America’s Sheriffs Warn: Arm Yourself

• Never before in the history of the United States have so many sheriffs advised the citizenry to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

By Dave Gahary —

One of the side effects of the spate of recent mass shootings and foreign terrorism being brought to the shores of the United States is the resurgence of the county sheriff in advising the citizens whom they are sworn to protect to take up arms and defend themselves.

And sheriffs are not just being quoted for newspaper stories about their call to arms; they are taking to the airwaves themselves, making videos they are placing on their official websites for all to see. Some sheriff videos have become so popular on the Internet they have “gone viral,” meaning they have reached thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of viewers.


Although gun violence in the United States has declined (homicides, not suicides) over the last 20 years, the sheriffs are taking no chances with those they are constitutionally bound to defend.

In New York State, just an hour’s drive from Manhattan, Ulster County Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum took to social media with a warning message:

In light of recent events that have occurred in the United States and around the world I want to encourage citizens of Ulster County who are licensed to carry a firearm to PLEASE DO SO.

Across the country in Washington State, King County Sheriff John Urquhart warned his deputies and citizens to be on the lookout for “home-grown ISIS sympathizers who could target many of Seattle’s soft target.”

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In the Lone Star state, Hughes Springs County Sheriff Randy Kennedy uploaded a video message encouraging vigilance and a lecture to the president:

Now, Mr. Obama, you need to understand what the Second Amendment is for. It is not for hunting. It is there for the American people to protect themselves against the criminal elements, to protect themselves from terrorists and radical ideology and it’s also there to protect us against the government that has overreached its power. But if you try to disarm us, sir, then you will cause a revolution in this country to occur.


Perhaps the sheriff who gained the most attention nationally was Brevard County, Florida Sheriff Wayne Ivey, whose bold video message resonated with millions of Americans:

It is time for our national and world leaders to stop worrying about being “politically correct” and start worrying about what needs to be said and done to target, yes I said “target” terrorists.

It’s time for America to get back to being America. It’s time for politicians and law enforcement leaders to stop being politically correct and be bold, patriotic and aggressive in protecting our country, and it’s time to say what needs to be said in order to do what needs to be done.

So let there be no mistake in what I am about to say: the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. If you are a person who is legally licensed to carry a firearm, now is the time more than ever to realize that you and you alone may very well be the first line of defense for you, your family, and others around you in a terrorist or active shooter based scenario.

The good news for Americans is that the Second Amendment appears to be alive and well. Use it, or you may lose it.

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Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s ‘Underground Interview’ series.

Be sure to check out all of AFP’s free audio interviews. You’ll find them on the HOME PAGE, ARCHIVES & AUDIO section.