By Ed Willing
In light of the recent buzz surrounding Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s radio PSA on gun safety and crime-prevention, other local sheriffs have been brought into the mainstream with their own opinions. While a few law enforcement officers are vociferously opposed to the PSA and have thrown partisan attack jabs at the Milwaukee Sheriff, most have been supportive. One such local Sheriff is three-time elected Daniel Trawicki, from neigborhing County, Waukesha.
On January 29th, he wrote an op-ed that was featured in the print edition of the Waukesha Freeman, a daily County newspaper. They feature the columns of many prominent, local leaders in the Conservative community. Below is one of the most reasonable and difficult-to-rebut cases for protecting the right to bear arms in a way that is normal, and wise. Not partisan, radical or dangerous. He joins Sheriff Clarke in trusting the people to be partners in crime prevention, tyranny deterring and safety-promotion. Here is the radio PSA Clarke put on the air last week.
Wisconsin is blessed to have a strong Conservative government that has observed open-carry for a long time, and recently passed sweeping concealed carry legislation. In a little over a year, 155,000 citizens have gone through certified safety courses, applied and received their concealed carry permits in the State of Wisconsin. From Governor Walker to Attorney General JB Van Hollen (who is registrant #1 on the list), the state has a strong hunting and personal protection legacy that shows how a government of the people can trust the people to govern themselves. The way the Founders intended.
The obvious answer to senseless violence seems to be the restriction of firearms and access to specific types of guns, magazines and bullets. To many it’s a quick, easy and appropriate solution that will help protect our children, neighbors and friends.
There is, however a serious flaw in that logic. The idea that this simple solution will resolve society’s larger problems is ridiculous. everyone wants a clean, neat and tidy answer as to why we are killing each other, and there is none. No one wants to factor in the status of our health care system in general and the breakdown of mental healthcare in particular across the country. where do family values and the breakdown of family relationships and responsibility come into play? How about our children and young adults have access to over-the-top movies and video games that depict murder and mayhem as just another Saturday morning?
As our children experience difficulty in the classroom or social settings, the answer is to medicate away the problem. Depression, poor grades, anxiety and everything in between have a quick and clean remedy. Don’t focus on the root of the problem, rather take a pill and make the SYMPTOMS go away. No one could deny the outrage we all feel when another senseless killing occurs. And helpless victims are cut down in their prime. But are guns really to blame? National crime statistics show time and again that there are many other causes other than so-called assault rifles, and high capacity magazines that are responsible for the majority of deaths in the United States. A quick look at deaths in automobiles and specifically alcohol-related crashes makes us aware of how fragile life truly is. Yet I don’t see a national movement to outlaw motor vehicles or alcohol.
Many feel that outlawing certain guns and components is a quick and easy solution to a long and complicated problem. I do not follow, nor agree with that line of thinking. Some may think that proposals recently outlined by the President are logical initiatives to combat a national crisis. Others, including myself, feel that they are direct attacks on the constitutional rights and freedoms our Founding Fathers strived so hard to maintain. Our opponents ridicule the second amendment to the Constitution, as never intending to protect what we currently have. They argue that language about a well-armed militia and protection from the government is too broad and misunderstood. I argue just the opposite. That is exactly the type of behavior we are to be protected from, and at least for now, the Supreme Court of the United States of America agrees with me.
One thing we know for sure: with all his faults, President Obama has done more to spur growth and stimulate the economy than any other President in recent times. Since releasing his firearms initiative, sales of firearms and ammunition are at all-time highs. Dealers cannot keep inventory in stock, and business is brisk.
I recently attended the Waukesha gun show with my daughter. What a novel idea – involve your children in healthy family-oriented events like the shooting sports, and hunting. While we were there along with thousands of other enthusiasts I was struck by the passion and dedication of our sporting community. As a law enforcement officer of 34 years, and elected Sheriff three times of Waukesha County, I can tell you that I have no fear of law-abiding citizens carrying weapons, concealed or any other way. It’s those individuals that possess weapons illegally that pose the greatest threat to our community.
While I was at the gun show I was reminded of the role the National Rifle Association has played in defending our freedoms to keep and bear arms. Just like Safari Club is the number one organization to protect your right to hunt, the NRA has been the torch-bearer for our gun rights. I have to admit that personally, I have been and on-and-off-again member of the NRA. No excuses… I believe in the organization and what they stand for. It just seems I have been forgetful in renewing my membership.
I recently heard that since our good President has rolled out his master plan to protect us from ourselves, membership in the NRA has gone up by 100,000. The number of new memberships is now at least 100,001. While at the show I made it a point to not only renew my membership, but become a life-member. No more forgetting or timely excuses for me. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms. I believe in the Constitution of the United States, and I believe in the people of this great Country.
If you believe the same, I suggest you become new member 100,002.