MILWAUKEE - Owning a gun is a right in America in a way that doesn't exist in any other part of the world.
It's also at the heart of a vibrant sporting culture we're very familiar with here in the Northwoods.
But other parts of the state have a more contentious relationship with guns.
Newswatch 12's Lyndsey Stemm was allowed to ride along with Milwaukee police officers. She sat down with the Chief of Police and the County Sheriff.
Up here in the North gun violence is statistically rare, but in some parts of Milwaukee, there's a battle going on between police and criminals.
"My God, there's 300 million weapons out there already," says Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn.
Flynn's officers seize 2,000 of them every year from criminals.
Though Milwaukee can be portrayed as a hotbed of crime, in reality only eight percent of city territory accounts for 90 percent of its violent crime.
"There are different kinds of gun violence. And I think the tragedy in Newtown has certainly focused the attention of our citizens on one type of gun violence. And that is the low probability, high hazard event of a mass murder," says Flynn.
Milwaukee police have had to deal with two in just a few short months.
"Both Azana Spa and Sikh temple shooting put our bomb techs right on the front line," says Captain Jason Smith, Milwaukee Police Intelligence Commander.
"The other type of violence is hand gun-related, and central city-related. And it's very much the phenomenon of people who are engaged in criminal enterprises murdering each other," says Flynn.
"A lot of guns are taken in burglaries," says Timothy Keller, an officer with the Milwaukee Police Department Tactical Enforcement Unit.
It does happen. But only eight to ten percent of guns used in crimes are stolen. There are other methods criminals are using to get their hands on guns.
"If they're not stolen you can get the straw purchases. We'll see cases like that here in local gun stores," says Keller.
"What we found was a large number of women that were purchasing the guns and then they ended up in a felon's hands," says Dr. Mallory O'Brien, from the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission.
That leaves law enforcement with the problem of how to keep criminals from getting guns, and finding the line between appropriate gun control and infringing on second amendment rights.
"The percentage of people who use firearms to commit violence, versus the overall population of gun owners... it's very small," says Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.
"I think what you have to recognize, is where you stand on this issue often directly relates to where you live and your experience with firearms," says Flynn.
But people on the front lines dealing with gun violence agree it's not just a big city problem.
"Well it's not my problem. Well I guess it's not my problem if the right of an American to safety depends on their zip code, I guess It's not your problem," says Flynn.
Tomorrow we'll see how Chief Flynn and Sheriff Clarke think we should go about finding that balance between gun control and second amendment rights.
PARK FALLS - Many families began their Thanksgiving Day with a run this morning. Topping off the holiday with a "trot" around town may not appeal to everyone, but for these families it was a way to spend time with one another.
"Trot now so we can pie later," said Steph Schultz, a runner in the Park Falls Turkey Trot.
Families used the Turkey Trot 5K in Park Falls as a way to bond.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - You might be planning on waiting in line on Black Friday or sitting behind a computer on Cyber Monday. But in Rhinelander and other Northwoods cities, Small Business Saturday is another day to mark on the calendar.
Dawn Allen sold her goods at craft shows for years, but had always wanted to try something different.
"It was my dream to open up a shop one day," said Allen, the owner of Briar House on Keenen Street. So she opened Briar House in Rhinelander 21 years ago.
Allen sells women's clothes, shoes, accessories and has a full espresso bar.
But one of her favorite parts of the job is the community support.
"It's like a family here, it's more of a destination coming here I believe," said Allen.
RHINELANDER - A number of Rhinelander police and firefighters will work a weekend morning shift in December and won't get paid for it. It's an extra task they're happy to help with.
The Rhinelander Police Department's Shop With a Cop program returns December 16. Police and firefighters take 20 third grade students from Crescent, Pelican, Zion, and Nativity schools shopping for Christmas presents at Walmart. The schools recommend students for the event.
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