I had a very nice conversation with Sheriff Mike Hale Monday. We talk occasionally and I have always held him in high regards. He is a very open and honest individual and as he put it, “I have weathered over the years and grown tremendously.” I know this to be so as I have followed personal battles that he and his family have gone through and have prayed and requested prayer for them over the years. Life’s battles have tempered and molded this man and his family into kind and understanding people. I have known him since we were both kids. He was related to Sheriff Mel Bailey and I was a personal friend of Sheriff Bailey by marriage.
I wanted to ask him his feelings about SB14, Senator Allen’s permit less vehicle carry bill. I know how busy he is and was thankful he took the time to chat with me.
I’m sure everyone remembers BamaCarry member Robert Kennedy was arrested for open carrying a firearm at a polling place. That court case is coming up soon. Without asking Sheriff Hale brought up the polling place incident and just off the cuff said, “I just don’t think that should have ever been an issue and it never has in Jefferson County.” I replied that I and many others I know have carried for years at local polling places and have never had a problem and I thanked him for his stand.
Of course if the polling place is in a restricted building by state law then it is understandable that would be off limits. But so many are in recreational centers, churches and other private places and do not fall under state law.
I asked Sheriff Hale, if he would support SB14 or another bill like it.
“Yes I will, unquestionably I will.” he said, “I have been in law enforcement almost forty years. I carry a gun with me why not give the honest people that have not done anything wrong the same safety and security that almost two thousand police officers enjoy every day in this county and that is to be armed. I consider your vehicle an extension of your home.”
He went on to say, “Criminals don’t give a thought or a care to any law that is why they are criminals. I’m not saying their dumb I am saying their crafty. I’m saying they go the extra mile to get something by ill-gotten gain. I say let’s ratchet up the penalties for them even thinking about using a gun. It may not prevent them from breaking into your home but it may prevent them from breaking into your home with a gun.”
When ask him about Sheriff’s opposing the bill and the Alabama Sheriff’s Association also in strict opposition he said, “I just don’t see why it is a problem to them. The criminal has made up his mind to be a criminal and he is going to carry a firearm in spite of any law against it.” He said, “I just don’t think they are looking at it the right way. I think they are looking at it from a “we have to protect our citizens” but I think they have confused the issue.’
As for citizens carrying openly or concealed, again he doesn’t care. “Just carry!” he said. Sheriff Hale used an illustration as to how it felt when he had to make an arrest while at a store shopping and there was a citizen carrying a gun and stepped up to let him know he was there if needed. This happens many times around the country. He said he feels like any of his deputies would be appreciative of a law abiding citizen stepping up in a bad situation for one of his officers and saying “hey, I’m so and so and I am on your side and I am armed and can help if you need me to.” He said, “that could make a critical difference in some situations.”
Myself I believe the Birmingham detective that took such a beating would have appreciated an armed citizen rather than the cowards that stood by and watched.
In closing Sheriff Hale said this, “I want the people of this county to feel like I do when I crawl into my car and I’m armed. I want to give them the same feeling of peace and security. I’m not looking for trouble but if trouble finds me I want to be able to defend myself and my family.”
Sheriff Hale wanted me to be sure that BamaCarry members understand that he backs and supports what BamaCarry is doing 100%. He said, “Tell your membership that out of 67 Sheriffs in this state BamaCarry Inc. has at least one Sheriff who appreciates what we do and is grateful for the education and training BamaCarry is putting out”.
BamaCarry wishes to thank Sheriff Hale for his dedicated service through the years and for standing up for the rights of citizens. He is no doubt a dedicated individual and is not afraid to speak out for those rights even when not popular to do so.
PS. I’m sure Senator Allen appreciates hearing what Sheriff Hale had to say. It has a been a hard road with so many against his bill. He remains confident that SB14 will either get passed in special session and if not he will prefile it again in 2016.