Bruce Murphy
Back in News

“Do something about guns,” Flynn Pleads

Flynn calls for gun control at Obama's national town hall, demands action from legislature.

By - Jul 15th, 2016 11:31 am
President Barack Obama and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.

President Barack Obama and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn was a guest participant in an ABC News town hall meeting last night headlined by President Barack Obama about race relations and policing. And he minced no words, calling on Obama to use his prestige as president to take on the issue of violence in cities and minority community-police mistrust. “And I think it’s going to transcend the duration of your presidency. Which imposes a special burden on you because of your unique place in history.”

He also called on politicians to do something to address the easy availability of guns, while noting it “requires political courage.”

Addressing the challenge police face in high crime urban areas, he said, “All there is is the police in the community; there’s no cavalry coming.”

In an obvious shot at the Wisconsin legislature, Flynn charged that “many of our cities are in states that are dominated by interests that act like cities are the enemy. State legislatures want to help us. Help us do something about guns.” Flynn has often called on legislators to add sensible restrictions to concealed carry and secondary sales of guns.

“What was that man doing with an assault rifle?” he asked, referring to the Dallas sniper. “I mean, fine, go to the funeral of the five cops but how did that guy get that assault rifle and why did he walk down the street with it and then use it?” In the past Flynn has called on Congress to ban sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to civilians

What with yesterday’s terrorist attack in France and the Republican convention, the town hall has not gotten a lot of coverage, but Flynn was quite eloquent describing the post-Dallas situation in America. The full video of his remarks can be found here.

In “disadvantaged communities of color,” he noted, “crime has not gone down. It’s gone down in some place called America. But in those neighborhoods, there’s easy access to firearms… and there are extraordinary rates of homicide. Nationally, African Americans represent 51 percent of homicide victims. In our cities it’s more like 80 percent.

“It’s an urban tragedy. But the heart of the police dilemma is those neighborhoods that demand our services, need us the most, request us the most, depend upon us us the most, for social or historical reasons, distrust us, and… we can’t protect them effectively if we’re not trusted.

“And so the challenge is, how do we talk about both things at the same time without acting like we’re blaming the African-American community for their victimization or that we’re assuming that all police are racially biased?”

Flynn addressed black protestors, saying “I understand that Black Lives Matter movement exists because there’s a sensibility that black lives didn’t matter… It doesn’t mean than anyone else’s life doesn’t matter.”

Finally, he emphasized the need for people to come together in facing these issues: “Everything that divides us makes us all more vulnerable. Makes the police more vulnerable. Makes the community more vulnerable.”

In urging Obama to take on the issue, Flynn drew a laugh from the president in suggesting the two candidates for president are unlikely to constructively address it:

“I don’t think things are going to get enlightened in this election,” Flynn said. “So that conversation is going to have to take place parallel to the election.”

6 thoughts on “Back in News: “Do something about guns,” Flynn Pleads”

  1. Harald Dalibor says:

    Chief Flynn, how about starting to do something about the number of car thefts in Milwaukee that have risen to extremes since YOU made the decision to not chase cars thieves. You may also want to notice that most of the car thefts happen on the south side of town where thieves know that most of the people there don’t shoot at them. Compared to the North side where it is more risky to steal cars, because there is a higher chance of getting shot at. You want something done about guns? So more cars can be stolen? Laws won’t stop killings. Ask the people of Chicago how their laws are working for them.

  2. Thomas says:

    Yes, Mr. Murphy, Chief Flynn was eloquent at the Town Hall on 7/15. It is unfortunate that many residents of our community do not respect eloquence. Honest analysis of the Chief’s remarks reveals sincere concern and a willingness to work with disparate members of our community in an effort to reduce gun violence here and elsewhere. Chief Flynn needs to be heard.

  3. Vincent Hanna says:

    More cars would be stolen if we tried doing something about guns? How do you figure? No one is proposing we just take everyone’s guns Harold. That laws won’t stop killing doesn’t mean we don’t have them. That makes no sense.

  4. Tom D says:

    Harald (post 1): If you want to see what effect strict gun laws have on crime, Chicago isn’t the right place to look. While Chicago has strong laws, its immediate suburbs (in Indiana) have very weak laws.

    I suggest looking at NY City instead. While NYC’s gun laws are slightly weaker than Chicago’s (Donald Trump has apparently had a carry permit for years—which would have been impossible in Chicago, for example), its suburbs all have reasonably strict gun laws, too.

  5. Tom D says:

    The way to stop carjacking and car thefts isn’t with guns; it’s by using a commercial theft-deterrent product like “LoJack”. LoJack is available only in certain areas (like Chicago), but not in Milwaukee.

    When LoJack moves into a new area, they give police the hardware needed to locate stolen LoJack-equipped cars. (And since a thief can’t tell which cars have LoJack, they treat all cars as if they do.) While Milwaukeans can install LoJack on their car (there are dealers as close as Kenosha), it’s useless unless the police participate (and that decision seems to come from LoJack itself).

  6. wisconsin conservative Digest says:

    Please take the guns away from he thugs of all color after they are put in jail. According to the best i can find only 6% of the gun criminals get into jail. let the citizens alone.

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