Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is now my favorite Wisconsin Democrat (from WTMJ.com):
“Can I count on you?”
It’s the question Milwaukee county Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., asks residents in a new radio spot about personal safety.
AUDIO: Click to hear the radio spot
“With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option,” he states.
Clarke tells residents personal safety isn’t a spectator sport, and “I need you in the game.”
“You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back, but are you prepared?”
Clarke suggests listeners take a firearm safety course and learn how to handle a firearm “so you can defend yourself until we get there.”
Suffice to say Clarke has upset many politicians in Milwaukee County. My source in Milwaukee reports that this is in part an issue between Milwaukee County government (the county executive and county board) and Clarke, who is, safe to say, considerably more conservative than both. Twice-failed gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett, mayor of Milwaukee, isn’t a fan of Clarke either. (There is little love lost as well between Barrett’s police chief, Ed Flynn, and Clarke. Flynn is one of the police chiefs who favors gun control; Clarke does not.)
Clarke’s specific issue with Milwaukee County government is that the county is trying to cut the Sheriff’s Department budget through, for instance, getting Milwaukee police to patrol Milwaukee County parks within the city. County boards and county sheriffs have an interesting legal relationship in this state — on the one hand, the county board sets the county budget, including the Sheriff’s Department, but (according to another sheriff I know) if a sheriff’s department exceeds its budget, the county has to make up that shortfall.
Some Milwaukee County police aren’t thrilled with Clarke either:
The Greenfield Police Dept. posted the following statement on its Facebook page:
-No Greenfield officers have been laid off or furloughed.
-Violent crime is down overall and in Greenfield
-Our response time to violent crime is less than two minutes
-The decision to arm yourself with a firearm is a very personal and private decision that should not be driven by fear that our officers will not respond to your calls for help.
To which came this Facebook comment:
By the time you realize you have an intruder in your home you don’t always have even two minutes to wait for the police. Your family could be dead by then. I am a responsible, law-abiding citizen and I don’t want anyone taking away my right to defend my family. I have four children and a husband that I love dearly. If some psycho is pointing a gun at them, I want to have a gun to point back and use if necessary.
One conservative blogger is less than impressed: Wigderson Library & Pub:
Okay, but the only layoffs and furloughs are in Milwaukee County Sheriffs Department, the “we” he mentions. Unlike other sheriff departments around the state, Clarke’s department doesn’t respond to 911 calls for home invasions. Local police departments are responsible for those calls. Clarke’s department is responsible for responding to calls in county parks, on the freeways, and running the county jail. …
This is about Clarke’s complaints about his budget, and he’s pandering to gun rights advocates to support him. Clarke is playing them for suckers and unfortunately a lot of them are falling for it.
Conservatives should be angry at Clarke for using taxpayer money for blatant political dishonesty instead of praising him for supporting gun owners. He may be right that you’re better off being prepared to defend yourself instead of waiting for law enforcement to arrive, but it has nothing to do with the layoffs and furloughs to his department.
To that, a comment:
The Milwaukee city police department has issued 3 furlough days to 1500+ officers to be scheduled in 2013 … 4500 manpower days or 12 fewer officers on the street every day.
Getting folks to think about and take an active role in their own defense is not a radical viewpoint. It’s a highly relevant discussion to have in our current political environment where the Democrat-controlled federal government is both brainstorming new ways and dusting off tired old ideas aimed not at preventing another Sandy Hook, but incrementally moving us towards a disarmed society.
Is there an aspect to this that serves Clarke’s politics? Perhaps, but given the fact that what he is saying is true, what’s wrong with that? He is an elected official and PSA’s are nothing new. Considering the apparent fact that well-informed people like you didn’t know about MPD’s 2013 furloughs tells me that Clarke’s PSA informing them of that reality is doing a service to the public. Barrett/Flynn would prefer to keep their constituents disarmed and in the dark.
Barrett has an odd relationship with his police officers and firefighters. He proposed Fire Department cutbacks that the firefighters opposed. He criticized the public employee collective bargaining reforms because they excluded police and firefighters. It makes you wonder (not for the first time) how smart a politician Barrett is, because voters haven’t exactly been sympathetic to emergency services cuts anywhere since 9/11. (Bill Clinton figured that out before 9/11; you may recall his 100,000-police-officer initiative while he was president. Clinton figured out that voters want even Democrats to be tough on crime.)
If Clarke is on one side and Barrett and the Milwaukee County Board the other, I’m on Clarke’s side. Barrett’s record as mayor remains largely accomplishment-free, as was the case during Recallarama Part Deux. I also have no respect for politicians — or, for that matter, police management — who espouse denying us our constitutional rights, even in the name of crime control.
The New Adventures of Jean Nicolet provides perspective from the other end of Interstate 43, or the future-Interstate U.S. 41:
Today, the number of people ‘packin in their purse, their pants or in their pockets is large: Why else would we be called Green Bay Packers? Our famous chant of, “GO PACK GO!“ is part civic pride – and part public service announcement: a not-so-gentle reminder that all law-abiding citizens should go Pack; go get ready! …
Wisconsin’s new Conceal/Carry Law is helping people pack; more citizens than ever are ‘packin, or planning to. Last year, 151,577 Packers applied for a conceal and carry permit (138,000 have been approved so far). Last year, 106,448 hand guns were sold in Wisconsin – a 124% increase from the 47,373 sold in 2007. Those numbers – which will continue to grow as politicians continue to chip away at the Second Amendment – are on top of an already well-armed citizenry. (MOST, however, probably won’t apply for a conceal/carry permit.)
Our citizens are also good shots, and educated about gun usage. Hunter Safety Courses are in the High Schools. Rifle and pistol ranges flourish up here; gun clubs in every community are like surrogate Community Halls where many people regularly meet, and greet, and eat… but it’s not all social: They DO get down to the business end of a Gun Club –they practice shooting their guns.
The uncomfortable truth is that police are not necessarily able to respond within seconds to any call, even violent calls, if something else is going on. People who live in college towns know that people of capacity diminished by ingestion of regulated beverages have been known to show up where they’re neither expected nor wanted. Ultimately, your safety and your family’s safety is up to you, not anyone else.
Question 46 in the wide-ranging survey of more than 1,000 registered voters asks if there is a gun in the household. Overall, 52 percent of the respondents said yes, someone in their home owned a gun. That number included 65 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of conservatives, 38 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of liberals.
But on to Question 47, addressed to those with a gun in their home: “If the government passed a law to take your guns, would you give up your guns or defy the law and keep your guns?”
The response: 65 percent reported they would “defy the law.” That includes 70 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of conservatives, 52 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of liberals.
These results don’t tell us why people would defy the government, but the poll I conducted suggests that a plurality of Americans support the Second Amendment because they want the ability to resist tyranny.
I’m also happy to see that most Americans understand that gun bans are a very ineffective way of fighting crime. Heck, they realize that we need more guns in the hands of law-abiding people.
In other words, ordinary Americans have a lot more common sense than the buffoons in the media. They know that you get less crime when you increase the expected cost of criminal behavior.
Just bitter clingers. Right, Barack?