Bud Kennedy

In Oklahoma and also Ellis County, lawmen say ‘Getcher guns’

Stillwater Armory owner Tom Smith with his Ed Brown 1911 .45: Oklahoma passed open carry in 2012.
Stillwater Armory owner Tom Smith with his Ed Brown 1911 .45: Oklahoma passed open carry in 2012. The New York Times

Just in time to spur holiday retail sales, an Oklahoma sheriff is suggesting shopping for weapons.

Because the world is “more violent toward Americans,” Sheriff Milton Anthony of Ardmore, in a public letter, urges all residents of Carter County to arm up and “exercise your 2nd Ammendment right.”

Everyone, he writes reassuringly in all capital letters, needs a handgun license and sidearm because anyone in Greater Ardmore “may be called on to help defend the citizens of this county against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

First of all, I’m glad Carter County plans to be the vanguard of America’s defense against foreign enemies, which I hope do not include Texans.

But I’m curious.

How many people in Ardmore don’t already have a gun?

After all, we’ve heard in Texas how Oklahoma is the land of open carry, where moms shop in superstores with holstered pistols on their hips.

Maybe that helps with the parking problem. But if the High Sheriff of Ardmore is right, those moms need to lock and load and be ready to fight our enemies, some of whom may try to fool us with a diabolical ruse, such as actually knowing how to spell amendment.

Alarmist and poor speller that he is, Anthony didn’t go nearly as far as an elected county constable right here in nearby Midlothian.

A popular October post on Ellis County Constable Mike Jones’ Facebook page read: “The only way to stop this gun violence is for everyone to start carrying at all times.”

Unlike the Oklahoma sheriff, Jones didn’t bother to suggest getting a license.

Or obeying the law.

Everyone should be armed, Jones wrote, “regardless of what your state or local gun laws may dictate.”

Just in case that wasn’t clear, Jones explained in an online podcast on a Houston-area secessionist-affiliated website:

“We have a God-given right in the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms.”

He did not cite the Bible verse that gives us all unlimited guns.

Jones had already been in the news for a Facebook post referring to Islamic State militants with the racial slur “rock monkeys,” which is not to be confused with the rock music Monkees.

Ellis County Judge Carol Bush had asked county officials to review Jones’ use of county property, including trademarks, insignias and equipment, in his personal and political social media posts.

Last week, with several busloads of children and teenagers headed to an Ellis County church camp as federal immigration detainees, the constable was on Facebook again.


“… I am told these illegals are NOT Syrians, but are South Americans! Are you kidding?”

Regardless, Jones advised residents to “Carry your weapon at all times.”

I’m not so worried about licensed handgun permittees under the law.

But I do worry when officers make up their own laws.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, bud@star-telegram.com, @BudKennedy. His column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.