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Milwaukee Mayor, Sheriff Face Off In Gun Debate

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Jan 31, 2013 7:20PM

2013_1_31_milwaukee.jpg While in Chicago, both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart are pushing for tougher gun laws, in Milwaukee the mayor and sheriff aren't in agreement on the role of guns in crime and crime fighting.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. launched a radio ad campaign urging citizens to arm themselves and take a gun-safety course. Clarke argued that law enforcement has fewer resources for fighting crime, having laid off dozens of officers. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (as is Mayor Emanuel), and he called the ads "irresponsible" and says the ad encourages vigilanteism by implying citizens shouldn't call 911.

In the meantime, Clarke's ad has convinced at least one person to arm themselves. A 36-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for firing a gun while intoxicated. She told police "that she knows her rights regarding having a firearm because she heard Sheriff Clarke on the radio stating that she could own a gun to protect herself."

The two squared off on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, where the notoriously anti-firearms host took Clarke to task for his comments. Watch the exchange below.