Ed Flynn (and Me) on Gun Control

Former Milwaukke Chief Ed Flynn

Incisive and to the point. Former Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn on Wisconsin’s “Open Carry” Laws. Excerpted from The Marshall Project. When are we going to do something about guns in America? The “open carry” legislation does nothing more than make the job of policing more dangerous and difficult. Can we come to our senses?

(And while we’re on this topic, we simply cannot permit non-police personnel to walk around public protests with firearms. This is simply insane and makes the job of policing such an event impossible! (Perhaps court order prohibiting the open carry of firearms within so many feet of such an event?)

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Reporter: I’m a New Yorker, and in New York City, if you walk around with a gun showing, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble very quickly.

Flynn: Yes, well that’s true wherever I’ve lived as well. The law is, quite simply, lunacy. It’s lunacy in an urban environment. These laws get passed overwhelmingly for ideological reasons, and, marginally to offer comfort to people who live in rural areas, where everyone knows everyone, and where the casual carrying of a hunting-style weapon no doubt causes little alarm…

Reporter: One of the things critics say — this is from the president of the Louisiana Police Chiefs Association: “Look at cities like Chicago. They have tough gun laws, and look at all their crime. Clearly, gun control isn’t working.” I’m sure you’ve heard that argument before. What’s your answer to that?

Flynn; Sure, we hear all this bullshit. State law trumps local ordinance, and the fact that one location tries valiantly to have strict firearm laws, doesn’t have any impact on firearms coming from other jurisdictions that have virtually no firearms laws. I mean, right now in Milwaukee, we don’t have any rights to govern ourselves when it comes to firearms. We’re totally at the mercy of the state legislature, and they decided there can’t possibly be enough guns in Milwaukee. The law is written in such a way as to casually and legally arm criminals. It is written in such a way as to flood the streets of our cities with high-quality firearms…

Reporter: What’s your response to those who think this is not a gun control issue, it’s a mental health issue. These are a few deranged individuals who are responsible for the police-involved shootings, let’s work on that. Let’s leave the gun laws alone.

Flynn: Well, let me put it this way. It’s an act of profound faith to think that you can make military-grade firearms available to anyone who wants to purchase one, and not have mass casualty events. That fact is, our laws are written in such a way as to make the mentally ill, but undiagnosed, in a perfect position to have access to these firearms, and a lot of our most homicidal individuals don’t meet standard definitions of mental illness. They’re sociopaths. We’re arming them with military grade hardware. What in the name of God does anybody think the framers had in mind? Do they think the framers had in mind that they would arm the masses so that at any given time they could overturn the results of an election? Is that what we’re doing? If we’re going to make these weapons available to anyone who wants them, to parade around in public spaces, perhaps during elections, perhaps outside polling booths … Is this notion that the framers really wanted to build into the Constitution, the destruction of democratic institutions? That’s the logic of these idiotic laws. The logic of these idiotic laws is political violence, and mass casualties.,,

[From The Marshall Project]