Jan 26, 2013 No Comments ›› Infidel
Excerpted from The Blaze: The spot has quickly earned criticism, including from the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs’ Association president Roy Felber told the Associated Press it sounds like a call to vigilantism, while Barrett’s spokeswoman said it sounded like Clarke was “auditioning for the next Dirty Harry movie.”
Excerpted from The Millwaukee Journal-Sentinel: 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?”
The spot aired at least once – during the last hour of the Mark Belling show on WISN-AM (1130) on Thursday. Clarke spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin posted it to the department website on Friday. She said she did not know where else or how often the spot would be broadcast, or how much the department spent to air it.
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.”
“Dirty Harry” was one in a series of films in the 1970s and ’80s starring actor Clint Eastwood as Detective Harry Callahan of the San Francisco Police Department.
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.
“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,” the department said.
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.”
County Executive Chris Abele said Clarke is sending the wrong message.