- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 3, 2015

A New York County sheriff is urging residents who can legally carry a firearm to “PLEASE DO SO” in light of the San Bernardino mass shooting Wednesday that killed 14 people.

“In light of recent events that have occurred in the United States and around the world I want to encourage citizens of Ulster County who are licensed to carry a firearm to PLEASE DO SO,” Ulster County Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum wrote in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon.

“I urge you to responsibly take advantage of your legal right to carry a firearm,” he wrote. “To ensure the safety of yourself and others, make sure you are comfortable and proficient with your weapon, and knowledgeable of the laws in New York State with regards to carrying a weapon and when it is legal to use it.

“I also want to remind all Police/Peace Officers both active duty and retired to please carry a weapon whenever you leave your house,” he added. “We are the thin blue line that is entrusted in keeping this country safe, and we must be prepared to act at any given moment.”

Ulster County is located about two hours north of New York City, a local CBS News affiliate reported.

Sheriff Van Blarcum’s post comes one day after a married Muslim couple allegedly gunned down 14 people and wounded more than a dozen others at a social services center for the disabled in San Bernardino.

President Obama said the shooting was another opportunity to push for gun control measures.

“We all have a part to play. As the investigation moves forward, it’s going to be important for all of us, including our legislatures, to see what we can do to make sure that when an individual decides they want to do somebody harm, we make it a little harder for them to do it. Right now, it’s just too easy,” the president said Thursday. “We’re going to have to, I think, search ourselves as a society.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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