Wisconsin would not be in its present situation had it not been for anti-gun former Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat. He twice vetoed concealed carry legislation that had been supported by most people on both sides of the issue that would have included permits. His actions have resulted in something of a civil rights backlash, with many gun owners now pushing for full carry rights without a permit. It’s essentially payback for Doyle and a handful of Democrats who refused to override his vetoes. If Wisconsin’s Legislature adopts constitutional carry, the blame, or credit depending upon one’s perspective, lies at Doyle’s feet and nobody else’s. He had two chances to be “reasonable,” as the gun control crowd always puts it, and he blew them both.
Why this is important to gun rights advocates in the Pacific Northwest should be obvious. Washington has one of the strongest state constitutional right-to-bear-arms provisions in the nation. Open carry has been legal here since before statehood, as noted yesterday. CPLs were not required until 1933. We can carry right now in the Capitol and legislative office buildings, a fact that gives gun prohibitionists heartburn. A growing contingent of Evergreen State gun owners think we ought to return to the “good old days” and point to Alaska, Arizona (which has a state constitutional provision identical to Washington’s) and Vermont as examples of properly minimal gun regulation.
If Wisconsin adopts, right out of the gate, a constitutional carry measure where no concealed carry provision existed previously, then 2012’s legislative session in Olympia just might see the same proposal. In an election year, that could create a degree of political discomfort for lawmakers who do not care to rile this state’s activist gun owners.
May 26, 2011
WI panel OKs gun bill; columnist shows bankruptcy of anti-CCW mindset
[The repression of a group over a long period of time spawns resentment. This resentment can result in a demand for “justice” that far exceeds the original modest requests. For many decades gun owners have been treated as second and third class citizens instead of first class as have those that exercised other specific enumerated rights such as freedom of speech.
Those that lament our recent successes in our regaining the recognition of our rights should celebrate that we found success in the courts and the legislatures rather than through our method of last of resort. I suspect we were far closer to the breaking point than the other side realized. Hence our gains are far more modest than they really should be but there is the benefit of the gains being obtained without the shedding of blood. For that both sides can and should celebrate that the system is working.—Joe]