Hughes Springs Police Chief Randy Kennedy urged Americans to arm themselves against the threat of mass shooting, terrorism and – increasingly – an out-of-control government, the AP is reporting.
“[The Second Amendment is] also there to protect us against a government that has overreached its power,” Kennedy says in the video, directing his comments to President Obama: “You are not our potentate, sir. You are our servant.”
He warned people in his town to prepare themselves: “Be ready when the wolf comes to the door, because it’s on its way.”
Law enforcement in Arizona, Florida and New York also have recently prompted citizens to arm themselves – some using similar comments aimed at terrorism.
Kennedy’s to arms was the result of his dissatisfaction with Obama’s recent prime-time speech where the he vowed the U.S. will “prevail” against an ideology that seeks to “poison the minds” of people here and around the world. The police chief told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he’s not asking residents to turn into vigilantes or “become super action heroes.”
He said feedback on his video has been supportive for the most part.
“There have been a few extremely nasty comments, calling me basically a backwoods redneck hick creating monsters that don’t exist,” he said.
Wayne Ivey, the sheriff in Brevard County, Florida, said in a video post on the department’s Facebook page over the weekend that political leaders appear more interested in being politically correct than protecting people. He urged residents to arm themselves as a first line of defense against an active shooter.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Ivey said.
Another Florida sheriff, Steve Whidden in Hendry County, this week encouraged more people to carry weapons because “we as a nation are under attack by radical Islamic terrorists.”
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona issued a statement Tuesday asking “legally armed citizens to take a stand, and take action during a mass shooting/terrorist event until law enforcement arrives.”
And last week, Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum in upstate New York called for licensed gun owners in his county to arm themselves when leaving home, citing mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, California.
John Moritz, spokesman for the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, said he assumes the comments from Kennedy, the Texas chief, reflect the views held in his community. But Moritz said caution should be used when giving such instructions to people who have no law enforcement training.
“Most times citizens are going to be best served and best protected by calling trained law enforcement officers whenever they feel their lives or property are in danger,” Moritz said.
About Robert Gehl
Robert Gehl is a college professor in Phoenix, Arizona. He has over 15 years journalism experience, including two Associated Press awards. He lives in Glendale with his wife and two young children.