In the wake of yet another mass shooting in Orlando – this one actually a case of workplace violence, unlike the terrorism Barack Obama tried to put in that category – the sheriff of a nearby county is warning residents that it’s up to them to arm themselves if they want to stand a chance against would-be attackers. In a controversial video posted to social media, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said citizens had no choice but to take responsibility for their own self-defense.
“Folks, now more than ever is the time for our citizens to be prepared to serve as the first line of defense – not only for them, but for their families,” Sheriff Ivey said.
The video cut to images of recent Florida terrorist attacks, including the shooting at Ft. Lauderdale airport and last year’s horrific massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, before Ivey continued.
“What’s next is to fully understand that this is war, and you better be prepared to wage war to protect you, your family, and those around you if attacked,” he said.
The sheriff said that attackers were counting on a response of fear and retreat.
“What they don’t count on,” he said, “is being attacked themselves. Of having to become defensive to save their own lives.”
Ivey assured viewers that while the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office would be quick and able to respond to any emergency situation, there was no possible way police could get there instantly. He encouraged anyone in danger to call 911, but said, “Until they arrive, it’s up to you and those with you to neutralize or eliminate the threat.”
“No matter who you are or what your position is on guns, there’s no denying the fact that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun or a knife is an armed and well-prepared citizen or law enforcement officer,” Ivey concluded.
Ivey’s point-of-view is shared by most in the law enforcement community, but few police leaders are willing to come right out and say it in a message like this one. Hopefully, that can begin to change, because it’s nothing more or less than the gospel truth. To pretend otherwise is to encourage citizens to stick their heads in the sand, cross their fingers, and simply “hope” that they will never find themselves in a life-or-death confrontation. To be fair, most won’t. Unfortunately, no one can know if they will be among the unlucky few who will.
And since you may not get a second chance, it pays to be prepared the first time.