For the fourth straight year, the NRA's running dogs in Wisconsin have proposed a concealed carry law. For the fourth straight year, the NRA and its water carriers in the Legislature cannot understand why 60% of Wisconsin men and 80% of Wisconsin women oppose concealed carry.
In general, the arguments proposed by the NRA's lackeys are unchanging, designed to create fear, and generally without any sort of foundation in facts or statistics. Argument Number One: Wisconsin is one of just four states that currently does not allow concealed carry. Yes, and? Maybe we like it that way. Wisconsin is one of 49 states that does not allow gay marriage. It is one of just six states that does not have any of the vowels 'a', 'e', or 'u' in the spelling of its name. Could I throw out any more meaningless numbers? Apparently, concealed carry proponents never had anyone ask them, "If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump too?"
Argument Number Two: Congress may pass a nationwide concealed carry law so the state should do so first to beat them to the punch. If Congress were to pass a concealed carry law, and if said law were able to pass constitutional muster before the Supreme Court, Wisconsin's law would likely be superceded. In which case, it wouldn't matter if we passed a law or not.
Argument Number Three: Many of the "good guys" are already carrying weapons illegally. Concealed carry will let these so-called good guys carry weapons legally. This has to be among the dumbest arguments I've seen. The basic theory behind that argument is that it is somehow OK to break the law if you are otherwise a good person and if you break the law with some sort of good-natured purpose in mind. Of course, the logical extension of this argument shows just how ridiculous this train of thought can be. If I robbed a bank and gave all my misgotten gains to an orphange, would I be one of the so-called good guys? After all, I broke the law with the best of intentions. Of course, we can all see how this argument breaks down. If I rob a bank, then I've committed a crime, regardless of where the money ends up. If you carry a concealed weapon today in Wisconsin, you are breaking the law, regardless of why you are carrying the weapon. That, by definition, does not make you a "good guy." Does it make sense to say that we should grant concealed carry permits to, and legitimize the practices of, people who have already shown a healthy disregard for the law?
Argument Number Four: If citizens can carry concealed weapons, then they can help stop crime. Right. As a nation, we once tried a massive experiment where normal citizens carried weapons around all the time to protect themselves. It was called the Wild West.
The Reverand Sue Moline, director of the Lutheran Office for Public Policy, recently penned an op-ed in one of the local newspapers decrying the push for concealed carry. Amongst the usual facts and figures was this unusual argument:
Martin Luther recognized that every person is both saintly and sinful, capable of the most exalted acts of goodness and the most depraved acts of criminality. Good people may have more disciplined control of their impules, but good people can drink too much and become threatening and belligerent, fall into depression and lash out in anger and despair, or have frightening experiences that trigger hasty and harmful behaviors. Unfortunately, the concealed carry law is likely to pass the Legislature again this year. The bill will then end up on the Governor's desk, again. I can only hope that the Legislature fails to override his veto, again.