Concealed carry and castle laws a bad mix for everyone
As the recall of Gov. Scott Walker creeps forward I find myself thinking of the most egregious thing he's done, the one thing that bothers me the most, even though I don't agree with recalls for policy differences.
I think his legislation messing up collective bargaining for public employees is horrible.
But the worst thing he's done, aided and abetted by a compliant legislature and a growing redneck public, was to sign the concealed carry and castle laws for gun owners.
Everybody knows what these laws are.
Concealed carry allows citizens to hide a gun in their clothes and carry it with them. Castle laws allow citizens to use deadly force to protect themselves in their castles (read: homes).
More and more I can't believe how absolutely crazy and dangerous these laws are.
About a week ago I was pushing a cart up an aisle in a popular grocery store. Coming toward me was a guy wearing sweat pants and one of those satin jackets that might be a team jacket.
When he got a couple of feet from me he flashed his jacket open and pointed to the holstered gun under the jacket. He closed it quickly and cackled at me.
I thought he was nuts.
And then, two aisles later he did it again. Now I knew he was nuts.
Another aisle later I saw him being escorted from the store by two nervous store managers. And I asked myself how in the world could a crazy guy like this have a gun?
What the hell is wrong with this place?
The news of the innocent teenager in Florida being gunned down is a big deal now. But we had a case like that in Slinger earlier this month.
A young man named Bo Morrison was at a party when the cops were called because the party was noisy.
Morrison ran away and tried to hide on a neighbor's porch. The neighbor shot and killed the young man.
He was protecting his "castle."
The gun rights crazies were quick to point out that Morrison was a young man who had an occasional brush with police, as if that made it okay to gun him down.
They also point out how nice the homeowner was to call the police himself to announce the shooting.
It makes me shake my head.
Are we as a state going absolutely nuts?
What in the world are we thinking that makes it okay to shoot and kill someone who tries to hide on our porch?
Make no mistake, there is a racial component at work here. It's going to be a long time before we hear about a black homeowner shooting a white kid who is trying to hide on his porch.
What Scott Walker has done in signing this kind of legislation is the same thing that the most virulent right wing talk radio does.
It has given freedom for fear to flourish.
On talk radio the talk is about feeding the fear of enemies, like the "liberal media." On your porch it allows you to hide behind a door, waiting for one of "them" to come up so you can blow him away.
I know lots of other states have these laws. I know that gun toting supporters are absolutely panicked about protecting themselves from the roving bands of young black guys threatening us every day.
But somehow we have to find a way to keep these nuts from deciding how we are going to live. And we should not be fostering this fear. We should never give in to irrational fear.
Tis a humane state we live in, one of the few that has a ban on capital punishment, for example.
If Walker loses the recall election and we somehow get a Democratic legislature to work with the new governor, I have a legislative program for him.
First thing is repeal the ban on collective bargaining.
And the second thing is to repeal these horribly stupid laws encouraging guns and the crazy use of them.
Where did this guy fall off the turnip truck? Must have been downtown Chicago, because there is no where else in the united states where someone could possibly be this messed up. The homeowner did the right thing and the perpetrator made a long list of poor decisions. If anyone needs to be arrested, it would be the parents of this miscreant who did not bring him up with an ounce of common sense. Running from the cops is an invitation to get shot or at least tazed. Breaking and Entering is an invitation to get shot or beat over your head! Being under age and at a party is flirting with huge fines, injury, sickness, and possibly death. It seems that the outcome of this very unfortunate story was pretty predictable - no matter what the color of the skin was. Playing the race card is a sad and misinformed (and probably racist) thing to do. The fool-author should be ashamed of himself and ought to be banned from spewing the printed word for all eternity.
Careful what you wish for. The fact is you are just adding to the problem. I think you are stooping to their level. Let's hope you know what you are doing with those guns! Be safe!
Mr. Begel, even though I disagree with your comments and opinions, I would defend to the death for your 1st Amendment right to state them. It is possible that I may need to use my gun to do so. Which falls under the 2nd Amendment. I found your article well written but lacking in fact. There are now 49 states who have a Concealled Carry law on their books. The Socialist Republic of Illinois is still firearm un-friendly) The majority of these states also have a Castle Doctrine in force. Research has shown that in the greater majority of these states the crime rate has dropped. In some cases dramatically. There also seemed to be a lack of fact in your description of the shooting incident in Slinger. People need to stop playing the "Race Card" and start using the facts. I agree that it is a tragedy whenever a youhg person is killed. This situation is no different. However, one has to look at the facts. It is late at night. It is dark. The young man who was killed was fleeing from an underage drinking party instead of being a man and taking whatever punishment was determined. Did he flee because he didn't want another mark on his criminal record? He broke into someones home to hide from the Police. At this point he has already committed several crimes. What went on from there is only known by 2 people and 1 can't give a statement. If the homeowner did in fact fear for his and his family's safety, then he was within his rights to fire his weapon. Under the same circumstances an Officer might have done the same. The facts are that Concealed Carry is a way to protect the lives and safety of ourselves and others. The Castle Doctrine gives us the right to protect our homes and our families. If you do not feel comfortable and safe by carrying a weapon then so be it. But your anti-gun comments need to be researched and backed by fact. Don't spew opinions only. Oh and by the way, your article made you and your family an easy mark for criminals. I would suggest getting a large vicious dog because none of us who carry will not be helping you.
"We should never give in to irrational fear." Probably the only thing he said that was completely true & sensible! Take your own advice, sir. There are so many irrational, fear-based opinions in your piece I'm surprised you had the gumption to leave that one gem of truth in there. How about doing something to overcome your own ignorance & irrational fears? Take a basic firearms safety class. Take one of the free concealed carry lectures being given by WCI. Learn about the laws (because you obviously haven't yet).
captain: "A gun is a COWARD's best weapon Be a man. Use your fists." Gee, I'm so glad I'm not a man... and equally glad I don't give a hoot about your opinion of me. So what if you think I'm a coward because I want to protect myself, using the same (or better) tools as the people most likely to be trying to harm me? There's no reason I should be harmed or killed, especially in my own home, because YOU choose a less-effective (or nonexistant) means of defense. The choices you make for you & your life & your circumstances are not necessarily the right choices for me, my life, & my circumstances. I won't tell you you must have or use a gun, you don't get to tell me I can't. And how do you address people who are physically small, weak, fragile, who want to protect themselves? Are they somehow less, inferior, simply because they can't take a beating like you (supposedly) can?
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