NC Sheriff Tells Residents to Arm Themselves

Bank robber Willie Sutton (1901-1980), when asked, “Why do you rob banks?,” reportedly said, “Because that’s where the money is.”1

In a similar way criminals with guns know who to go after: People without guns. Why take the risk with somebody who carries a gun? You might as well pull a gun on a person you know is unarmed. It’s safer, and most likely you want have to pull the trigger.

Lately, however, more people are arming themselves and it’s beginning to pay big dividends. Word is getting out that more people are paying attention to the arguments of people who know the statistics: More guns in the hands of the right people means less crime.

John R. Lott, Jr., author of More Guns, Less Crime, says:

“States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes. Thirty-one states now have such laws—called ‘shall-issue’ laws. These laws allow adults the right to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness.


“Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.”

These points have been made over and over again, so it’s not surprising that a sheriff from North Carolina is encouraging people in his small town to arm themselves because of an uptick in violence.


LILLINGTON, N.C. — The Harnett County sheriff expressed concern Monday evening about a recent spike of violent crime, and he’s even told residents to start arming themselves.

WTVD-TV reported that more than 100 people packed the sanctuary of the Spring Hill United Methodist Church Monday night for a community meeting on crime. There has been an explosion of violence and crime in the area, especially in the last few weeks.

Sheriff Larry Rollins told the crowd that the violence is fueled by gangs and drugs. He urged everyone to protect themselves, saying he doesn’t go anywhere without a gun.

“When I am out with my family, even though I am a cop, I don’t go anywhere without a gun,” Rollins told the crowd. “I mean it’s sad we have to have that attitude, but I am going to protect myself and my family. I want my deputies at your house just as fast as they can when you got a problem, but you better be able to take care of business until we get there if you have to protect your family.”

This part of the county’s landscape of rural life is quickly giving way to a population boom, and residents are worried. Several residents said they are afraid to leave their homes — afraid of the growing violence.

One resident said she goes to church, and prays but is still afraid. It’s a sentiment shared by other families as well.

“I think they are working hard trying to get solutions, for us which comforts us a little bit, but still, knowing it’s out there and knowing it happens every day, still doesn’t make you feel safe,” said resident Jamie Salmon.

Several speakers urged the residents to call deputies if they see something suspicious, and to keep a sharp eye out for themselves and their neighbors.

  1. In reality, Sutton never said it. But because Sutton was a thief, it did not stop him from using a version of it for one of his book titles: Where the Money Was (1976). []
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