Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Under the Gun: Milwaukee Police Chief Flynn on Gun ControlSubmitted: 02/14/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


MILWAUKEE - Whatever happens on the state level regarding gun control, you can bet law enforcement in Milwaukee will have a say in it.

That's why we sent Newswatch 12's Lyndsey Stemm to Milwaukee to speak with Police Chief Edward Flynn, and County Sheriff David Clarke.

The Chief and Sheriff famously, and quite vocally, disagree on many things... and gun control is no exception.

Both sat down with us to share their personal philosophies. Tonight we bring you Chief Flynn.

Milwaukee Police Chief Flynn says he's been desperate for legislators to help him address gun violence in his city.

"I have been on the record saying I didn't think there was anything horrible enough that could happen in this country that would give our politicians the moral courage to entertain the discussion. Maybe 20 dead babies is it," says Flynn, referring to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Flynn believes gun control is an issue in American Politics that seems to be immune from rational discussion. But he still has a city to protect.

"The great challenge for the city and the police departments, is how do we disarm criminals," says Flynn.

Ironically one of the things making it difficult for the police to deter criminals from gun crime, is the law.

"It just boggles my mind no matter how many times you're caught with a gun in the state of Wisconsin if you're not a felon, it's a misdemeanor every single time," says Timothy Keller, a Milwaukee Police Department Tactical Enforcement Unit Officer.

"It's a joke. Right now for my career criminals it's more dangerous to get caught without a gun than to get caught with their gun," says Flynn.

Jeri Bonavia from the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort was part of Vice President Biden's task force that developed some of President Obama's proposed gun control legislation. She sides with Flynn in wanting tougher qualifications to own a weapon.

"No matter how many times you've been arrested and convicted of violent misdemeanants you still qualify to purchase a gun in this state," says Bonavia.

"The other thing we need; we need it to be a felony to straw purchase. If you go in there and buy a gun from your boyfriend the felon, you should know you're going to go to jail," says Flynn.

Flynn says things like universal background checks is something law-abiding people should be willing to put up with to limit victimization. He says no constitutional right is immune from regulation.

"We've made free speech work, and prevented libel. We've made freedom of religion work, and we've prevented human sacrifice. Can we not figure out a way to make the individual right to own firearms and protect yourselves work in such a way as to place some reasonable limitations on the wrong people?" says Flynn.

The theory that arming more citizens will keep criminals at bay doesn't sit well with him.

"All I'd like to see is our elected officials and citizens decide mutually that this issues is not beyond us; that we don't throw up our hands and say the only solution to crime in this city, or the only solution to mad med with semi-automatic firearms, is more firearms," says Flynn.

He says he's not laboring under the belief that his ideas can solve gun crimes completely.

"What I believe is that we can make murder more difficult in the city, and we can make mass murder more difficult. We'll never eliminate either; I know that, we all know that. The challenge is can we make it harder for the wrong people to get access to firearms and use them," says Flynn.

Flynn began as Police Chief in Milwaukee in 2008, and was sworn in for his second term last year.

The Chief represents one side of the gun control debate. Tomorrow we'll have Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who has very different opinions on the subject.

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





 IN OTHER NEWS

TOWN OF HANSEN - Investigators want to know what caused a fire at a sawmill in Wood County Monday night.

The Wood County dispatch center received phone calls at about 8:50 P.M. Monday night that the Felty Amish Sawmill was on fire in the town of Hansen.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee mother whose car was stolen with her infant strapped in the back seat says she held onto the vehicle for as long as she could as the carjackers drove away.

The woman was dragged down the street in Milwaukee Monday and eventually lost her grip. But what happened next was unexpected. The car stopped about a block away. And, one of the two carjackers got out, removed the 1-month-old baby, still in his car seat, and left him at the curb.

Surveillance video from a nearby house shows the mother running to retrieve her baby, who wasn't hurt.

Police are looking for the carjackers and the vehicle.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Some schools give out movie tickets, pizza parties, or ice cream coupons for students with good grades and good behavior. We do things a little differently here in the Northwoods.

Twenty-two students from Northland Pines Middle School will enjoy a half-day of fishing with a local guide as a reward for their success in school. The "Guides for Grades" program rewarded students on Monday for setting a good example in the classroom.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - As a kid, you probably didn't look forward to eating spinach. Maybe you still don't.

But some students are learning how to take locally grown produce and turn it into tasty snacks, including smoothies.

+ Read More

DENVER - Threats made against schools across the country that led to evacuations on Monday could be the latest example of so-called "swatting" against schools.

+ Read More

Play Video

LINCOLN COUNTY - A Tomahawk man accused of sending explicit emails to a 15-year-old girl appeared in court Monday.

Joshua Dewitt is charged with multiple counts, including soliciting a child for prostitution and child enticement.
The investigation started last November, when a mother accused the 29-year-old of sending inappropriate emails to her teenage daughter.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The recipe couldn't have been better for wildfires to form and spread quickly today. 

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here