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


MINOCQUA - Every year thousands of kids go hungry. 

On Saturday nearly 600 volunteers from the Northwoods decided to help feed some of those children. 

The "Food for Kidz" organization, invited people to Lakeland Union High School, to help package non- perishable goods.

 The packages will be donated worldwide and to nearby food pantries.

Within the past eight years volunteers have packaged one million meals.

 Last year was the first year the organization started donating to local food pantries. 

This year volunteers will give 30,000 meals to the Northwoods community.

"It's just the recurring exuberance of the people that come in and do the packing we have many, repeat people that come year after year," said "Food for Kidz" Co-chairman John Breiten. 

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - We all have Tylenol and other medicines in our cabinets at home, but what do you do with them when they expire?

Saturday, local officials helped people properly dispose of those unwanted medicines as part of Wisconsin's Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A simple grooming process many people take for granted helps keeps John honest with himself.

"You can't think too far ahead, at least that's the situation I find myself in," John said.

Convicted of drunk driving seven times, John -- who Newswatch 12 is only identifying by his first name -- faced a harsh reality when he ended up in prison after three arrests in just 13 months.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.

For some kids all around the world, that next meal sometimes never comes.

The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.

Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.

Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.

The goal is 175,000 packed meals.

Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.

"If you haven't experienced this, come out and try it and you'll go away with just a great feeling," said Food for Kidz co-chair John Breiten.

Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to walk in to volunteer.

The food packages will be shipped off to anywhere from Honduras to Mozambique.

Some special meals will be set aside and sent to local communities in the Northwoods.

"It's just a great, fun community event. I think the kids especially take something away that they are giving beyond themselves," said Food for Kidz sponsor and Lakeland Union High School Spanish teacher Karen Roerich.

Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.

The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.

Call John Breiten at 715-686-7570 for more info.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Scott Walker faced a tough crowd at times in Iowa during his failed presidential bid. Now, an undercover video released this week may show those protesters were planted on purpose.

The Journal Sentinel reported the videos show activist Scott Foval bragging about disrupting a Walker rally in Iowa. Those videos were released by conservative activist James O'Keefe.

Foval talks about bringing people out of state into Wisconsin, but doesn't give a reason why.

+ Read More

Play Video

RICE LAKE - The Merrill football team doesn't feel it got the respect it deserved when WIAA playoff brackets came out last weekend. The Bluejays shared a Great Northern Conference championship.

But they were pinned to a number 8 seed, the lowest in the bracket, and travel to face top-seeded Rice Lake in a Division 3 Level 1 game Friday night.

Recent history doesn't favor Merrill in the playoffs. It has lost six straight playoff openers, dating to 2009.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - People often leave unused prescriptions in their cabinets at home. But Wisconsin's Attorney General hopes you turn those prescriptions in Saturday to help solve a growing problem.

October 22 is Wisconsin's Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Attorney General Brad Schimel said more people die from accidental drug overdoses in Wisconsin than from car crashes.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here