‘Lock Your Doors, Load Your Guns,’ Says KY Sheriff

Martin County, KY Sheriff John Kirk is shown here in a screen snip from YouTube and East Kentucky Broadcasting.

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- A county sheriff in Kentucky may be in for some interesting times and a good deal of publicity for telling a fiscal court meeting that his agency is owed a $75,000 payment from the court, so he temporarily suspended law enforcement services and posted a message to his constituents via social media.

And the message was blunt: “Lock your doors, load your guns and get a biting, barking dog.”

Martin County Sheriff John Kirk is in the spotlight, and apparently not without justification. Local governments in eastern Kentucky are all reportedly feeling a pinch due to a decline in coal severance tax revenues, but Kirk appears to be the only one so far advising his neighbors to load up. It’s the sort of thing that may make for a good storyline in a “B” western, but in a modern world of political correctness, that sort of reasoning makes liberals quiver.

The story has been reported by the Washington Times and other news agencies. But Kirk’s remark may “put him on the map” as he has emerged as one of a relatively handful of career lawmen who have publicly suggested that citizens could become their own first responders.

Kirk’s situation is hardly unique. In rural counties all over the country, and especially in the West, it is still recognized that sheriffs departments operate on smaller budgets with less manpower. The private citizen may find himself or herself in a desperate situation that requires an immediate and decisive response, rather than a dial tone, perhaps a recorded message or a “place on hold” and then a wait of minutes to possibly much longer for a siren and flashing blue light to appear. By then, whatever was happening to prompt a call to 9-1-1 has happened.

In recent memory, at least two sheriffs in Florida — Wayne Ivey of Brevard County and Grady Judd in Polk County — have encouraged citizens to arm themselves. Also notable for encouraging armed citizens is Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Indeed, after one incident in Polk County in which a burglar was shot, Judd issued a statement: “If you are foolish enough to break into someone’s home, you can expect to be shot in Polk County. It’s more important to have a gun in your hand than a cop on the phone.”

Gun control proponents cringe when influential authority figures such as county sheriffs take positions like that, or they outright ignore what is being said, perhaps thinking that if they pay no attention to the “sheriff problem,” eventually it will go away.

But that may be wishful thinking. Right now, some 20 county sheriffs in Washington State have announced they will not actively enforce provisions of a gun control initiative passed by voters last fall, contending that the measure is either unenforceable or unconstitutional.

As this is happening, 29 county sheriffs in New Mexico are opposing several gun control measures that have been introduced in the state legislature, according to KOSA News in Odessa, Texas.

The story noted three bills specifically. House Bill 130 is a so-called “safe storage” measure that would penalize “gun owners who don’t store guns safely around children.” A second proposal, HB 87 would prevent people subject to protection orders from buying firearms.

House Bill 83 allows police or sheriffs deputies to “temporarily seize guns from people considered an imminent threat.” This is otherwise known as a “red flag law,” which a growing number of gun rights activists are raising alarms about since a Maryland man was fatally shot early one morning when officers attempted to serve such an order.

Proponents of these New Mexico measures say they do not infringe on Second Amendment rights, but sheriffs disagree, and one lawman, Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton, reportedly noted that there are already laws in effect that address these issues.

At one time, it was fashionable for anti-gun politicians to announce new gun control proposals while flanked or backed by groups of police and sheriff’s deputies. But that no longer appears to be the case as lawmen — at least those elected to office — are taking positions that confound proponents of increasingly restrictive laws.

About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor


  • 34 thoughts on “‘Lock Your Doors, Load Your Guns,’ Says KY Sheriff

    1. I moved out of The People’s Republic of NJ because all I was allowed to have to protect my home was a baseball bat. Communist state, only criminals and mean cops have guns. Now PA is going communist, time to move again. Voting is a joke, I vote but the system is now rigged so urban liberals always win, Philadelphia. and the Pitt.

    2. I’m a liberal and I’m not the least bit bothered by the sheriff’s comments.

      If someone kicks in my door at 3am, who I plan to vote for in the next election is irrelevant. Having the ability to defend oneself in a lethal force encounter should not be a partisan issue, in my opinion.

      I am very much bothered by the fact that so many on my side of the political fence view opposing gun ownership as some sort of political litmus test. However, the people on the right who can only view support for RKBA within the framework of conservative identity politics, right-wing territorial pissing and “owning the libs” seem more interested in prolonging the fight than actually winning it.

      1. @wa

        Tell me then, if you truly believe in non partisan issues, then how does this sound?

        1. Respect for the Bill of Rights..
        Our governments both Federal, State, and Local must adhere to and abide by the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

        Do you view that as “Conservative Identity politics” or territorial contests? I’m asking this seriously, and legitimately trying to understand you. I’m not sure there is anyone currently on the left that understands what “Rights” are anymore as they seem to focus solely on turning Government into a dispensary for what type of person should have what services or products.

        I’m a straight up Constitutionalist, so I am the most far right individual you will find here. My question to you now is do you really want to have a discussion without identity politics to where we can get down to solving problems, or are you only speaking because there is a single issue you feel is legitimate and as you have figured out the rest on your side of the political spectrum rejects completely? If you truly want to have a honest back and forth, then I’m the one you want. I won’t tell you not to be a liberal, but I will be honest with you and chances are you won’t like what I will question you on, and you might walk away with some new things to consider that will grow you as an individual.

    3. Please Share This Article, . http://batr.org/utopia/090418.html
      And Remember,
      “The immutable right for defending one’s person has no ideological test. It is an absolute justification for protecting the distinct safety of your being. For this reason alone, no government can morally disarm its citizenry from possessing the effectivemeans to guard your security. The obsession of the anti-gun crowd to ban weapons defies all rational understanding.”
      Be Well, Iva Gunn

    4. Never relied on LEO for my protection, LEO confirmed it when my mother had a person trying to get into her house through a ground floor window. She called 911 then armed herself and yelled at the guy she was armed and he kept trying to get in anyway. She told him when he got the window open she was going to shot, he left. It took LEO over 20 minutes to respond and when my mother let LEO into the house to take the report he got snotty with her that she still had the gun out.

    5. Amid Baltimore’s persistent violence, police department failing to fill positions

      As Rush Limbaugh correctly points out, liberals ruin everything they gain control over. Cities and their police departments included. *500* patrol openings that Baltimore cannot seem to fill, because people of good character and intelligence no longer wish to work there. Who wants a job where your bosses will hate you and try to scapegoat you for all the problems their ideology has created? Want plenty of guaranteed in-your-face violence, for which YOU will be blamed and likely be accused of ‘racism” and etc?. Plenty of openings await you in Baltimore today!

      Its getting to where they can’t pay cops enough money to be cops in liberal land anymore. Just not worth dying for.

    6. I hereby notify those liberals who inhabit that “modern world of political correctness” that they can (and rightfully should, indeed) go straight to hell. And commit an act of auto-eroticism on the way down.

      Good bye.

    7. I’ve been the cop at my place. I do give the foe a chance to chance to change his mind thou with 2 signs 1. foolish people are not pass this point. 2. we don’t call 911 till it’s over.

    8. Some years back the Sheriff of San Bernardino County in California, addressing a rapidly rising crime rate in his county (the largest in area in the state) went on the local TeeVee station and declared that your Sheriff’s Department are stretched too thin due to budget cuts, there IS a rapid increase in crime in this county, so the burden of your protection MUST fall on you, the residents of this county. We urge you to come on in, we’ll be glad to help you fill out the paperwork and uless you are a Prohibited Person and cannot possess firearms, we WILL grant you your carry permit.
      Funny thing… the crime rate took a sudden downward turn. Imagine that…

      And, as of about 8 years ago, the Sheriff in Tulare County (Visalia area, south of Fresno north of Bakersfield, central valley) had a population of about 120,000, and the Sheriff there had worked hard to let his county know we WANT you all to be armed. That county had over four thousand active Mother May I Cards at that time. In contrast, Los Angeles COunty, with several million residents, had only about 250 active Mother May I Cards.
      Duhhh… which county is safer?

      That Second Article of Ammendment very clearly places the responsibility for “the security of a free state (society)” upon THE PEOPLE, and that is why it also clearly places the RIGHT to arms upon THE PEOPLE, not government, military, police, private services…. no, THE PEOPLE have the right to arms. AndWE have it precisey for the purpose of ensuring “the security of a free state”.

      They can “repeal” that pesky and wonderful Second…. but they CANNOT and WILL NOT “repeal” our right to arms.

    9. Criminals do not show any fear to a police department being 10 minutes or more away because they can get in and out without getting caught. A homeowner or renter can put more fear into them if he/she is armed and confident to be able to defend their domain. If the owner just owns a gun but doesn’t know how to defend themselves that turns the situation backwards and the person trying to defend themselves become their own worst enemy secondary to the invader. Don’t just buy a tool and expect it to do the rest.

    10. The Democrats and liberals have realized that it’s too much of an uphill battle to implement radical anti-Second Amendment laws at the National (Washington D.C.) level to succeed any time soon. Now the emphasis is to take a back door approach and go after individual gun rights at the state level. It’ll be much easier as there are already numerous states that have been trampling on the 2nd Amendment for decades without interference and with support from their own citizens.

      1. And the ersatz activists in the NRA and other right-wing groups will gladly throw blue state gun owners under the bus instead of fighting for everyone’s second amendment rights.

    11. Not sure where you got the idea LEO’s used to be for gun control? Maybe in cities you have the brass on that side, only because they are politically motivated.
      As long As I can remember LEO polls have shown a 75% pro-gun stand at least. Even in upstate NY ex state troopers thought you should be armed.

        1. @Jim Mackey et al: Same for WA being ruled by Seattle-Tacoma, Nevada by Vegas, etc. Looks as if states need to adopt the electoral college voting system by county so the liberal leaning metro majorities don’t rule the majority of a state’s land owners. Thankfully many Sheriffs and even some city chiefs are following their oaths of office properly. It’s getting “interesting” out there…..

      1. Hey Geary, as the son , nephew, business partner and friend of LEO’S and living in the peoples republic of new jersey , there is no doubt about it in n.j. LEO,S do NOT want you to own firearms many have told me so , saying it makes their jobs harder (domestics, warrants, etc.).

      2. Geary:
        Never said LEOs were “for” gun control, just said they used to be paraded out as background for anti-gun politicians, but now, with so many lawmen and women openly showing their red, white and blue colors, that bit of showboat fakery is no longer fashionable.
        Thanks so much for reading and sharing, and making me feel welcome at Ammoland by weighing in with a cogent thought.

    12. I may not live in the middle of nowhere but I can see it from my attic. It takes the Sheriffs office around 15 minutes to get to my farm so I’ve been my own 1st responder for years.

    13. When it’s against the law and take a knee to take a moment and pray with your players but not against the law for those who take a knee that disrespect the flag and those who gave all, basic proof that America’s compass is pointing in the wrong direction. We need to be afraid, very afraid because the future does not look any brighter. Yes lock your doors and load your weapons. If you can’t see what’s happening now…. You won’t be around to see the future later.

    14. It’s always been the home owner being the 1st responder. If, they are a 2nd Amendment believer ? The “Right” to protect yourself and others is most important for every situation you may encounter !! Otherwise the coroner’s vehicle would be showing up to get your bodies ?! Act first explain last ?!

    15. You are always the first responder in any home invasion scenario….shouldn’t you be at least as well armed as the second responder, the police? Wise up America.

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