Brevard County, Florida, Sheriff Wayne Ivey has a surprising response to the threat of terrorism and mass shootings. The veteran law enforcement officer thinks that Americans should arm themselves to protect their communities.
“It is a known fact that the best law enforcement agencies in the country have response times in minutes, yet violent criminals can take our lives in seconds,” Ivey said in a video posted on the sheriff’s office Facebook page. “Law enforcement officers in San Bernardino arrived on scene approximately four minutes after the incident was first reported. Even with that incredible response time, they arrived too late, to find too many dead or critically wounded.
Ivey added, “If you’re 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 only be the first line of defense for you, your family and others around you in a terrorist or active shooter-based scenario.”
“This is much deeper about being able to defend an attack by armed and evil people until the cavalry can arrive,” Ivey said. “Evil people look to take advantage of weakness, but one good person at the right place and time will make the difference.”
Sheriff Ivey’s Warnings
If a mass shooting can take place in places as diverse as South Carolina and California, it can happen anywhere, Ivey said.
“Now, more than ever before” he said, “is the time for law enforcement and our citizens to be fully prepared for an attack or an active shooter scenario with the right tools to eliminate or disrupt the attack. It is time to stop reacting — and instead — proactively engage anyone who threatens harm through terrorism or mass killings.”
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Ivey was not encouraging vigilantism; instead, he made a number of important points he said citizens should pay attention to, including:
- Everyone needs to know what to do in such a situation.
- Citizens with concealed carry permits should be ready to defend themselves and others.
- People with concealed carry permits should take a self-defense tactical shooting course. Ivey’s office is offering such a course.
- Persons who do not want to carry guns should be prepared to hide, run and fight back if necessary.
Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for more than three decades and is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy. Before his election as Brevard County sheriff, Ivey served as a resident agent in charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Brevard County is the region around Melbourne, Florida, south of Cape Canaveral. At least one other Florida law enforcement leader, Sheriff William D. Snyder of Martin County, agrees with Ivey.
“If a person legally can carry a firearm and carry it concealed and be out in public, I would say they would be in a lot safer position if there was a terrorist attack,” Snyder told WPTV.
Can the New Terrorist Strategy Be Stopped?
Meanwhile, Baylor University professor Philip Jenkins wrote in the American Conservative that groups like ISIS are using lone wolf terrorist tactics – tactics that are difficult to stop.
Jenkins noted that in the 1980s the neo-Nazi movement in the United States collapsed because it had been penetrated by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. In response, some leaders promulgated a theory of leaderless resistance, which encouraged their followers to simply go out and carry out attacks on their own.
Terrorist websites and publications like the ISIS magazine Dabiq are now promoting similar tactics, Jenkins noted.
“What that means is that virtually none of the counter-terror tactics currently deployed by U.S. agencies have the slightest relevance to detecting or preventing future attacks,” Jenkins wrote. “You can’t track leaders because there aren’t any, you can’t infiltrate the group or turn participants, and all the propaganda and terror methods needed are on the Internet.”
Even if 99 percent of American Muslims reject ISIS doctrine, that still leaves 30,000 potential Islamic militants in the United States, Jenkins said.
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