Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle spoke Thursday against any legislation that would threaten a citizen’s right to bear arms.
“The Second Amendment is not about hunting and it’s not about self-defense,” Whittle said. “If anybody tells you that, they’re wrong.”
Whittle told the crowd of about 50 men and women at a meeting of the CSRA Republican Women’s Club that America’s founding fathers added the Second Amendment to protect the county from a “tyrannical government,” after the American Revolution.
“They said, ‘We’re never going to do this again. Every citizen in this country needs to be armed in order to overthrow a tyrannical government,’ and that is your Second Amendment.”
The government, he said, creates an environment where murderers thrive when they take away peoples’ “God-given” right to arm themselves.
“When we created gun-free zones in our schools a lot of people thought that was good,” he said. “You know what, you put up signs that said come kill our kids. That’s exactly what we did when we created gun-free zones. I would rather put up a sign that says 12 teachers are armed.”
Whittle said he’s in favor of training school administrators and faculty members to handle guns, adding that it wouldn’t emotionally harm small pupils in a classroom.
“A bullet right across here,” said Whittle, motioning to his head, “will scar a child.”
Whittle said that he and others in law enforcement have no business knowing whether someone owns a gun and told the group they should never register their guns.
“If you’re a criminal, I’m going to get you anyway,” he said. “You’re going to do some criminal act and I’m going to come get you, but it’s not any of my business where you own one, or how many or what kind they are. That’s your right as a citizen of this country.”
Whittle urged the audience to contact legislators and stand against gun reform. He said now, more than ever, he fears for the future if guns were taken out of residents’ hands.
“There was a quote a few years ago about Hitler about how they passed common-sense gun legislation and the streets would be safer and all that kind of stuff,” Whittle said, “and they took everybody’s guns away and we got the Third Reich. If you give them up, we’re done for. I never really thought in my lifetime we would see the concern of having to do that, but it surely bothers me now.”