Brevard County Sheriff: ‘The Only Thing That Stops a Bad Guy with a Gun Is a Good Guy with a Gun’

By Michael Morris | December 16, 2015 | 3:22pm EST

Sheriff Wayne Ivey of Brevard County, Florida addressed the San Bernardino terrorist attack in a Facebook video saying that world leaders need to “stop worrying about being politically correct” and asserting that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

"So, let there be no mistake what I'm about to say, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne Ivey. “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."

Below is a transcript of Sheriff Wayne Ivey’s comments:

“Hello, I’m Sheriff Wayne Ivey, and you’re ‘On Scene’ with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

“One of the many great things about being Sheriff is that you are expected to do and say what needs to be said and done to protect your citizens and community.

“I wanted to start by saying that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of the recent San Bernardino terrorist attack as well as the law enforcement officers and other first responders that faced the horrific carnage in their own community.

“Like each of you, I’ve had enough of terrorists and others deciding to target U.S. citizens because they want to make a statement or get their 15 minutes of fame. I personally believe that the fear of terrorism is much larger and encompassing than the terrorists themselves.

“I encourage our media partners across the country to stop giving these terrorists the benefit of having free advertisement by printing or broadcasting their propaganda or actions. These despicable individuals want to be paraded around and revered for their actions. So why would we ever give them anything they want?

“The purpose of this video message is to tell our citizens that if a terrorist attack or active shooter scenario can happen in California, Texas, South Carolina or Paris, it can happen right here in our own backyard.  In fact, active shooter scenarios have already occurred right here, dating as far back as 1987 with William Cruse who killed six people in Palm Bay, and as recent as February of this year at the Melbourne Mall.

“Now, more than ever before, is the time for law enforcement and our citizens to be fully prepared to immediately respond to an attack or active shooter scenario with the right tools to eliminate or, at the very least, disrupt the attack.

“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. 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.

“As a sheriff, elected official and citizen of our great country, I’m personally disgusted by the senseless attacks and murders of good people by bad people with evil intent who have for too long been allowed to act in this manner. Equally concerning is the fact that there are those in our country who are in a position to speak out by voicing strength and taking action who appeared more concerned about being politically correct than they are about protecting those they took a constitutional oath to serve.

“In this unique time, our country needs to unite and stand up as leaders and citizens and clearly state that we have had enough and will no longer tolerate such behavior and acts of evil.

"Let there be no mistake. This is not about politics, religion, ethnicity, race or social status, but instead is about our freedom, humanity, way of life and the future of our great nation. It is time to stop reacting and instead proactively engage anyone who threatens harm through terrorism or mass killings. 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.

“When did becoming politically correct become more important than punishing criminals in proud country? It didn’t, and it’s time for “PC” to become the acronym for protecting citizens, which is government’s first and only priority to its people. It’s time for America to get back to being America, 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 what I'm 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.

“I have always had absolute faith in our citizens to partner with us to help protect our community, and I want our citizens to be alert and vigilant. However, let me be very clear in saying, this is much deeper. This is about being able to defend and survive an attack by armed evil people until the cavalry can arrive.

“I am in no way suggesting that we, as citizens, take on a vigilante role. What I am saying is that we need to be mentally and physically prepared to respond to an attack so that we can effectively defend and protect ourselves in an emergency.

“Our communities are blessed with many military veterans and other incredible citizen heroes who are willing and ready to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’ and ‘this will not happen on my watch.’ Together, we can make a difference. Evil people look to take advantage of weakness, but one good person at the right place and time will make the difference.

“If you are not someone who is comfortable with a firearm, then we encourage you to always remember these three things when faced with a violent individual or active shooter:

“Run. Think before about how you can escape and emergency. Don’t stop to collect your things. And warn people to stop them from entering the dangerous area.

“Hide. Get out of view, preferably behind a locked door. Barricade furniture in front of the door and turn off the lights. Stay quite. Silence your cellphone and wait for the first responders to appear.

“Fight. If you are unable to escape by running or hiding, then there is only one other option, and that is to fight with every ounce of passion you have. Arm yourself with anything available, and remember, this is not a fair fight, it is a fight for survival, a fight for your life.

“If you are someone who has a concealed carry permit or is interested in obtaining one, I invite you to take advantage of our self-defense tactical shooting and decision making course that is held at our firing range on the last Saturday of each month. This one-of-a-kind course teaches attendees about tactical positioning, laws relating to ‘stand your ground’ and ‘self-defense’ as well as self-defense through mental preparedness. For more information on the course and to register to attend, please visit our website at or contact our career development unit at 321-264-5201.

“Please remember, this message is not intended to scare, but instead is intended to prepare everyone for the remote possibility that you find yourself in a violent confrontation. This message is about not waiting to take action.

“In closing, we ask our citizens to remain vigilant and to remember, if you see something, say something. In the aftermath of almost every mass shooting or terrorist incident there have been those that came forward and said, ‘I knew something was wrong,’ or ‘I didn’t want to report something suspicious and be wrong.’ On behalf our agency and community, I encourage you to contact us if you become suspicious, in any way, of anyone who causes you concern. If your suspicions turn out to be wrong, that’s okay, as we will all still be safe. But if your suspicions are right, by partnering with us, we may very well prevent the next tragedy in our country.

“On behalf of the 1,500 proud men and women of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, thank you for your continued support of our agency and for doing everything you can to help us keep Brevard County a safe place to call home.

“We’ll see you the next time on ‘On Scene.’”

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