear, but assuming Manfre's greatest hits legitimately got him a “B,” that level of firearms proficiency hardly qualifies him to do more than patronize an open-to-the-public range without getting yelled at or kicked out, assuming he doesn’t do something egregious.

The sheriff firing a total of 60 rounds does, however, provide a ready rebuttal for anti-gunners who insist all those with badges are so much better trained with firearms than mere gun owners, albeit anyone who doesn’t understand why is hardly worth arguing with. And Manfre’s hardly the first anti-gun CLEO who took on the top job without proving capable of even performing rookie basics.

This column reported on Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey, who carried a gun and a badge despite not being certified, and how state and city authorities ignored requests to investigate that. Ditto, anti-gun former Los Angeles Police Chief Willie Williams, who was paid off to go gentle into that good night after failing to complete the POST exam. Likewise, recall anti-gun former San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong, who went "years without taking the target practice required for officers who carry guns,” and Meridian, Mississippi Chief James Reed, whose “badge may say chief, but [was] listed as a trainee and therefore ... not a certified law enforcement officer.”

These chief enforcers, whom “progressives” presume citizens are “under,” are exemplified by the Massachusetts chiefs, who stumped for (and subsequently won, pending the anti-gun governor's signature) what is essentially “may issue” power not just over carrying firearms, but over owning them. They’re exemplified by stooges like Charlie Beck of Los Angeles, who seems to drag out what looks like the same “rocket launcher” every time he holds a “buyback.” They’re exemplified by Garry McCarthy in Chicago, recently retired Lee Baca in L.A., Cathy Lanier in D.C., current and former NYPD heads, and by the years’ worth of “Only Ones” files, amassed both in this column, and at The War on Guns blog (and if you don’t know how that term originated, you’ve got a video to watch).

They’re exemplified by administrators as well as rank-and-file who commit, or importantly, condone abuses and keep quiet about them. The only ones the Only Ones are not exemplified by are Oath Keepers, both the formal member kind and the kind who just keep their oaths because it’s the principled thing to do. Naturally, those are the ones who are demonized as haters, extremists and domestic enemies, while those who fulfill a role little different than that of the standing army warned against by the founders are exalted by the ruling elites and an “Authorized Journalist” propaganda corps officially deemed the “legitimate news media” and “real reporters.”

Enforcers are not the Only Ones who can be trusted with guns. Political creatures who run their departments and insist otherwise are telling the world their oaths of office were, in addition to being self-aggrandizing, feel-good formalities, merely cynical and self-serving lies.


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