News Columns & Blogs

Palmetto Gun Show should be busy place

Think I know one place that’s having more business than usual this weekend.

The Palmetto Gun Show at the Manatee Civic and Convention Center.

Given the shocking succession of violent home invasions that people in our community have been subjected to of late, I wouldn’t blame them.

Ten attacks in Manatee and Sarasota.

All during daylight hours.

One against an 84-year-old woman, bound and pistol whipped last month in northwest Bradenton.

The most recent, an older couple on Riverview Boulevard brutally beaten last Monday.

It’s got usually tranquil neighborhoods on edge.

Whether it’s a single perpetrator or several, local law enforcement has yet to get the drop on them.

Even the FBI’s gotten involved.

Meanwhile, folks are wondering, who’s next?

Instead of waiting for the fateful answer, if they don’t have a weapon at home, they go out and get one.

It happens every time a crime wave hits, said one Bradenton gun shop owner.

People want to protect themselves, he said.

Some buy weapons.

Others buy more ammo.

More women are becoming gun owners, too.

A friend of mine, a Manatee County Sheriff’s detective, agreed.

He said numerous women have been asking him the same question:

Where do they go to get a gun permit?

No doubt some of them will be at the Civic Center.

Business ought to be real good at this weekend’s Palmetto Gun Show, the detective said.

I imagine a number of folks who go will be from northwest Bradenton.

Riverview Boulevard residents, too.

My neighborhood? I doubt it.

Where I live it’s not a case of who owns a weapon.

It’s who doesn’t?

Some of my neighbors are quite capable of defending hearth and home.

I respect that.

During the last year I lived in Delray Beach, my subdivision suffered a series of home invasions.

Local law enforcement couldn’t get a handle on it.

My neighbors felt helpless.

Then my home got hit while I was out.

They got nothing of value, but I felt violated.

When a Palm Beach County deputy showed up, his first question threw me.

Did I own a weapon?

I didn’t.

But if I did and had I been home at the time of the burglary, I might’ve used it.

Mannix About Manatee, by local columnist Vin Mannix,is about people and issues in Manatee County. Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, Fla. 34206 or e-mail him at Please include a phone number for verification.