Actor and popular conservative personality James Woods is the latest public figure to scold Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
Woods censured Israel for an NBC 6 interview in which the sheriff aggressively cleared himself of culpability in the case of four deputies who failed to enter Stoneman Douglas High School during the Feb. 14 shooting, asserting “that’s not my responsibility.”
“I’m the sheriff,” Israel said. “My name’s on the door. The people responsible are the ones who took the calls and didn’t follow up on them, as it was with the FBI, as it was with any person.” He continued:
“Leaders are responsible for the agency, but leaders are not responsible for a person. I gave him a gun, I gave him a badge. I gave him the training.
“If he didn’t have the heart to go in, that’s not my responsibility.”
Woods blasted Israel and argued that the interview showed the need for private gun ownership for self-defense, tagging the NRA in a Sunday night tweet.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) February 26, 2018
“If you watch this and DON’T arm yourself, you’re an idiot,” the actor wrote.
On Sunday, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) revealed a letter with 73 House Republican signatures urging Gov. Rick Scott to remove Israel, a Democrat, from his position, NBC 6 reported.
In response, Scott initiated a probe into the deputies’ action during the shooting, in which 17 people were killed.
“I have asked for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to immediately investigate the law enforcement response and will continue to review this matter as more facts come out,” the governor said in a statement. “There must be an independent investigation and that is why I asked the FDLE Commissioner to immediately start this process.”
Sheriff Israel expressed willingness to cooperate with the investigation, but said he will not step down.
The news came after Israel accused NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch of “not standing up” for the shooting’s survivors at a CNN town hall last week.
“You just told this group of people that you are standing up for them,” Israel told Loesch. “You’re not standing up for them until you say, ‘I want less weapons.'”
Many, including President Trump, have pointed to the failure of law enforcement at Stoneman Douglas, as well as to the heroism of teachers like football Coach Aaron Feis–who placed himself in the line of fire to protect students–as a basis to argue for arming teachers.
Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again – a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2018
Many of Woods’ followers claimed Israel’s rant bolstered their support for the NRA and the Second Amendment.
He is part of the reason why we need the 2nd Amendment.
— deplorablem1ke (@deplorablem1ke) February 26, 2018
This folks is why u cannot rely on the government. If my life or that of my family is in danger I will do what I have to do.
— NobodyfromNoWhere (@americafirst181) February 26, 2018
Hopefully we can make the NRA 10 million strong! They defend our rights, politicians don’t stand by their convictions, we need more NRA members pushing back!
— Donna (@Kodie2038Donna) February 26, 2018
He taking a page from the Hillary guidebook on how to blame everyone and accept no responsibility yourself. An incredibly perfect democrat stooge
— Laura Wilson (@lkw72258) February 26, 2018
Could this video be why the gun show in Florida (pardon the pun) exploded with buyers?
— John Cunningham (@ugadaknight) February 26, 2018
Amen as soon as they attacked NRA and 2nd amendment I got my knew 5 year membership
— James (@jrent777_james) February 26, 2018
Broward County Sheriff Motto “I’m not responsible for my men “
— Cool Hand Luke (@AmericanBand911) February 26, 2018
— Geno Ez (@EzGeno) February 26, 2018