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January 28th, 2013
11:02 AM ET

Milwaukee Co. Sheriff says law-abiding citizens should take firearms classes, argues personal safety is individual responsibility

One sheriff in Wisconsin is encouraging citizens to "get in the game" and learn how to use a gun. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. says you can't count on local law enforcement because of cutbacks.

On "Starting Point," Sheriff Clarke explains to Soledad why a citizen would be better off handling their own personal protection rather than relying on police officers.

"There are certain situations, and I think most people get that where 911 is going to be of no use," Sheriff Clarke says. "And in those situations, there are certain things that you can do to protect yourself. It's a public safety message, and I'm just here to let the people know, give them the information as to what's going on and to give them options, if you will, as to how to defend themselves in those situations."

"My message is for law abiding citizens in certain situations, not to go out and enforce the law," he adds. "There are certain things that you can and should do to protect yourself. It's always been my belief that personal safety is an individual responsibility."

Filed under: Gun control • Gun violence • Guns
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Scott S

    The Milwaukee Sheriff's Department only responds to 911 calls in Milwaukee when SWAT is needed. That usually means that some nut has barricaded himself in his own home and is threatening to kill someone.

    January 30, 2013 at 11:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. reckless

    Actually if you live in milwaukee you'd know the sheriff's department doesn't respond to 911 calls. They monitor the court houses highways and lake. When Clarke is talking about response times he has nothing to do with it. Clarke is a horrible sheriff he's been pulled into court so many times because his jail is in horrible condition. No dentist in four years only very very basic medical. They would pull their teeth because theyd make them wait so long to see a dentist. They've also had a lot of problems with basic medical care. Aside from that he's gotten into trouble numerous times for re-hiring friends and promoting other friends over more qualified people. When he talks about cut backs he wouldn't have so many problems if he had better hiring and discipline practices. He's also gone on record refusing to do his job because he didn't agree with it and he's said he has no superiors because he's an elected official. So before you star commending him realize we had a woman shoot in front of a house where a party was taking place because "Sheriff Clarke told me I could". Not too mention last year a guy shot a teenager who was hiding on his patio after a party. H e told the kid too freeze he put his hands up and the man shot him. All legal because last year we passed a law called "the castle doctrine" that makes it legal to kill any intruder in your house. But don't worry about Clarke getting stressed, it's not even his job.

    January 30, 2013 at 7:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Heidi

    I am proud to live in Milwaukee and I am Proud to have this man watching out for us. He speaks the truth and Good for Him to stand up for US and telling us to Protect Ourselves! I LOVE this Democrat! He's the only Decent Democrat I know.

    January 29, 2013 at 12:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. AJ Racer

    This is the same Sheriff Clarke that pushed a drunk driver's car out of a snow bank on New Years Eve while the drunk driver had an open can of beer in plain site and then demoted the deputy that wrote that driver a ticket. The same Sheriff Clarke that needs an armed escort through the airport because he fears kidnapping. The same sheriff Clarke that jumps out of a moving car because he thinks he sees a robbery of a cafe in progress (the guy was just paying his bill). Ya he is a real voice of sanity all right.

    January 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Henry

    As another citizen of Milwaukee; I whole heartily agree with Sheriff Clark. The ad says take a certified gun safety course and learn how to protect your family; it doesn't say go be a cowboy and buy a gun without worrying to learn how to use it.

    Nic is just one of those people who could care less about the message and worries more about the messenger. He's mad because sheriff Clarke is a conservative and not a card holding democrat.

    January 28, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Citizen of hope

    @Nic I wouldn’t be too proud, the city is great but the politics is an embarrassment to Wisconsin, I moved out of Milwaukee because of the inflated property taxes, city politics, high crime, and the constant sense of entitlements. Sherriff Clark has the best idea I’ve heard yet (wait I believe they have that on the constitution!)
    Don’t worry I won’t hold it against you that you’re a feel good democrat and you voted for Obama.

    January 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Nic

    As a proud citizen of Milwaukee, I consider Sheriff Clarke to be an embarrassment to our community. Anything he actually does to improve the quality of life here would be the first, as he's shown time and again he only cares about making headlines.

    January 28, 2013 at 11:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Hisarrow

    What the Sheriff says is just common sense, but in Barack Obama's Amerika it's not. Sheriff Clarke is a voice of sanity in a sea of hysteria from the gun-grabbers.

    January 28, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • reckless

      why wasn't it common sense when bush was in office? I don't remember police telling citizens 911 isn't your best option or that everyone needs to arm themselves. Besides we have one of the lowest homicide rates in the world excluding gun strict countries and why suddenly does everyone think they're going to be attacked by a mob of burglars? I', 5'3 130 and I've lived in bad neighborhoods most of my life if I'm not scared to walk down the block or sleep in my house why are you? Gun grabber and the second amenders are funny because we can but limits on other rights (1st amendment) we cant yell fire in a crowded theater and we can't threaten the president. We're also trying to pass laws limiting a persons right to vote, which should scare people way more and before you say ID is not restrictive.not every older black american has a birth certificate. In alot of cases they were never issued one. In order to get an ID it would cost them hundreds of dollars to exercise their "rights". Why can we infringe on the those rights but asking you to register a gun or not own AR15s or not own 50 bullet magazines? You know we dont let you own tanks and rocket launchers either. It seems like if the NRA had their way we would be able to own a tank and what a wonderful safe tyranny free america that would be.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:19 am | Report abuse | Reply

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