The Sheriff Isn’t Done
When asked why he feels so strongly about the right to bear arms, Sheriff Clarke says no single event flashes through his mind. Instead, a collage of real people in real situations plays through his memory like a sizzle reel for why citizens need the right to defend themselves with firearms.
He gives a few examples.
“Last year a woman in Milwaukee was being viciously beaten at a bus stop by a former boyfriend,” he said. “A guy driving home from work saw the attack and stopped. He told the attacker to knock it off. The ex-boyfriend started walking toward the Good Samaritan. So the citizen pulled his self-defense handgun out and, just like that, the attacker ran. No shots were fired.
“There is no statistic to measure what happened. But that girl was saved. Now I ask, would that Good Samaritan have stopped and confronted the attacker if he didn’t have a self-defense gun?”
In another example, Sheriff Clarke mentions a janitor who was being beaten to death by a group of thugs with a baseball bat.
“That janitor managed to pull his self-defense gun and shot and killed two of his attackers,” Sheriff Clarke said. “If he didn’t have the gun, he’d have been killed.
“I can give more real examples of armed citizens preventing attacks and stopping potential murders, but, again, such things are difficult to measure statistically.”
He adds: “I talked to both of those people. I try to talk to every one of my constituents who is forced to fight for their life. I call them to tell them I’m proud of them.”
Sheriff Clarke points out that, as a minority, many expect him to have a different view of the right to keep and bear arms. That’s not slowing him down, though, in speaking out for protection of private firearm ownership.
“I’m a black man,” he said. “I’m not supposed to have these views of our freedom. A lot of blacks today have been estranged from their history. They’ve been conditioned by an anti-gun, inner-city culture. They don’t know that after the American Civil War a lot of previous slave states passed laws to disarm blacks.
“Today, many in the inner cities don’t realize that the 13th Amendment to the u.s. Constitution freed the slaves and the 14th Amendment made certain freed slaves had their rights, such as the right to bear arms. They don’t know that Frederick Douglass wrote in his autobiography [‘The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass’ (1881)] that American liberty depends upon ‘the ballot-box, the jury-box, and the cartridge-box.’ But I’m sure trying to tell them.”
In May 2013, Sheriff Clarke was presented the “Sheriff of the Year Award” from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association for “demonstrating true leadership and courage … staying true to his oath, true to his badge and true to the people he has promised to serve and protect.”
Some are now calling for Sheriff Clarke to take on Mayor Barrett in the next election for mayor of Milwaukee. Clarke says he’s considering doing just that.
We’ll keep you posted.
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