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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

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Readers Blog

The Dave Clarke .44

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has urged  county residents to arm themselves  and take firearms training  in order to protect their homes from criminals.  Is that a good idea?

Clarke, who was appointed Sheriff by  Republican  Acting Governor Scott McCallum in 2002, has been re-elected as a Democrat ever since, even though his right-wing ideaology puts him on the right side of the Republican Party.   His controversial statements and offficial acts have brought him far more media attention than his predecessors ever got. (1)  Clarke ran for Mayor of Milwaukee in 2004, but  lost the primary.  Although I am not among Clarke's many fans, I will try to evaluate his  suggestion on its merits.

A gun is useful for home protection only if it is kept loaded and  readily available for immediate use.   If, God forbid, a criminal breaks into your home, you will not have time to  unlock the drawer where the gun is kept and load it. So, the real question is :  should you have a loaded gun available in your home, especiially at night?

 If you have children in your home,  my answer is  NO, because there is a greater chance that your child will  find the gun  than a criminal  will break into your home.  A child with a loaded gun is more dangerous to your family than the typical burglar.

If you do not have children living with you, or ever staying with you, keeping a loaded gun  handy will probably do no harm if  you know how to use it effectively and legally. I have precisely zero sympathy for criminals who get shot  after invading someone's home.  Yet I have never owned a gun, and have no intention of  ever buying one; but I respect the rights of those feel safer having one handy.  Thanks to the ubiquitous cell-phone,  burglars cannot stop you from calling the police by "cutting the wires"  as they did  in thousands of  pre-2000 crime dramas.  

If a criminal breaks into your home tonight,  I hope the first thing you reach for is a cell phone, not a .44. 

Gerald S Glazer


(1) The previous three Sheriffs of Milwaukee County  in reverse chronological order,  were  Leverett Baldwin, William Klamm and Michael Wolke.  Any of them sound familiar?





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solitarius | Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:44 a.m. (report)

All responsible gun owners keep their guns locked up with safeties on, thus it is impossible for their children to get access to the guns. Although a locked up gun is not immediately available it is always faster to unlock acces to the gun then it is for the police to arrive after calling 911.

I am not a gun owner, but my sister is and she raised two daughters with guns in the house. The girls never got access to the guns because as all responsible gun owners the guns were always locked up. I spent many hours in my sister's house and I never felt safer than being in her house.

David Clarke is absolutely correct.

I have a question for Mr Glazer. Wouldn't he feel safer walking around his neighborhood if he were carrying a weapon? If Mr Galzer were threatened with attack on the streets of his neighborhood wouldn't he be safer being able to defend himself with a weapon than to wait for the police to arrive, if ever.

David Clarke is absolutely correct

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