Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sheriff David Clarke on the 2nd Amendment

You may know Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke from this public safety announcement that ran on Milwaukee area radio a few weeks back:

"Sheriff David Clarke PSA for Milwaukee County"

This radio spot generated a lot of controversy.  Two articles from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"Sheriff David Clarke's radio ad says 911 not best option, urges residents to take firearms classes" by
Bruce Vielmetti, Steve Schultze and Don Walker

In the radio ad, Clarke tells residents personal safety isn't a spectator sport anymore, and that "I need you in the game."

"With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option," Clarke intones.

"You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back."

Clarke urges listeners to take a firearm safety course and handle a firearm "so you can defend yourself until we get there."

"You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We're partners now. Can I count on you?"

"Sheriff David Clarke calls guns 'great equalizer' in new radio ad" by Sharif Durhams
Clarke's 30-second audio spot seems to take aim at the jurisdiction of the Milwaukee Police Department and the court system.

"Violent crime went up nearly 10% in Milwaukee. Are you the next victim?" Clarke says. "You don't have to be, but that's your call."

The sheriff says a "soft on crime court system" puts armed criminals back on area streets, but that residents can get a gun to protect themselves.

"Now it's the crook who has to wonder what you might do," Clarke says. "It could be a great equalizer, but you always have to think survival."

Well, Sheriff Clarke was a guest host on the Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show on WISN radio, Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 6, 2013.  It was a very entertaining and enlightening three hours (minus commercials, of course).  I've taken the time to transcribe interesting portions of the show.

Caller (Steve from Cudahy):
I was shocked to hear, you know, turning on the TV last week and seeing, you know, our police chief asking the question, 'Why do we need more than ten bullets in a clip?'.  And I thought, you've got to be kidding, you know, I mean the issue--I keep hearing this and no one seems to be saying this on these talk shows, not yours, but as far as, you know, on cable.  They keep talking about home defense but the issue isn't home defense or deer hunting.  The issue is the Second Amendment, which we can't compromise, was given, and you can back me up on this, this is how I read it, that it's to to protect us from tyrannical government.
Sheriff Clarke:
Exactly.  But I've got a better answer, Steve, for that. Why does somebody need a magazine that holds more than ten rounds?  Why should people be able to buy ammo over the internet?  Why do people need an AR-15?  You know what my answer is?
What's that?
Sheriff Clarke:
Because they want want one!
Sheriff Clarke:
All right?  And because the Constitution says they can do it.  That's my response to that.  They don't--you don't owe me an explanation as to why you want a magazine that holds more than ten rounds.  You don't owe me an explanation.  And I'm an entity of government.  You don't owe the government an explanation.  We have enough rules and restrictions on the Second Amendment.  If a criminal defendant exercises his Fifth Amendment rights I don't go, 'What do you need an attorney for?'  You get him an attorney!

Clarke also expressed a great deal of clarity on his role and who he needs to answer to--and it's NOT politicians!
Those are my constituents in the City of Milwaukee.  And I'm responsible.  It's not about who responds to calls for service.  I'm their voice.  I don't work for [Milwaukee] Mayor Barrett, I don't work for [Milwaukee Police Chief] Ed Flynn, I don't work for [Milwaukee County Executive] Chris Abele, I don't work for [Milwaukee County Chief] Judge [Jeffrey] Kremers.  I work for the people of this county, they put me here.  I don't take orders from them [the politicians].
I'm responsible for the safety of everybody in this county. ... I'm responsible.  So I'm offering a vision, for safer streets, safer schools, safer communities, and that we need to be tough on crime.  That's my role here.  I've got cops, sheriff's deputies, put their lives on the line every time they put that uniform on, and I'm going to have some puke politician come along and talk about well, you guys don't handle that.  Are you crazy?
Like I said, I'm the voice of law-abiding citizens all throughout this county.  I'm in an environment where other public officials are hiding the truth about crime and violence in this area.  I'm going to keep people informed as to what's going on--like I said, I'm their voice.  These folks that I mention here, Kremers and Barrett and Abele and Flynn, they're struggling with that, that I occupy the position that I do and I do have the bully pulpit.  Like I said, this is not about who responds to what.  I'm trying to keep people from being victimized before they are.  I won't be lectured to--by Flynn, Barrett, Abele, Kremers, the Journal Sentinel--about what we're spending on crime prevention messages.  They're trying to intimidate, that's not going to work with me.  I will not be deterred, and I will not be dissuaded, from addressing issues of crime anywhere in Milwaukee County.  And this political environment that I'm in.  I use different tactics.  They're not used to these tactics.  They're used to attacking the messenger, attacking the message, and having the messenger go away in either frustration or intimidation.  And to silence them.  You can't tell people crime is on the rise in Milwaukee County.  Oh really?  I should do what you want me to do and tell them all is well?  Well it's not well.
But when I say those those things, oh, Clarke's critical. Oh yeah, well you know what?  Get used to it!  Because, in these political fights--and they are political fights--I fight unconventionally.  And I keep coming back.  And that's the way it's going to be.

Clarke has a well-grounded philosophy on the role of government, and how that affects freedom.
Read your Declaration of Independence.  I say that, I try to say that, everywhere I go.  That came up, too: Clarke calls for revolution!  I didn't call for anything.  I trust that law-abiding people, everywhere, but in Milwaukee County, should be empowered to make these decisions for themselves.  About how to defend themselves.  How to protect themselves and their family.  The Castle Doctrine, the Personal Protection Act.  I don't fear a law-abiding person with a gun.  I fear a career criminal with a gun.  When a felon possess a gun, bad things happen.  As John Lott talked about, when a law-abiding person owns and possesses a gun, good things happen.  Government has got to learn how to let go of power and start trusting its citizens.  It's about freedom, all this stuff.  The violence in these communities, stressed communities in the City of Milwaukee, people aren't free.  You can't even let your kids play outside.  You can't even let 'em out of your site.

Final note: I love this guy.  Listen to how he finishes the show strong!
You know, Jolene [the show's producer] jumped on me a little bit, cause I didn't read the weather.  And again, look out the window if you want to know what's going on, with the weather.  I'm sure--is it Justin Zolich? [weather man]--he would, he would agree, just look out the window.
He did finish on a serious note:

Anyway, thanks for joining us today.  It's been my pleasure.  Honored to be here, I'm honored to serve you.  I'm blessed to be in this position to represent my community, what I've done for 35 years.  Still have fire in the belly.  I'm still going to take the fight where it needs to be fought.  And for the people who are struggling with this, the media, and some of the, you know, political class, because I won't go to their side, here's my message: Get used to it.  Thanks for being with us today.