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.
RHINELANDER - Smartphone tracking technology can rescue lost drivers, help authorities find kidnapped victims and let parents keep tabs on their kids. However, this tracking can turn to stalking if the wrong person uses it. "It's actually something that's more common than you would think. That it's a very dangerous…it's a volatile situation because the perpetrator will know where the victim is at all times," said Tri-County Council Domestic Violence Coordinator Melissa P.
She says stalkers can find where you live, where you work, and even what stores you shop at. "The abuser starts to lose control when they go to all lengths to find their victim...If they feel like they are losing control…they have nothing else to lose," explained Melissa.
AT&T Sales Consultant Dusty Struck says stalkers can track smartphones by hacking into a built in chip. "It's like a GPS location services…basically every smartphone has a GPS chip built inside of it," said Struck.
RHINELANDER - If you did a double take driving down county highways this week, it was for good reason. Oneida County posted its weight limit restriction signs Monday. That's the earliest those signs have gone up in more than 15 years.
Usually weight limits go into effect in mid-March. Counties put them on to protect roads as frost comes out of the ground. Oneida County Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek tried to wait as long as possible.
ONEIDA COUNTY - If your truck cracks through the ice, your first thought might be, "get off ASAP."
There are workers who head the opposite way--onto the ice to help.
That describes one local team who carefully went to work on the Willow Flowage in Oneida County in Little Rice on Tuesday.
"This ain't no joke out here," said Tom Quandt, Jr., the owner of Bulldog Off-Road Recovery Service. "I do get nervous, and today's a day I'm nervous because of the ice conditions."
That nervous energy is what likely helps Quandt and his crew carefully cross the ice and get sunken vehicles back above water level.
It's not easy. Quandt and his crew set nerves aside, driving in a bombardier about two miles off the shore on Willow Dam Road to get to the truck, which was near an island.
"I was looking at the ice," Quandt says as he describes the drive out to the car. "I was looking for holes in the ice, I was looking for the color of the ice...There was water coming up out of spots as we were driving out here."
The crew tried a few times to get the truck back on safer ice, but the car fell through again. The crew then decided to drill a trench to a nearby island and pull the car out that way.
"We can sit and play that game all day and it's not going to get us anywhere without a lot of time and labor into this," Quandt said.
The team got the car out and onto the island around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Quandt said the owner of the car may try to tow his truck back to shore later this week.
The DNR is aware of the situation. By state statute, you have 30 days to remove your car from the ice or get a fine.
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