|Sheriff David Clarke|
A public service radio announcement from Sheriff David Clarke encourages Milwaukee citizens to consider getting certified safety training for handling firearms to protect themselves. He reminds them that with police force cutbacks and furloughs, police arrival time has changed and waiting for police after calling 911 is not the best option. He gives three options - begging for mercy from criminals, hiding under the bed, or fight back.
But are you prepared?
"It's your duty to protect yourself and your family," he says. He sends both the personal responsibility and power back to the people. "We're partners now. Can I count on you?"
The ad drew sharp flak and calls for resignation from anti-violence groups (so they want to protect criminal violence?), other officials and even Roy Felber, president of the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriff's Association said it sounded like a call to vigilantism. Seriously?
When a criminal busts into your home armed to do harm, is protecting your family the same as what Charles Bronson did in Death Wish?
Then Felber said:
That doesn't sound too smart. People have the right to defend themselves but they do not have the right to take the law into their own hands.Translation: people should not take responsibility for their own protection, they do not have a right to defend themselves. Calling self-defense the same as taking the law into our own hands doesn't seem logical.
Mayor Tom Barrett's office released a sarcastic critical statement saying that Clarke must be trying to audition for the next Dirty Harry movie. Ironically, the mayor was beaten with a tire iron several years ago, but Dirty Harry, or John McClane (still in Die Hard sequels) was not there to save him.
Clarke wanted people to know their options; and there is already a Castle Doctrine in Wisconsin that upholds self defense from home, car and business intruders. What seems like common sense to many, the interviews and so-called controversy compelled Clarke to clarify, "I’m not telling you to ‘Hey, pick up a gun and blast away.’ ... People need to know what they are doing if they choose that method — to defend themselves."
Having to lay off 48 deputies caused him to rethink responsibility and the increasing burden on the county's law enforcement. He wants law enforcement to be seen realistically as help to those who are already taking responsibility for their safety. He says: “I’m here to do my part, but we have fewer and fewer resources. We’re not omnipresent, and we have to stop giving people that impression.” The public is his untapped reserve.
Other officers claim there are lower crime rates, no layoffs, and they feel that the message makes the public fearful that there is a cop shortage. The mayor wants more money to hire more law enforcement. Even Sheriff Clarke's spokesperson claimed he never promoted buying guns in the ad and said the "Department of Homeland Security advises that in an active shooter environment, victims should run, hide, or, if those options don't exist, they should fight - aggressively." While opponents claim public fear-rousing, it appears Clarke intended to empower citizens.
The ad has also resonated positively with a lot of people - maybe that's because of the increasing number of sheriffs stepping up to serve and protect the Constitution and the People. More are reaching out to their local sheriffs to encourage them as our last line of defense against tyranny. Instead of leaving us wondering if we can count on him; Sheriff David Clarke has made the first move reaching out to let us know we're partners now - can he count on us?
Text from Clarke's message:
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? With officers laid-off and furloughed, simply calling 9-1-1 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 defend yourself until we get there. You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?Email him your support: firstname.lastname@example.org
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