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.
Love, Love, Love Sheriff Clark.
Couple things you may not know about Sheriff Clark:
He runs for election as a Democrat, and he's black.
He is an outspoken critic of the poverty apologist groups and strong proponent of personal responsibility, he doesn't accept excuses the inner cities make for the rampant criminal behaviors.
I would this man to the gates of hell.
Don't just get a gun - get competent, worthwhile training for it
Wise words. Recently took the NRA Basic Pistol Course. Somewhat embarrassed to admit I learned a lot.
Senior citizen, grew up rural with firearms around daily, and a veteran. Didn't know what I didn't know.
It really seems to me that not only do the police need a refresher, but so do the citizens on the principles of policing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_Principles), specifically number 7:
"Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence."
Defending yourself and your family is not "vigilantism" or "dangerous and irresponsible", it is a duty incumbent on every citizen. The fact that we as a society have allowed ourselves to be convinced that fighting back is somehow wrong, immoral or offensive is insane. Put another way, since 9/11 there has not been another successful terrorist attack on a plane in the US. This is not for lack of trying, and it's not because the TSA has been such a stellar example of public service. No, the reason there has not been another successful attack is because even though the TSA has been unable to stop loaded weapons from being carried aboard, the citizens and flight crew themselves have fought back every single time someone has tried something. In short, the people defend themselves, and the criminal are unable to succeed at their tasks.
"What (Clarke's) talking about is this amped up version of vigilantism," Bonavia said.
Defending yourself against a violent attack is vigilantism now? *whaaaaaaargarbl!*
No. Words mean things. That word doesn't mean that.
The good sheriff has a blog! May I humbly suggest that his blog should get some attention and perhaps some notes of support from the gun owning community--he's going to need it.
D'oh! I was supposed to link to the sheriff's blog.
In Indiana, if our burglar alarm went off, the phone rang IMMEDIATELY from the dispatcher. In Florida (this is IMPORTANT) dispatch has to call FOUR numbers that you have supplied them, BEFORE they will dispatch help.
I guess it's because they figure us old people have nothing better to do than to accidentally trip our alarms.
In the time FOUR numbers are called, three people have been awakened and are saying "huh?" and the forth number is US being killed, we're chicken soup.
Gun's answer immediately.
Incidentally, I propose that anyone who trots out a statistic like "Our police respond to violent crimes in 2 minutes" should be brought to the nearest martial arts center for a quick sparing lesson. An opponent of their choosing (doesn't have to be a martial artist) will be given a fake knife covered with ink/paint. The person in question will then be required to fend off, run from or otherwise avoid the attacker for 2 minutes (or however long they quote for their statistic), without being knifed lethally. Perhaps such a graphic demonstration of "minutes away" might lead a few people to at least consider the necessity of learning how to defend themselves, if not the necessity of a firearm. Bonus points if the defender goes a second time around, but is this time offered a paint pistol.
I just wonder how long before he starts losing state and federal funding??? It's happened before when a Sheriff didn't toe the bureaucratic line...
Great post, great advice from both you and the sheriff.
Well, it is Wisconsin, so a strong leftward tilt is to be expected, but I wonder if James Fendry, Jodie Tabak, Tom Barrett and Jeri Bonavia own guns for self protection?
And, if so, would they be willing to not use them and instead wait for police to arrive should one or more of the "socially disadvantaged" in their community elect to engage in acts of unscheduled wealth redistribution or extemporaneous sexual gratification at their residences?
I'm always tickled by those in government - our gracious rulers - who use the phrase "don't take the law into your own hands." If one reads the Constitution one learns that the law has always been "in our own hands" because it's always been our responsibility to elect and manage those whom we select to create and enforce it, and we're the ones ultimately responsible when those whom we select fail at their jobs.
Is that link correct? Maybe help didn't come soon enough; he's not posted since Wednesday, April 20, 2011.
I read an article on someone's blog - can't remember which one, as I read many on a daily basis - where a cop went into great detail on response time. He explained how police response actually works, from the time the 911 call is made, to the dispatching of the call, and all that, and ended up by saying that a response time of 10 minutes is about the best you can expect, most of the time. Anyone remember that article?
That's _my_ Sheriff!!
One of the very few things that make living here tolerable.
Bonavia is the typical gun-grabbing panty-wetter, only interested in controlling good law-abiding citizens. Her group (funded by the Joyce Foundation) hasn't done anything toward reducing violence (like, oh, say, anti-gang education, or getting judges to keep criminals in prison longer), but they're awfully mouthy if there's any attention to be had for their cause of separating good people from their self-defense tools.
And BTW, Fendry is a jerk. He's in it for the money, doesn't play nice with other 2A groups, and actually doesn't do much to support citizens who choose to carry, esp. those of us who carry openly.
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