FLORIDA – A Brevard County Sheriff posts an alarming video message on social media, warning citizens to learn self-defense and asking individuals with valid concealed carry permits to be at the ready, as incidents of terrorist attacks throughout the globe are increasing.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey posted the video to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Facebook page on Wednesday, saying that people can’t afford to sit back and wait for the next act of terrorism.
“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 in the video message.
His video comes two days following the deadly workplace shooting in Orlando, which claimed the lives of five victims.
Ivey admitted that while his request may seem outlandish to some, he fervently believes that sitting back and thinking one of these attacks will never happen to you, is not doing anything to save your own life if one should occur.
“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.
He claims that his call to action comes from a place of concern that another one of these “cowardly attacks” could be carried out at any time, and is asking citizens to be ready to “respond rather than react.”
“What they don’t count on is being attacked themselves, having to become defensive to save their own lives,” Ivey stressed to viewers.
Ivey explained it’s not enough these days to just call 911 and wait passively: “Until they arrive, it’s up to you and those with you to neutralize or eliminate the threat.”
He encouraged people to take self-defense classes and urges those with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns at all times.
“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 said.
“The solution is if you’re going to carry a gun, then go practice to save your life with it. If you’re not someone who’s comfortable carrying a gun or don’t believe you would be comfortable defending your life then look for an alternative solution,” Ivey later told reporters at CBS 47.
The Florida sheriff’s video has received mixed reviews with some residents applauding his hard-nosed stance on this issue, while other law enforcement officials argue that more citizens walking around with guns could potentially expose officers to precarious situations, and could prevent them from safely doing their jobs in the field.
Missississippi Police Chief Leonard Papania criticized the proposal for looser gun regulations, saying “Do you want every incident on your street to escalate to acts of gun violence?”
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