STEPHENS COUNTY, Okla. – An Oklahoma sheriff is asking all citizens who are eligible to carry a weapon following the recent attack in San Bernardino.
Authorities say Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, stormed into a holiday luncheon for his co-workers and callously opened fire, killing 14 people before dying in a shootout with police.
On Monday night, Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney posted a message to citizens on Facebook, saying the nation is under attack.
“In the wake of the recent attack on Americans in California, it is evident that we as a nation are under attack by radical Islamic terrorists. These people have vowed under their religion to destroy all who do not follow their beliefs. Radical Islam has openly declared war on us and has vowed to attack us here – on our soil- and they are here with more coming.
These radical Islamic terrorists have promised that more Paris-style attacks are still to come. We do not know when, we do not know where, and we do not know how many will come. We also do not know the style of attack that will be chosen next.
Our county is small in numbers and I feel that we are unlikely to be targeted by these evil people. However, over the last few years the citizens of Stephens County has seen the evil committed by criminals in our communities. As your Sheriff, I encourage all who are LEGALLY, ELIGIBLE, and TRAINED to carry concealed weapons to do so. I do not want any of us to be helpless victims if we should fall under attack.
We may never be able to stop someone from attempting to carry out a violent attack, but we, as armed citizens, can mitigate the damage,” the post read.
The post has received a tremendous response.
In less than 24 hours, the post was liked almost 2,500 times and shared over 2,300.
The sheriff told KSWO that he isn’t against all Muslims or followers of Islam. Instead, he says he just wants residents to be able to protect themselves.
McKinney isn’t the only sheriff in the state calling on citizens to arm themselves.
Recently, authorities in Bryan County told KXII that they believe being armed can curb a crime from escalating. KXII says Bryan County Sheriff’s Investigator John Haislip wouldn’t mind seeing everyone who is capable in the county armed.
“By capable, I mean responsible enough to handle the situation,” Haislip said.
Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden, in Florida, posted the same message on his office’s Facebook page on Monday afternoon.