King County Sheriff John Urquhart cautioned his deputies to be vigilant against what he thinks is a grave threat: home-grown ISIS sympathizers who could target many of Seattle’s soft target.
“What I am worried about, what causes me to lose sleep at night, is a homegrown terrorist,” Urquhart said. “That’s somebody that hasn’t come over from Syria, that’s not an official part of ISIS, but has been radicalized by ISIS by their propaganda.”
“They’ve been implored to take action wherever they are, around the world,” he said. “I’m afraid of a homegrown terrorist that does something here. It’s going to be a soft target.”
He recommended that his off-duty deputies carry their service weapons, along with extra magazines, in case they encounter a terrorist act in progress.
But what about the average citizen? If we’re trained and have a license to carry, should we arm ourselves? Sheriff Urquhart had a refreshing answer when I interviewed him Tuesday night on the Jason Rantz Show (weeknights, 7-10 p.m.).
“I’m not going to be presumptuous and say somebody should carry a gun and I’m not going to be presumptuous and say somebody shouldn’t carry a gun,” Sheriff Urquhart declared. “To be armed is a very personal decision … and everybody has to make that decision themselves without input from me and frankly, anybody else.”
He says that if you choose to arm yourself, take special care of the responsibilities that comes with this decision.
Usually, we’re told by public officials that being armed is never the right move and that we ought to leave it to the professionals. For the Sheriff to be so even-keeled and rational is so refreshing, especially since it’ll likely tick off local anti-gun activists who want him to tow the line of saying no to citizens with guns.
Washington state law allows for gun owners to have a concealed pistol license. People with a concealed pistol license are allowed to carry a firearm with them in public. It is illegal for a person to carry a concealed gun in public, or have a loaded gun in a vehicle, without having such a permit.