Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke, Jr. made headlines earlier this week by urging residents to become responsible gun owners so they can defend themselves during situations when first responders are unable to get there in time. On Tuesday night, the sheriff joined Piers Morgan on CNN where he was berated and criticized for making such “irresponsible” statements.
Morgan accused Clarke of using a “Hollywood voice” and dramatizing the serious debate surrounding gun control, to which Clarke replied, “this is my voice.” The sheriff explained that his department has limited resources and it is unrealistic to expect police to be able to respond in time to each and every emergency.
Morgan then attempted to discredit firearms as an effective means of self-protection, asking how many people actually defended themselves or their families by firing a gun in Milwaukee. Clarke said he did not have a figure off the top of his head.
“You haven’t got a clue, have you?” Morgan said in a condescending tone.
“You want to arm everybody in Milwaukee. You do these racy Hollywood-style adverts, you want them all out there, armed and shooting,” Morgan continued. “What you’re creating is a return to the Wild West in Milwaukee. So I think it’s actually relevant that you don’t have any idea how many people actually need a firearm at home to defend themselves.”
Morgan hardly let Clarke get a word in the debate as he repeatedly interrupted and berated his guest. Finally, Clarke asked, “Are we going to have an honest exchange here or are you just going to talk over me?”
The sheriff explained that a citizen’s decision to own a firearm is an “individual responsibility” and it’s not up to him to decide who should or should not own a gun.
“No, no, no. I’m not going to let you get away with that,” Morgan interrupted yet again. He then repeatedly spoke over Clarke.
“I said you can hide under the bed,” Clarke said. “Those are choices the individual has to make, not law enforcement.”
Morgan’s counterargument? He said it is no longer a “personal choice” when a sheriff encourages people to become gun owners. He did not clarify exactly what he meant by that. Using that line of reasoning, every single Milwaukee resident would have bought a gun just because the sheriff encouraged it, apparently unable to make the decision on their own.
Watch the segment via CNN/Mediaite below: