I note that certain hand-wringers have got their knickers in a knot over the advice given by Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. of Milwaukee County in Wisconsin.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. set off alarm bells Friday with a radio spot some view as a call for citizens to arm themselves.
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?"
. . .
Clarke has served as lightning rod before, most recently when he called for schools to arm teachers after the Newtown, Conn., massacre of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school. News of the sheriff's gun ad quickly generated feedback.
Jodie Tabak, Mayor Tom Barrett's spokeswoman, released this statement:
"Apparently, Sheriff David Clarke is auditioning for the next Dirty Harry movie."
. . .
The Greenfield Police Department issued advice on its Facebook page, saying none of its officers was laid off or furloughed, that violent crime is down and the department's response time to violent crime is less than two minutes.
. . .
Jeri Bonavia, executive director of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, said she hears "over and over" from most law enforcement officials that the community should work to "take more guns off the streets, not add more."
"What (Clarke's) talking about is this amped up version of vigilantism," Bonavia said. "I don't know what his motivations are for doing this. But I do know what he's calling for is dangerous and irresponsible and he should be out there saying this is a mistake."
Asked about Clarke's assessment of 911, James Fendry, director of the Wisconsin Pro Gun Movement, said, "It's never been a great option (calling 911). Unless you can take care of yourself, you're kind of SOL."
Fendry, a former police officer, said that he tells citizens, "You're not armed to be law enforcement. You're armed to protect your own life and the lives of your family until law enforcement arrives. Do not go on search and destroy missions in your home."
There's more at the link.
Sheriff Clarke is, of course, absolutely correct. I've written before about the risks involved in relying on calling 911 as your only means of protection or self-defense. If you haven't read that earlier article, please do so - it provides a very graphic illustration of what the Sheriff is talking about. As others have frequently pointed out, "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away". While those minutes tick away . . . what are you going to do to protect yourself?
Don't just get a gun - get competent, worthwhile training for it, not from a manic-cowboy instructor like some we've encountered recently, but someone who knows what he or she is doing.