Sheriff's Joining Bandwagon on Armed Citizenry
While the police accept their primary role in maintaining the peace and order in society, there are many prominent law enforcement officers who are coming around to the idea that an armed citizenry can help protect themselves and their loved ones. Florida Sheriff Grady Judd believes that responsible gun ownership can play an important part in keeping citizens safe.
“If you are foolish enough to break into someone’s home, you can expect to be shot in Polk County,” Judd said in a statement after a homeowner shot a would-be home invader earlier this month. “It’s more important to have a gun in your hand than a cop on the phone.”
Such full-throated embrace of the Second Amendment as a crime-fighting tool isn't confined to red states like Florida.
“I want as many law-abiding citizens to arm themselves in this county as we can get.”
– Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke
One California police chief is backing teachers in his district packing heat. Detroit Police Chief James Craig has been a leader in urging his community to arm itself. A Maryland sheriff is working with the state’s general assembly to try to make it easier for citizens to obtain handgun permits.
In Oklahoma, Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes and Creek County Sheriff John Davis have each recently reduced costs associated with getting a gun license. Davis is also keeping administrative offices open longer on weekends to allow more people to apply.
“As a result of the ever-increasing violence being committed upon the American citizen and the current state of our country, I encourage each citizen of Creek County who is legally able to fully utilize their Second Amendment right ‘to keep and bear arms,’ as legally prescribed by the Oklahoma Defense Act,” Davis said in a statement.
The number of concealed handgun permits soared from 4.6 million in 2007 to 12.8 million in 2015, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. Those numbers match an evolution in the general public’s attitude toward guns. Just 35 percent of respondents in an August 2000 Gallup poll said they felt safer with a gun in the house. That rose to 42 percent in 2004, 47 percent in 2006 and 63 percent in 2014.
Even in gun-phobic Washington D.C., Chief of Police Cathy Lanier made what seemed to be a pro-gun ownership statement when interviewed on “60 Minutes” in November on the topic of what citizens can do during mass shootings. Her response was “If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.” However, it was also revealed at the time of the interview that Lanier had approved only 48 concealed carry licenses in the preceding year and had rejected 80 percent of all applicants.
The reality is that police cannot be everywhere that a violent crime is committed, and people are eager to feel safe and to do whatever is necessary to not let themselves become a victim. That Obama is going in the opposite direction is indicative of his disconnect with how most people feel, and it is easy to dismiss the need for a personal firearm when you are surrounded by armed protectors sworn to put their life on the line to protect you. But for average citizens it is becoming clear that a personal firearm and appropriate training is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and prepared.