Is Milwaukee Police Chief Flynn Blaming The Right To Carry To Distract Us From His Own Failures?
Article first appeared at Shooting Illustrated.
On Tuesday, A1F Daily took note of how Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn had reportedly blamed Wisconsin Right-to-Carry permit holders for violent crime in Milwaukee:
“I can tell you anecdotally we’re seeing a number of shootings involving concealed-carry permit holders—many of whom have extensive criminal records,” Chief Flynn told USA Today Network – Wisconsin. “But I’m not allowed to tell you how many or whom, because the law has been carefully written to prevent analysis of that information.” Is it any wonder that Milwaukee crime is rising when city officials refuse to punish or control their most dangerous offenders?
Now, if you’re like us, you were probably astounded to read that. After all, close to 30 years of experience in dozens of states across the U.S. have shown that Right-to-Carry permit holders are far more lawful than the general population, and among the most law-abiding members of society.
The flipside of that coin is that criminals don’t bother getting Right-to-Carry permits, because criminals don’t wait in lines to pay fees to fill out forms to submit to criminal background checks to comply with the laws so they can get a gun to commit crimes. Criminals typically steal guns, get them from other criminals or buy them on the black market.
And they don’t put themselves at risk of prosecution by applying for Right-to-Carry permits when they have “extensive criminal records,” as Milwaukee Chief Flynn claims.
So, as we asked in our article earlier this week, what gives?
If Chief Flynn knows of “many” Right-to-Carry permit holders who have “extensive criminal records,” then why isn’t he arresting them?
After all, he doesn’t need to wait for them to commit another crime—it’s already a crime for anyone with a felony record to own or even touch any gun, let alone apply for a Right-to-Carry permit.
A1F Daily reached out to Eric Litke, the USA Today Network reporter whose story quoted Chief Flynn, to check whether perhaps Flynn’s quote had been rendered in error.
According to Litke, “Neither federal nor state law bans all misdemeanor offenders, or repeat misdemeanor offenders, from holding a permit. This was a concern Flynn brought up … Those statutory habitual offenders are the ones he was referencing as having ‘extensive criminal records.’”
In other words, when Chief Flynn wrung his hands and fretted that “we’re seeing a number of shootings involving concealed-carry permit holders—many of whom have extensive criminal records,” he wasn’t talking about felons, according to Litke. Flynn was, instead, talking about misdemeanor offenders. However, jaywalkers, parking-ticket tossers and dog-license scofflaws are hardly what most reasonable people think of when a police chief talks about people with “extensive criminal records.” Under Chief Flynn’s watch, Milwaukee’s violent crime rate has risen to more than 2.5 times the national average.
As for those who do present a threat to the public—armed, violent felons in possession of guns—Chief Flynn, the Milwaukee P.D., and the local D.A. and judges apparently can’t be bothered to lock them up.
According to Fox6Now.com,
“Investigators spent months compiling data from more than 3,600 cases involving felons caught with guns in Milwaukee County. More than one-third of the time, charges were never filed. Hundreds of others were charged, and then dismissed. Even when felons are convicted of having guns, the FOX6 investigators found 20 percent serve less than a year in jail. Seventy-five percent serve less than three years.”
Is it any wonder that Milwaukee crime is rising when city officials refuse to punish or control their most dangerous offenders?
And is it any wonder that Chief Flynn would try to change the subject and shift blame onto others for rising violent crime in Milwaukee—much of which his department not only refuses to control, but also tries to cover up?
Get this: Under Chief Flynn’s watch, Milwaukee’s violent crime rate has risen to more than 2.5 times the national average.
Yet instead of protecting the public by putting Milwaukee’s most dangerous predators behind bars, Chief Flynn’s Milwaukee Police Department set about cooking the books to deceive the public. … Chief Flynn’s department buried hundreds of beatings, stabbings and child abuse cases to falsely suggest that crime was falling, when in fact crime was increasing.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Chief Flynn’s department buried hundreds of beatings, stabbings and child abuse cases to falsely suggest that crime was falling, when in fact crime was increasing.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke has spoken out about Chief Flynn, his anti-gun gimmickry and what the city needs to do to combat violent crime, and you can read his statement here.
But what does Chief Flynn have to say for himself?
“I don’t pretend to know how to make the judiciary work better,” Flynn said. “But there must be some way? You know? And I just don’t get the sense there’s a lot of imagination.”
No, Chief, it doesn’t take much imagination to toss armed, violent felons back to the streets, then cook the books to cover your tracks—and then, when all hell breaks loose, blame lawful, honest Right-to-Carry permit holders for the crime that results.
That might not take much imagination. But it definitely takes the cake for gall.