The inimitable Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is calling on armed citizens to take action during mass shootings in order to save lives.
With 250,000 Arizonans currently carrying concealed weapons permits, the "Toughest Sheriff in America" called on "an armed posse" to "take some action before the law enforcement officers show up and save lives in the process." Unfortunately, three days prior to the San Bernardino terrorist attack, Arpaio had made the same suggestion.
Speaking these words to local KTVK news station, he received a bit of pushback when an anchor said if these armed citizens are not trained, they could do more harm than good.
"I'm sure they know how to shoot a gun," Arpaio fired back. "I'm not concerned. Many of them are trained anyway," he added.
Continuing, the sheriff said all of his officers are now required to carry weapons in their civilian clothes while off-duty as a precaution. He reasoned that in some instances, you have to take a chance despite the risks, noting that the Colorado shooter wouldn't have had hours to carry out his attack if someone were there to take him down.
Arpaio also griped about loosing his armored vehicles at the request of President Obama who doesn't want a military-like presence for police. Yet during the takedown of the suspects in California, those armored vehicles came in real handy.
Sheriff Joe said:
I don't want to be politically correct, which I'm not, but we better get tough on this situation and stop being afraid of speaking out and taking action and being proactive. And all these excuses with all these guys -- politicians don't like guns. It's always the political. Instead of politics, let's save some lives and take some chances.
The anchor gave the sheriff more pushback suggesting that citizens could take actions more like the three soldiers did on the Paris-bound train when they took down a gunman with their bare hands. Arpaio responded:
Well, I tell ya, if they were armed, that guy would've had a lot of bullet holes in him. Okay? And he should have. Sometimes a knife doesn't do any good. But we're at war. We have a problem with terrorism, domestic terrorism, and international terrorism and I have the authority as a chief law enforcement officer to mandate private citizens -- if I need their help -- to help this sheriff and defend the people. I have that authority.