Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey is incredibly wrong about 'good guys with guns'

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Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, the self-described "most politically incorrect sheriff in the country," released a video Wednesday stating that the best way to fight terrorists is for more citizen vigilantes to start packing heat.

"This is war, and you better be prepared to wage war to protect you, your family and those around if you're attacked," says Ivey in the roughly six-minute video.

He goes on to say, "No matter who you are or what's your position on guns, there's no denying the fact that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun or a knife, is an armed and well-prepared citizen or law enforcement officer."

Unfortunately for Ivey, there's just no proof supporting his theory that more guns makes society safer, let alone from from mass shootings or terrorist attacks.

Dr. Stephen Hargarten, a leading expert on emergency medicine and gun violence at the Medical College of Wisconsin, spoke to Mother Jones following a five-month study on gun violence and said there is zero evidence indicating that arming civilians prevents mass shootings.

Hargaten also points out that armed civilians who try to intervene are typically more likely to make the problem worse "given that civilian shooters are less likely to hit their targets than police in these circumstances."

Sure, there are extraordinary circumstances, but the overall evidence to support the "good guy with a gun" theory just isn't there. The only thing that we know for a fact is that in the past few years background checks in Florida have increased tremendously, and yet gun violence and gun-related deaths have spiked.

Between 2010 and 2015, background checks rose by 66 percent, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. On top of that, the number of concealed weapon permit holders over that same period has almost doubled, going from 739,222 to 1.4 million, reports the Miami Herald.

The point is, Florida is flush with guns.

Based on Ivey's logic, the Sunshine State should be one of the safest states in the country, but that's not the case. From January through March of this year, gun violence in the Orlando area was higher than anywhere else in Florida except Miami, reports the Orlando Sentinel.  Most of these incidents involved youth.

According to a Tampa Bay Times report from February of this year, on average, a child is killed in Florida by a gun every 17 hours.

It's also worth mentioning that since the tragic attack at the gay nightclub Pulse, which killed 49 people, there have been 30 mass shootings in Florida. Guess how many of those had to do with "radical Islamic terrorists"?

None.

Oh, and to make matters worse, Florida leads the country in road rage gun violence. Guns aren't making anyone safer.

Daniel Webster, who runs the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins University, made a great point to the Herald: "People have been convinced of two things. That you are at risk at all times, which is not true, and that you will be able to handle that risk so long as you have your loaded handgun at the ready."

Essentially, the only thing that Ivey's latest video accomplishes is creating unnecessary fear among the people he represents. Perhaps this elected official should spend more time spinning his wheel of fugitives, and less time stoking paranoia.


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