Friday, March 15, 2013

Opposing Viewpoints Rile the Crowd



You may have seen Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke on the national airwaves tell residents to take a firearms safety class, get a gun and be prepared to stand up against criminals.

At the same time you may have seen Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn on Capitol Hill testifying before Congress that private citizens don’t need guns. This is just a recipe for mudslinging in the genteel urban environs of southeastern Wisconsin. I mean, it’s Milwaukee; birds are singing, rainbows grace the sky. Wait! Was that a unicorn?

You just wouldn’t think the home of Laverne and Shirley would be all jacked up over the opposing statements of the two top law-enforcement officers. But there you have it. Both sides appear to be choosing up teams and putting on armbands.

The things that really upset me are the repeated claims by media members and others in the community that Sheriff Clarke is somehow being irresponsible by suggesting citizens “take a safety class” and get a firearm for personal protection. He is encouraging people to get training! He is encouraging people to follow the law. How is that irresponsible?

I mean, for God’s sake, Joe Biden suggested people grab a shotgun and fire blindly out a window in order to scare prowlers away. Let’s think about that. First of all, it breaks one of the cardinal rules of firearms safety: Know your target and what is beyond it. If there is a practical definition of negligence, telling someone to fire blindly is it.

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