The man's right: Get in the game

Wisconsin sheriff catches flak for telling the truth about self-defense

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Much has been made of a Wisconsin sheriff’s recent advice to citizens to take responsibility for their own safety, including training and arming themselves.

But he’s irrefutably right. Police can’t be everywhere at once, and most often the best they can do is investigate a crime that’s already occurred.

Personal safety, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said in a radio public service spot, is “no longer a spectator sport; I need you in the game.”

It never was a spectator sport. Relying completely on police protection has never been wise. Again, they just can’t prevent a lot of crimes. But Clarke also referenced officer layoffs and furloughs as well: He had to lay off 42 officers last year, and the city is furloughing 1,500 officers three days each this year, he said.

“We’re partners now,” he told citizens in one interview.

“You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. But are you prepared?” he asked in his announcement.

Even in self-defense, certainly, there’s only so much you can do – and not everyone is in a position to safely “fight back.” In some cases, it might make things worse. You have to gauge your own abilities and each situation that might arise.

But in response to concerns that having more armed citizens might only be dangerous, Clarke says, “I trust law-abiding citizens. The people that scare me ... are the criminal elements. ... The firearms are out there anyway.

“It’s always been my belief that safety is an individual responsibility.”

The sheriff’s only crime is speaking a truth that so many others do not.

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deestafford 02/02/13 - 06:46 am
Two points

First, people need to plan for their defense. By that I mean they should look at their home situation and go thru a number of "what if" scenerios for them and their family and then train their family members on the responses necessary. This same "what if" drill should be done on their daily routine such as walking to and from their cars at the mall. When I was in the Army, when I would be riding down a road or walking in the woods I would be saying to myself "What would I do if I'm ambushed here?" and I would go thru a reaction plan. People need to do the same thing. Don't have the idea that "It can't happen to me" because it can. It's like saying "I'm not going to wear my seat belt today because I'm not going to have a wreck." What idiot gets in his car and says, "Well, I think I'll put on my seat belt 'cause I'm gonna wreck today."?
Second, the Supreme Court has said that the law enforcement officers carry guns to protect themselves...not to protect us.

Riverman1 02/02/13 - 07:51 am
A Sheriff is the County Leader

A county sheriff is a powerful leader of the community. He would be amiss if he didn't urge the people to become involved in their own protection. To have the sheriff explain that the people should be armed and work with law enforcement does much to help law enforcement and make the community safer. A lesson for all sheriffs and counties everywhere.

Jane18 02/02/13 - 10:23 am

Just as I have home owners, automobile, life, medical insurance, it only makes sense(to some of us) that I would have something to ensure my safety and maybe others around me. Trust me, I do!

InquiringLynn-SkepticGriggsy 02/02/13 - 10:49 am
Gun safety

More people are killed with their own guns and those kill others by mistake. So, people need good training and to see well whom they might shoot!
Gun safety includes gun checks, because the state can keep guns out of the ones who shouldn't have them as is the case with Georgia.
No one needs above ten rounds, as non-military don't face hordes of shooters! So, young mothers with shot guns can have that peace of mind that young women before Congress stated.
Yes, the mental health problem needs attention as far as gun safety goes and otherwise!
Obama-Biden have no plan to confiscate legitimate guns for self-defense! That they do reflects the many lies of their extremist opponents!
Obtain reliable information, not that of extremists! Wayne LaPierre is extreme and he lies. He's up there with Duane Gish and WLC.

soapy_725 02/02/13 - 11:06 am
The truth hurts.....

more often that not, but it can stand alone for itself. This sheriff must not be a politician. These are not the words of a politician. Amen.

CC took thirty minutes to travel four miles from Pollard's Corner. Maybe the door handles of the two cruisers parked there at night next to each other got caught together. Or maybe it was an Arrive & Assess instead of a Protect & Serve?

Jon Lester
Jon Lester 02/02/13 - 11:24 am
When seconds count, help is minutes away.

It's not just a joke, it's reality. The sheriff in question has said forced layoffs have reduced his average response time from 5 minutes to 20, even in Milwaukee. If you live in a rural county, you might have full confidence in your sheriff's integrity and professionalism, but the laws of the physical universe will put a hard limit on minimum response time.

Darby 02/02/13 - 05:32 pm
Unless you are attacked inside...

a police station, the only good to come from a 911 call will likely be from the reasonably prompt arrival of an EMT.

Rely on Mr. Glock first.

Enough said.

dstewartsr 02/02/13 - 11:12 pm
It's an act of political theatre

... really, but how sad is it that standing up for citizens' rights becomes such and newsworthy?

Darby 02/02/13 - 11:51 pm
Just wondering what kind of mindset....

...would prompt anyone to give a thumbs down to a post for suggesting that folks be prepared to defend themselves.

Some kind of weird agenda going on there....

Chigger Hill Man
Chigger Hill Man 02/03/13 - 03:08 pm
Thirty years in Law Enforcement...

taught me that one of the hardest things to get done was public co operation. but the way things are these days, I think the times, they are a-changin.

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