HUGHES SPRINGS, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas police chief sent a strong message to his city Sunday night in response to President Obama's address to the nation.
"I strongly encourage you to arm yourselves, and be ready when the wolf comes to the door, because it's on its way," said Hughes Springs Chief of Police Randy Kennedy in his Facebook video post.
Kennedy is urgently encouraging his residents to stand protected.
"I'm not asking my citizens to go out and be John Wayne, I'm not asking them to take any unnecessary risk," Kennedy said. "I'm asking them to become familiar with a weapon, learn how it works, how it operates, what to do with it."
Kennedy said that he felt he had to send this message after President Obama's remarks on terrorism to the nation.
"Now, Mr. Obama you need to understand what the second amendment is for," Kennedy said in the video post. "I do not want the citizens in my community or surrounding area to be recognized as soft targets. I want these jihadists to know that the people here will fight and do what's necessary to protect their families and their lives."
Kennedy explained that most importantly, he wants each resident to become more aware of their surroundings.
"Basically, I want their head on a swivel," Kennedy said. "I want them looking, looking, looking."
The residents of his city seem to agree with his initiative.
"It's way better to be prepared," said resident Randy Watkins. "I would much rather be in a situation that I didn't need a gun and have it than be in a situation that I needed the gun and didn't have it."
"For me it's alright," said resident Israel Gomez. "Everybody needs to have a gun to protect themselves."
"If that's my chief's statement, then I'm agreeable with him," said resident Florence Royal.
"The thing about it is, we're not going to stop the killing completely," Kennedy said. "The only thing you can do is minimize the amount of damage that they can do. That's the reality of it."
Kennedy said he hopes this effort sends the message that the rural town of Hughes Springs does not live in fear.
The chief of police stressed that he wants everyone in his city to be law-abiding, and is asking those without gun licenses to seek out those permits as soon as possible.
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