Some communities across the country are feeling the reverberating effects of having insufficient leadership amid the coronavirus pandemic and now nationwide civil unrest.
The epidemic of feckless leadership is so severe that President Donald Trump commented on it Monday when he vowed that leaders who refuse to take control of the deteriorating situation on their streets could be met with boots on the ground.
But residents of Polk County, Florida, are not among those dealing with a leadership deficit.
In fact, they have elected a sheriff who trusts them to assist him as he and his deputies maintain order.
Sheriff Grady Judd displayed his care for Polk County residents in front of the entire country Monday when he warned of the consequences of bringing violence into the relatively quiet Central Florida jurisdiction.
At a media briefing, Judd told reporters that outside agitators with plans to disrupt the peace in Polk can expect to be met with force, WTVT-TV reported.
The sheriff said he had heard rumors on social media that some had plans to spread violence into neighborhoods in the county.
He had a simple message for those people: Don’t even think about it.
“I would tell them, if you value your life, you probably shouldn’t do that in Polk County,” Judd said.
“Because the people of Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns, and they’re going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded, and if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns,” he said.
“So leave the community alone,” Judd said.
“The people in Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns… And if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns.” STORY: https://t.co/NjG4Frlphy pic.twitter.com/KH0g3X0POC
— FOX 13 Tampa Bay (@FOX13News) June 1, 2020
The powerful statement immediately went viral online.
Judd also commented on the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died while in police custody last week, leading to protests that have become riots in many cities.
The sheriff said those who have reacted to Floyd’s death with violence have dishonored his memory.
“All of that ugliness has taken away from what we’re united about,” he said. “We’re united about the conduct that you saw with George, where his life was taken with a knee to the neck. It’s horrific, and there’s not enough words to explain that.
“Let’s keep the focus on that.”
While the Florida sheriff empathizes with those wishing to have their voices heard, he made it clear that those motivated to create pandemonium had better find somewhere else to do it.
The attacks on businesses, the violent assaults and the looting and arsons seen in other communities will not fly in a county where citizens are ready to use their God-given rights to drive out those who threaten their safety.
Judd and the residents of Polk County are peaceful gun owners — but don’t challenge them.
They are being encouraged to protect themselves and one another and to exercise their Second Amendment rights, as all people across the country should.
By virtue of electing a sheriff with such a degree of responsibility for the people of his county and respect for the Constitution, it is abundantly clear that Polk residents possess more than firearms; they also hold uncommonly good judgment.
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