One straight-shooting Florida sheriff is encouraging his constituents to carry firearms to protect themselves from a potential attack.
“The armed assailant doesn’t plan on you fighting back,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a recent interview with WTVT-TV. “He plans on having a gun, doing all the shooting, and you’re just a sitting duck. Well, the ducks need to shoot back.”
Judd went on to encourage his constituents to obtain concealed carry permits and regularly carry a firearm.
“If you’re not afraid of a gun, get one,” he said. “And if you need to shoot somebody, shoot ’em a lot.”
Judd even suggested the Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016 might not have ended with 49 people dead and 58 other wounded had one person in the popular event space been carrying a gun.
And the Polk County sheriff isn’t alone in his opinion, either.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey recently posted a similar message to Facebook. He encouraged citizens to carry guns because “doing nothing” or “just hoping it won't happen to you” won’t save your life.
“Terrorists and active shooters are using every weapon available to target citizens: Guns, knives, trucks, hammers, and even explosives,” Ivey said. “Folks, now more than ever is the time for our citizens to be prepared to serve as the first line of defense.”
In addition to pressing his constituents to be armed, Judd has started a first-of-its-kind program to train and deputize school officials.
Though it is illegal to carry a firearm on a school campus in the Sunshine State, Judd has started teaching staffers at Southeastern University, a private Christian liberal arts college in Lakeland, Fla., how to shoot.
If there is ever an active shooter situation on the campus, the trained staffers are immediately deputized, freeing them to use the firearm for self-defense.