Last Updated:December 1 @ 07:57 am

Milwaukee Sheriff Clarke squares off with Piers Morgan over guns

By The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Appearing before a nationwide cable-TV audience Tuesday night, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett traded charges over gun violence.

In the exchanges, refereed loosely by gun-control proponent and CNN's Piers Morgan, Clarke and Barrett debated the role of the sheriff's office, planned furloughs for Milwaukee police officers and calls for federal gun-control laws.

Morgan host of "Piers Morgan Tonight," became part of the fray as well, pressing Clarke to tell him how many people in Milwaukee had defended themselves and their family at home by firing a gun.

"I don't have those statistics," Clarke said. Asked by Morgan to provide a ballpark figure, Clarke replied, "I don't think we need to go there, to be honest with you."

"You haven't got a clue," Morgan sneered.

But Clarke fired back as well. He brought up the 2009 incident near the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis when Barrett was beaten severely by a man wielding a tire iron.

"I'm sure that if you had a gun and a plan that day, the outcome would have been a little different," Clarke said to Barrett, who was in a different studio. "I'm asking that law-abiding citizens who make the decision that they see their personal security as their individual responsibility in a like situation can respond as they see fit."

Clarke gained national attention last week after a public service announcement ad began airing on local radio. In the ad, Clarke told listeners not to count on police responding rapidly to their 911 calls. Instead, he said, people need to consider taking a gun-safety course "so you can defend yourself until we get there."

Critics, including Roy Felber, the president of the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs' Association, said Clarke's comments seemed to be a call to vigilantism, a charge Clarke has fiercely rejected.

Barrett, who is a co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has been a vocal proponent of President Barack Obama's call for new gun laws. The group, which includes the mayors of more than 800 cities across the country, backs universal background checks for all gun sales; the banning of so-called assault weapons; and placing a limit on high-capacity magazines.

Barrett said it was irresponsible of Clarke to "basically imply" that it won't help citizens to call 911 when they need help.

The mayor said the sheriff's office did not have jurisdiction over the Milwaukee Police Department. But Clarke said his department was the top law enforcement agency in Milwaukee County.

"We are a full-fledged law enforcement agency," Clarke said. "We respond to anything."

Later, Barrett said, "The 911 calls from homes in the city of Milwaukee are responded to by the Milwaukee Police Department."

Barrett conceded police officers each had to take three furlough days this year, but said Chief Edward Flynn had assured him there would be no loss of coverage in the city.

Clarke added that he had to lay off 42 deputies this year. Part of Clarke's message has been that there has been an erosion of law enforcement resources.

Chat with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday:


(c)2013 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Milwaukee Sheriff Clarke squares off with Piers Morgan over guns, 9.4 out of 10 based on 115 ratings

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  1. kid721952Comment by kid721952
    January 30, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

    Because we want to protect ourselves and our families with our 2nd amendment rights we are considered “Vigilante’s”,if thats the label that is given to me for protecting myself instead of these cowards that expect others to protect them,fight for them because THEY CANT PROTECT THEMSELVES,so be it but they will be dead before I am because I’m not going to wait for the police to show up while my family is being torchered,my wife and daughter are being raped or murdered while I stand there and WATCH,the average time for 911 calls is 23 minutes,thats if you even get a chance to call the police and if they are not busy on another 911 call they can’t get to my house,America is getting very dangerous,people are out of work,hungry,need money to pay bills but have NO JOB,stealing is easy if they know you are not armed or police are spread so thin they can’t cover everyone,I hope it doesn’t happen to you and YOUR FAMILY.Maybe my gun will hold the intruders off long enough for the police to get there BUT WITHOUT MY FIREARM my family could be dead in seconds or minutes

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    • mysticComment by mystic
      January 30, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

      Exactly Kid721952!

      Piers (gawd what a name…did his mother conceive on a wharf or something? lol) kept trying to make stick the idea that Sheriff Clark was mandating every Milwaukee citizen go get a gun. That is so not the message the good Sheriff was making.

      The good Sheriff was simply stating, ‘until we can get to you, know how to protect yourself in anyway available to you.’ How on earth is this a bad message? What this man is saying is wear you own white hat until the Calvary arrives. And somehow this sends Piers into fits? Why?

      And that Mayor…my gawd…what a maroon! Sounds like he is more interested in his heavily vested money up front lobby that gains him more power and money in his coffers then he is in truly understanding what the good Sheriff is telling the populace.

      Why be surprised as the blatant buffoonery exhibited by the Lame Stream Media…especially someone like Piers who obviously has a sever comprehension problem and loves to stick to red herrings instead of facts. Piers gives Britts a bad name.


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  2. methodiusComment by methodius
    January 30, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

    Superstorm Sandy highlighted the growing dependent nature of society. People knew the storm was coming. They had been warned for days that it would make landfall in the area it eventually did. Yet, people all over the eastern seaboard were “unprepared” for the ensuing disaster and were screaming to the press, “Where is the Red Cross? Where is the government?” People were saying it was someone else’s responsibility to prepare for the coming disaster for them.

    Switch to this new story: Here you have a Sheriff telling people to take responsibility for their own safety because the police cannot be everywhere. He knows that they usually arrive upon the scene in enough time to investigate a situation. The robbery has already occurred. The murder happened. the crime perpetrated. He was right to tell the people to take a class and learn how to defend themselves. And the response to his call for PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY was pretty predictable. People are too incompetent, according to the big government types, to take care of themselves. Doing so is dangerous. Leave it to the “professionals.”

    When Florida became the example for most states’ current Concealed Carry laws people like Mayor Barrett and Pier Morgan were screaming that it would lead to blood in the streets and old west style shoot outs. Law abiding citizens could not handle the responsibility of arming and protecting themselves out in public. Well, boys, guess what? Twenty-five or so years of modern CC laws and crime has decreased, very, very few CC permits have been revoke because of unlawful use, and people are saving their own lives and the lives of others on a daily basis. Now while there are no credible stats on the numbers of such (and Piers knew that) it far outstrips the number of murders that do occur in this country each year. Add that to the fact that the cities that have the most restrictive and onerous gun restrictions have the highest murder rates in the country.

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    • pb1174Comment by pb1174
      January 30, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

      Some victims of the Sandy devastation kept weapons in multiple rooms so as to be close to protection without a holstered weapon in their own home as looters were a concern. Same with Katrina, New Orleans saw vagrants, outlaws and lawlessness until armed troops took back firm control. It is said that long ago hundreds of Sioux Indians were murdered at Wounded Knee Creek by federal agents only after their firearms were confiscated “for their own safety”. The 2nd amendment has meaning. Sheriff Clarke gets it. 911 is a terrific system but hardly infallible when response time is critical. This can only get worse as Obama drives our economy into the ground. As for Piers Morgan, he is only one of several idiots who pass as journalists these days. Fortunately for them, we have an armed service devoted to protecting their right to spew their trash, reject our constitution, and bemoan our rights to protect ourselves. With our help the pendulum will swing back right.

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    • SAnnComment by SAnn
      January 30, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

      Comment by pb1174
      Same with Katrina, New Orleans saw vagrants, outlaws and lawlessness until armed troops took back firm control.

      I believe you should have mentioned during Katrina that the New Orleans police department confiscated firearms illegally from citizens who had them to protect their property from looters. Most of those firearms have never been returned. Also you should know that armed troops did the same thing as well as breaking into homes if someone did not come to the door soon enough and were ordered to ‘kill’ anyone who resisted in any way toward their entrance. Let’s try to not see this happen again with the illegality of what was done there but if we are not careful it will happen once the obama administration gets it way and the PUSH is on.

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  3. rzraickComment by rzraick
    January 30, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

    Morgan is an idiot. His tactics are deplorable. He asks loaded questions and then berates those who refuse to fall into the trap.

    He has an agenda, which is only his point of view and will not even allow any response other than the one he wants.

    I am sure sick of his BS,

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    • sr999Comment by sr999
      January 30, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

      Exactly! Morgan is MORE than welcome to go back to the country he came here from! Wish he would…..

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    • xjandinComment by xjandin
      January 30, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

      Morgan has been actively working to overthrow the 2nd amendment. The appropriate solution is his deportation. Call your senators/representatives and demand his deportation.

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    • racefishComment by racefish
      January 30, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

      Obviously Morgan still has this attitude that we are Colonials.

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  4. lfabansComment by lfabans
    January 30, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

    Go, Sheriff Clarke! And why am I not surprised that the “moderator” had to jump in and help the ivory tower liberal?
    And why would Sheriff Clarke know how many people protected themselves….the criminals aren’t exactly going to call 911 and beg the police to protect them from the homeowner :-) I do wish Sheriff Clarke HAD gone there & rubbed their noses in it.

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  5. bless2liveComment by bless2live
    January 30, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    liberal morgan and the liberal mayor barrett do not care about ones safety. Sheriff Clarke on the other hand does care about ones safety. liberal morgan is just to weak to defend himself and mayor barrett also chooses to have hiss butt whipped (almost killed) by assailant(s). Citizens do have the right to defend there self when bodily harm are death is present. liberal morgan should be removed from his mouthy position as he nothing more than a instigator. liberal mayor barrett needs to get back to his own business at hand!

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    • racefishComment by racefish
      January 30, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

      Obviously the mayor is an idiot. The Sheriff has jurisdiction over the whole county, which includes the city and the city government when it comes to law enforcement. With elected officials such as he, it’s no wonder the state has problems.

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  6. thedoveComment by thedove
    January 30, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    “pressing Clarke to tell him how many people in Milwaukee had defended themselves and their family at home by firing a gun.”

    To quote Hillary, “What’s the difference?” After all, don’t the gun-control proponents claim more laws are needed “even if only one life is saved”? So, there’s your answer, Morgan, one or more people in Milwaukee defended themselves and their family at home by firing a gun.

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  7. Pingback: Why doesn’t Piers ever give up? He’s not going to win this debate! « servehiminthewaiting

  8. powertothepeopleComment by powertothepeople
    January 30, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    PM is a hack that was run out of the UK so he came here to peddle his BS on CNN.

    There have been many instances through out history where people were disarmed for their own good….they ended up paying a steep price for that move.

    Don’t think for a minute that the feds intentions are all honorable…they are not!

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    • racefishComment by racefish
      January 30, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

      I was on another forum and a screaming Liberal from Canada said we shouldn’t distrust our government the way we do. The only thing I could come up with was the fact every time we turn around the government does its best to steal from us and enslave us.
      Trust? There’s no way. Give career politicians the power over people and the people always lose.
      What I really and truly want is term limits in all Federal offices, the removal of government unions, and the repeal of the 17th Amendment. Maybe then we could return to a sane system.

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  9. sunnybluesComment by sunnyblues
    January 30, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

    We have a sign that says, “We don’t call 911″ on our property due in part to the fact that we live out in the country, outside city limits and the response time for the Sheriff’s office would be way too long for us to defend ourselves against intruders. If someone attempts to break into my home in the middle of the night or anytime for that matter, rest assured, my first response will not be to pick up the phone.

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  10. gileyComment by giley
    January 30, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    Mr. Morgan will never be convinced that Americans have the right to bear arms for protection. Afterall, he was shipped out of the UK as persona non-gratta. England surrendered their weapons some 16 years ago and they are regretting it.

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  11. Jota_Comment by Jota_
    January 30, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

    Oh wow!

    How the mighty have fallen!

    John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural address, January 20, 1961

    “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”

    Today, 52 years later, anyone dare to say you need to take care of yourself, let alone the country and they are a vigilante

    JFK almost looks conservative by today’s lefty standards

    And what is Piers Morgan still doing here pissing on the Constitution?

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    • racefishComment by racefish
      January 30, 2013 @ 3:58 pm

      “JFK almost looks conservative by today’s lefty standards”

      Looks Conservative? He lowered taxes too. Oh the horror.

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  12. wedeyComment by wedey
    January 30, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    I agree with the sheriff. I love when the politicans who have armed guards don’t want the citizens to have the same protections. And as for as Piers, I would love to see him hammer the dems or the president like he does to people who don’t agree with. Why doesn’t he just go back to England where they have banned guns. I guess Obama can never own a gun as he has no background, or at least we don’t know about his background. He was a doper, so I guess he is a criminal too just never got caught.

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    • patriot38Comment by patriot38
      January 30, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

      Don’t worry about the background checks! If the government were competent to run a decent background check, particularly those in Congress, Mr. Obama would not have been elected president! You’re right about Obama not having a background that he can be proud of, and what has been ferreted out in spite of his ability to hide it makes him about as legitimate as a three-dollar bill. However, he is skilled at community agitation, prevarication and subterfuge, and knows how to hire hoods to help him sink our country.

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  13. litebulbComment by litebulb
    January 30, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

    Isn’t this the same stupid liberal mayor who wanted to spend 10 million dollars of the taxpayer’s money to build a trolley that only went 3 miles? Yeah, Democrats in control. Sheriff Clark would make a helluva better mayor….

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    • CharieComment by Charie
      January 30, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

      You’re absolutely correct, lb.

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  14. litebulbComment by litebulb
    January 30, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

    Did Pm forget that in wwII ,it was OUR GUNS that saved their worthless island from the Nazis?

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  15. juicyfruit56Comment by juicyfruit56
    January 30, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

    I don’t know about anyone else but I personally feel a change coming with the people of our country. Gun control driven by the Democrats is beginning to make many of those who voted for these Communists (Democrat party) realize what they have done. The Democrats themselves will not realize until millions of angry citizens begin to protest in Washington D.C. to defend our 2nd Amendment rights. Then guess what, when this occurs their going to want all the guns they can get surrounding them! You see their intent was never to get rid of theirs because they understand full well what happens when the government wants to take over your life. After all they are ones constructing the program of take over!

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  16. ChewyBeesComment by ChewyBees
    January 30, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

    Every time I read someone encouraging others to “Call or write your senators and representatives!” I just cringe. That hasn’t worked in the lifetime of anyone reading this. Their agenda is set, they follow party lines, whose strategy is beset from corporations and banks, many foreign owned.

    When you call on men and women that have dishonorable loyalty to their money sources you are empowering them to further destroy your life. And destroy it they will, as long as an American populace panders to filthy rich people backed by obscenely rich people. Where do you think all of that capital of riches comes from people? Do you think they worked for it? Or could it be that they are all slimy liars that will say anything, do anything and eff over anybody for a dollar, no less a billion.

    These are the people you are pleading for your lives to. This will never change under this current Federal government, and since that government is adored and revered by the people at its top of the pyramid level, it will continue to rule in any manner it deems profitable to its perpetuation and lining the pockets of its proprietors.

    The first and most important thing you can possibly do, is quit watching TV news, quit reading the njewspaper and any njews magazine, quit listening to squawk radio, and start thinking for yourself. There’s these two new inventions to help you on your quest to discover reality; one’s called the library and one’s call the internet. While I know how important JK Rowling and whoever that lady is that wrote those pathetic vampire books are, try checking out something a little more in tune with what is happening to your life, and maybe you can prevent some suffering.

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    • CharieComment by Charie
      January 30, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

      Don’t forget, we put up such a stink about amnesty when George W Bush was in office that he backed down on his amnesty plan. So yes, it does make a difference if you call your legislators.

      You seem to have a mad on about the wealthy. Wealthy people aren’t always the same and sometimes aren’t always wealthy. You seem to be pointing at some cabal made up of “THE WEALTHY”. What I think is that you’re paranoid. Better you should keep your feet on the ground and siphon some of those thoughts out of your head. I have a hunch that many of the library books and internet sites only feed your paranoia. You do have to use good judgment in what you not only read, but take to heart.

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    • juliaw1955Comment by juliaw1955
      January 31, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

      your the one that needs to get a grip on what’s real Charlie. The Global elite do exist, and they do run every thing in this world of yours, from the food you eat(see GMO products and Monsanto corruption), to the air you breathe(see Chem-trails), to the clothes you wear(see big corporate money trails), to the prices you pay for everything you have(see gas, oil pricing and who supplies and owes those corporate giants). The Global elite are the 1% of the population at the top who control the majority and what happens in our world.

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  17. Allen SComment by Allen S
    January 30, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

    We need more sheriffs like Mr. Clark and Morgan needs to go back to England; we don’t need him here, we have enough anti-Americans already.

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  18. mrpilkingtonComment by mrpilkington
    January 30, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

    My question to Piers Morgan is: How many people in Milwaukee defended themselves and their family at home by not firing a gun(because they did not own one) and calling 911 instead?

    Or : Of all the people murdered in Milwaukee last year, how many of the victims were carrying a gun and How many were unarmed?

    Or : How many homes were burglarized with a member of the family at home but no weapon in the house as opposed to the number burglarized with someone in the house carrying a weapon?

    If you have ever watched five minutes of Piers Morgan’s show, it’s easy to understand why he is on a network that no one watches.

    The lunatics are running the asylum. People wake up before it’s too late!

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  19. gopuc12450Comment by gopuc12450
    January 30, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

    Ring- Ring! Wake-up Folks!
    The local sheriff is the only Constitutionally Legal Law Enforcement Agency.

    Ask ANY other LEO, ‘if Barrack Obama goes (more)Berserk, starts killing (more) citizens; will they shoot to kill the president?

    Find One ligitamate affirmative answer and I will do you a favor on Times Square at High-Noon!

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  20. CharieComment by Charie
    January 30, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

    US sheriffs take an oath to protect the Constitution,if that’s what you’re asking. As a matter of fact it’s the first part of the oath they swear when taking office.

    You won’t find any LEO who will give an affirmative answer to that question in the scenario you set up.

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  21. CharieComment by Charie
    January 30, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

    I’ve been hearing about Sheriff Clarke for years on Milwaukee talk radio. He runs as a Democrat and acts as a Republican because being a Democrat is the only way he can get elected in Milwaukee County. Many of you posting here are correct, Mayor Barrett is a lazy Democrat hack. He loves being mayor but doesn’t like to do much of anything except spend large sums of money at times.

    I heard the PSA he made and I thought it was spot on. He did NOT say people shouldn’t call 911 as I heard many say, even Rush said it on his program. The sheriff said (paraphrasing) that people should be prepared to defend themselves until the police get there. If he meant you shouldn’t call 911, how else would he figure the police were going to know there was even a crime in progress if the potential victim didn’t call 911? Liberalism is a mental disease, rendering the victim unable to perform linear thinking or to use commonsense in any and all situations, demanding the use of both.

    The Milwaukee crime rate seems to be trying to match Chicago but then they’ve had Democrat mayors in what seems like forever. The vast majority of them are gang members, young black men shooting each other with handguns. (so of course we must ban AR-15s). Libs will age, sinking into dementia and no one will even be able to tell when the transition began.

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  22. usarocksComment by usarocks
    January 30, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

    PM… You are better suited sitting next to that watery “tart” on Britains Got Talent. Even CNN is a step down from that! Take your liberal garbage and spew it elsewhere. Back in the UK would be best.

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  23. CharieComment by Charie
    January 30, 2013 @ 10:49 pm

    I just wanted to add that when Mayor Barrett was so badly hurt (from what I understand, his forearm will never be properly healed) he actually was in a situation where he acted heroically. He was going to the State Fair with his family when he saw a man accost an older woman and her grandson and grab her. She began to struggle to get away while protecting the grandson and the mayor walked over to them and tried to calm the man down but the man turned on him and started hitting him with a tire iron, breaking quite a few of his bones and inflicting gashes in his arms and face. I don’t believe he had his bodyguard with him, but I’m sure the police were nearby and hauled the man off and called for an ambulance for the Mayor. He was in very bad shape for awhile.

    Had he been Gov. Perry he’d have killed or wounded the perp with his gun and he’d have been saved a savage beating.

    Anyhow, I thought he should have his props.

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  24. bowler1hatComment by bowler1hat
    January 30, 2013 @ 11:48 pm

    There is a storm assaulting our nation that is more insidious than Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina combined. Its continuous day to day roar is touted in the newscasts, newspapers and magazines as the availability of anything with a barrel and trigger as they purposefully ignore the courts who are overly compassionate to violent people and a culture that breeds another generation of callous aggressive people.

    Piers is a product of a nation that would have disarmed us, had they beaten us the Revolution. Do any of you know about summary executions and assassinations of unarmed American colonials just for being near an area of skirmish and suspected of being a rebel, a sympathizer or not looking faithful to the crown. The Constitution guaranteed the right to bear arms for our own protection from tyrants and gathering food.

    Todays’ tyrants have different styles. We have the examples of Iran, Syria and North Korea as one kind. Similar tyrants like Saddam Hussein have perished for just a fraction of their crimes. Other tyrants, mostly American politicians like Pelosi, Reid and Gore and idealistic educators and celebrities with big mouths and little practical sense, who proclaim that we are not smart enough to think on their superior level know better than others about our safety, our reproductive rights and how we MUST be tolerant of other religions who want to strip all religions from this country, including atheism and impose sharia on every man woman and child. We must stand up to those who have exhausted many of the resources to deal with these the problems of hardened criminals and hardened politicians who only look out for themselves. If you want to deal with violent people and the violence they inflict, turn your legislatures and your Congress inside out and deny them another pulpit to further poison the minds of our countrymen!

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  25. juliaw1955Comment by juliaw1955
    January 31, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

    Quiet obvious what is going on here! Piers is a gun-hating Limey who thinks that only criminals should possess guns! The Mayor is scared that what the sheriff is saying might make his citizens put pressure on him to find the money to pay for more police patrol…..oh no….that might cut into his bonus money at the end of the year, or worse yet…maybe his paychecks! You heard the truth from the sheriff, and he is dead right. Response is slow, if they can come at all. Are we living in a bubble that we can no longer face the hard cold facts? Arm yourselves people. It is our constitutional right. It’s now Liberty, or death.

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