There’s little doubt that Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. was a favorite of those attending the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits. Appearing on the same program with 11 Republican presidential hopefuls on April 10 in Nashville, Tenn., Clarke drew just as many standing ovations as any potential White House resident.
“We are fresh off our defeat of Michael Bloomberg and his Second Amendment forces, the ‘Mayors Against Guns,’” Clarke told the cheering crowd, detailing his victory in last year’s closely-contested election. “Bloomberg tried to take me out with his wallet in my re-election as sheriff in Milwaukee County. And only because of your help was I able to ‘kick him out of Dodge,’ so to speak, with his tail between his legs, leaving him still in search of a signature win to rally around. Together, you and I told him, ‘Not today. Not here. Nice try.’”
Clarke, an NRA Endowment member, said speaking to the NRA crowd made him feel right at home.
“Many of the people here today have political speeches. I don’t have a political speech,” he said. “But this is where I want to be—standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you God-loving, freedom-loving patriots who support the United States Constitution, which includes the right to keep and bear arms.”
Clarke knows many people—including the president of the United States—do not agree with his assessment of the audience as being great American patriots. But he’s not too worried about that.
“President Barack Obama calls us bitter clingers,” Clarke continued. “He says that when things don’t go right, that we cling to our guns and our religions. To which I reply, ‘Damn right we do, Mr. President. And don’t you forget it!”That’s why we are here for the next couple of days—to send a message to the anti-Second Amendment forces that we, too, are organized. And we, too, will fight, as I like to say, with the ferociousness of a junkyard dog to preserve that which they have no right to take from us.
Clarke also cares little for the so-called “mainstream” media. And he cares even less for the media’s attempts to muzzle those who would speak out against the president and other who want to take away the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms.
“To the liberal media who have become the propaganda wing of leftist politics, don’t tell me I can’t say that about the president,” he said. “Yes I can, yes I did, and yes I will probably do it again!”
Clarke addressed the fact he was appearing on a program with many who had political aspirations. And he even hinted at a few possible aspirations of his own.
“Now I know that many of the speakers invited here today are running for something or they want something from you,” he said. “Not all of them, but most. Me, on the other hand, I don’t want anything from you. I came to give you my thanks.
“Because I’m not running for anything—right now,” Clarke said. “That (right now) is to keep the Left on their toes.”
Clarke outlined the battle ahead for Second Amendment supporters, describing the tenacious nature of those who would restrict the rights of law-abiding Americans. They are, he said, prepared, they have money, and they are persistent.
“We have to be doubly prepared to preserve out God-given right to keep and bear arms,” he said. “That’s why we are here for the next couple of days—to send a message to the anti-Second Amendment forces that we, too, are organized. And we, too, will fight, as I like to say, with the ferociousness of a junkyard dog to preserve that which they have no right to take from us.”
Clarke also addressed the proposed ATF ban on M855 ammunition commonly used in AR-15 rifles. As a law enforcement officer himself, he doesn’t believe those politicians who say the ban would protect police officers.
“Any bullet can kill a law enforcement officer—not just an AR-15 round,” he said. “I don’t blame the gun. I blame the sub-human behavior of someone who would shoot another human being without legal justification.”
Clarke pledged his support for national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation currently being considered in Congress. He pointed out that if a criminal commits a crime in one state and crosses into another state, all of his constitutional freedoms follow him—including his Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendment rights—just as they should.
“But I also want the same for you law-abiding folks—when you cross out of your state line, that your constitutional freedoms follow you as well,” he said. “And that includes the Second Amendment to the Constitution.”
Clarke admitted that in today’s political climate, it’s hard to know exactly who to trust sometimes. But he has a solution for that quandary.
“I want to remind you: Don’t trust politicians,” he said. “Trust the National Rifle Association.”