Loading

69°F

65°F

72°F

71°F

65°F

72°F

64°F

71°F

66°F

64°F

72°F

66°F
Search
NEWS STORIES

Under the Gun: Milwaukee County Sheriff David ClarkeSubmitted: 02/15/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke thinks homeowners should protect themselves with guns.

That's not something a lot of top law enforcement officers say, but Sheriff Clarke is not just any law enforcement officer.

Newswatch 12's Lyndsey Stemm met up with the Sheriff while she studied gun violence in Wisconsin's biggest city.

Sheriff David Clarke has made headlines for nearly two years now for his view's on gun control. And as you'll see he's quite unapologetic about them.

Most recently he got national attention for a PSA on Milwaukee radio stations.

"I'm Sheriff David Clarke and I want to talk to you about something personal: your safety. It's no longer a spectator sport, I need you in the game. But are you ready?", says Clarke on the PSA.

Sheriff Clarke is serving his third four-year term in Milwaukee. He's been an outspoken critic of gun-control suggestions by the Milwaukee Police Chief, and the President.

"I trust law abiding people with guns. I trust them to make good decisions. The data is that the overwhelming majority of them do not use guns to commit crimes. So why do we want to focus on the wrong thing?" says Clarke.

It's a notion echoed by a powerful gun rights lobby you may have heard of.

"Gun control sounds nice. The fact is it's not so nice. Because all it does is put an increased burden on people who hunt, on people who need firearms, or want firearms for self-protection. They're the ones who follow the law," says National Rifle Association President David Keene.

Clarke says Milwaukee's gun violence problem is out of hand because the police and judicial system aren't on the same page.

"There's a lot of plea-bargaining, a lot of watered down prosecutions, a lot of horse trading that goes on. And that sends a message to the criminal element that, 'yeah I know we talk tough but in the end we don't back that action up'. Over time, when people realize, 'Guess what I got caught with a gun I'm going to the joint for six years, I'm going to the joint because I'm charged federally, I'm going away for ten years," says Clarke.

He says that's when things will start changing on the street. And he has a few ideas on how to make that happen.

"All felony possession of firearms, every one, should go to the federal government, not state court. In state court I believe the sentence is six years maximum, and they're not getting anywhere near that. In the federal it's ten, period," says Clarke.

After the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting Clark called for armed security in all schools and public places. Clarke ran for Sheriff as a democrat. His warnings about disarming the public and not being tough enough on gun criminals sound a lot like the NRA's.

"You know first of all that your pool of victims is unarmed. Because they've complied with the law. They're law abiding people and they don't have guns. What else do you know? If you use a gun to go after them, you don't get any additional punishment for doing it," says Keene.

Clarke says legislation doesn't change things on the street. He doesn't buy into the idea that making things like straw purchases and illegal gun possession automatic felonies will make any difference.

"Yeah, I'd support that, but it isn't going to do any good. See we're looking for that technical fix; we're working on the wrong thing. What we have to do is get the judiciary and the prosecutor to say, 'Ok straw purchase, ten years.' Now that doesn't mean automatic ten years. In one case, the person got four days," says Clarke.

So what about that public service announcement that caused a national stir? Clarke says he was trying to get people to take responsibility for their personal safety since his budget was cut by $17 million in two years.

"With officers laid-off and furloughed simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. But are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can protect yourself until we get there," says Clarke on his PSA.

"If you're inside your home and the wolf is at the door, yeah, call 911; I'd recommend that. But I'm trying to prepare people, and leverage the fact that they have the means to defend themselves, and work with them and say, 'Hey here's some things to think about'," says Clarke.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/28/2015

- Getting a license to be a fishing guide in Wisconsin is nearly effortless, but a local guide wants to add safety measures to the license.

- Plus, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch visited Eagle River Business Incubators to learn about the success of Northwoods entrepreneurs.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - The Neighbor's Place Food Pantry in Wausau worries its hours make it difficult for people to get the food they need.

Right now, the pantry is open until 5 o'clock Monday through Thursday and until 2o'clock on Fridays. Those hours may not work for people who need to work during the day.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - It takes a lot of work to get a business started.

Incubators, like those in Vilas County, gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to get their company off the ground.

Brad Zdroik has been in one of the Eagle River incubators for about a year. It's helped his Deep Freeze business grow.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Getting a license to become a fishing guide in Wisconsin doesn't take much effort. Applicants fill out a one-page form and send a check to the DNR.

One local guide thinks the process should include steps to ensure safety on the water. Minocqua-area fishing guide Greg Bohn wants guides to be trained in safety procedures.

"You pay a $40 fee for the license, and you're a Wisconsin Licensed Fishing Guide. It doesn't mean that you're protecting yourself. It doesn't mean that you're protecting your passengers for hire," Bohn said.

+ Read More

GREEN BAY - Some football fans heading into Lambeau Field Saturday for the Green Bay Packers first preseason home game this year will encounter newly installed metal detectors.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - We expect trees on our property to suffer when it gets very dry, but for tree health, drought severity may not be as important as another factor. Researchers for the U.S. Forest Service have been studying the impacts of drought on trees across the Midwest, including the Northwoods. One ecologist at the Northern Research Station in Rhinelander found surprising results.

"It was the length of drought that was more important than determining the severity," explained Northern Research Station Ecologist Dr. Eric Gustafson. "Trees have the ability to survive droughts by drawing on their energy reserves, and when the drought is long, those energy reserves get depleted."

+ Read More

COLUMBIA, SC - Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker says the United States would aggressively confront what he describes as "radical Islamic terrorism" should he be elected.

The Wisconsin governor plans to lay out his foreign policy agenda Friday in a speech at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, South Carolina.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here