In Brevard County, Florida — less than an hour’s drive from Disney World — Sheriff Wayne Ivey was one of the first to post a video on Facebook. In it, his message was clear: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.”
Though he repeatedly cautioned against vigilante justice, Ivey made sure gun owners knew he wanted them to “proactively engage anyone who threatens harm through terrorism or mass killings.”
Ivey is confident that responsible gun owners with concealed weapons permits will partner with them in stopping an active shooter before police arrive on the scene, he told CNN.
“We want you to be prepared to defend yourself, to protect you and your family,” he said.
Ivey’s video has been viewed by more than 4 million people — among them, Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair, whose jurisdiction is about 100 miles northwest of Ivey’s. He, too, decided to post an online video with a similar message: “If you are certified to carry a gun, I would like to encourage you to do so.”
In Arizona, the controversial top cop of Maricopa County, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, was even more direct.
“My goal of utilizing 250,000 citizens with concealed weapons is to stop the carnage, stop the killing before cops arrive,” he said.