Sheriff Darryl Daniels of Clay County, Florida, released a 3-minute video Tuesday declaring he will deputize the county’s gun owners if protesters decide to visit the jurisdiction southwest of Jacksonville and turn into rioters.
As he stood with 18 deputies behind him, Daniels declared, “Don’t fall victim to subjecting yourself to this conversation that law enforcement is bad, that law enforcement is the enemy of the citizens that we’re sworn to protect and serve.
“We swore an oath, and in that oath, we swore to support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the government, and that we’re duly qualified under the state’s Constitution to hold office. That is for me as a sheriff and these men and women as deputy sheriffs. And we end that with, ‘So help me God.’
“But God is absent from the media’s message or Black Lives Matter or any other group out there that’s making themselves a spectacle disrupting what we know to be our quality of life in this country.”
Daniels, Clay County’s first black sheriff, spoke about the breakdown of law-and-order occurring in many parts of the country in recent weeks.
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“Lawlessness, that’s unacceptable in this country. Lawlessness, that’s unacceptable in Clay County,” he said. “And if you threaten to come to Clay County and think for one second that we’ll bend our backs for you, you’re sadly mistaken. …
“Tearing up Clay County, that’s not going to be acceptable. And if we can’t handle you, you know what I’ll do? I will exercise the power and authority of the sheriff and I’ll make special deputies of every lawful gun owner in this county. And I’ll deputize them for this one purpose: to stand in the gap between lawlessness and civility.
“That’s what we’re sworn to do, and that’s what we’re going to do. You’ve been warned.”
Daniels is himself under investigation over allegations that an affair with a fellow officer led to her wrongful arrest. Since he is battling a scandal in the midst of a tough re-election campaign, this video could be Daniels’ attempt to win over voters by appealing to the need for law-and-order and the right to bear arms. If so, the sheriff is correctly “reading the room,” as they say. Over the past few months, gun sales have surged across the United States.
Americans have seen police departments become overwhelmed during protests and riots across the country. In Seattle’s “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” zone, six city blocks were taken over and a police station was abandoned. In Minneapolis, a precinct was burned to the ground.
Right now, Americans can feel grateful for our Second Amendment rights. In some chaotic areas, they are the one thing standing between us and the violent left-wing mob.
Daniels acknowledged the protesters’ rights during his speech.
“Yes, we’ll protect your constitutional rights as long as you remain under the umbrella of peaceful protest or peaceful march. But the second that you step out from up under the protection of the Constitution, we’ll be waiting on you and we’ll give you everything you want,” he said.
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Daniels is not the first sheriff to suggest deputizing law-abiding gun owners in his county. Last year, Scott Jenkins, the sheriff of Culpeper County, Virginia, vowed to deputize thousands in his county if the state’s Democratic leaders passed extreme gun control measures. His county’s Board of Supervisors had unanimously agreed to declare the county a Second Amendment Constitutional County.
Law-abiding Americans have been viciously attacked during the violence sweeping the country. More and more of them could very well be open to being deputized so they can help protect their communities.
The Clay County sheriff may be facing an investigation, but his video message is on point.
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