Today Wisconsin became the latest state to allow concealed carry of a firearm. The dirty little secret of conceal carry is that it turns the 2nd amendment right into a privilege. The Scott Walker administration is simply working in the system that is already established to give citizens the maximum access to rights, but the system is flawed. It is perfectly legal for a law abiding citizen to openly carry a firearm in public as long as it is not banned by the property owner or on government property. This is highlighted by the 2009 case of a man being harassed by police for carrying a holstered gun on his hip in his front yard. After a charge of disorderly conduct the State Attorney General J.B. VanHollen had to admit that it was absolutely legal for the defendant to openly carry a firearm under the US Constitution.
In response to this incident back in 2009 Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn stated that "My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we'll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it."
This guilty until proven tactic was tolerated by local residents and Democratic politicians in the name of the safety of citizens.
Yesterday there was this statement from Flynn on jsonline in response to concealed carry becoming the law of the land: "I'm not going to ask them to let somebody get the drop on them. I ask everybody that intends to get a permit to think very carefully about responding to police officer commands and doing so in a safe and timely way so that we don't have any unnecessary casualties."
This statement covers the overall tenure of local coverage of the new law going into existence. Essentially, yes you have the right to carry a concealed firearm, but if you do it wrong you will either go to jail or be murdered by a police officer, so you are taking a huge risk.
I believe that this is fear of firearms is simply the culture in Wisconsin, particularly in Milwaukee, that the mere presence of a gun equals danger. I believe that this will change over time has people become more and more accustomed to the presence of guns and perhaps even eventually enjoy the reduction of fear and empowerment that can come from learning how to properly carry and use a firearm. There is no question that this weekend local would be robbers will think twice before attacking a innocent citizen, because the wager just went way up.
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About the Author: Robert is an educator that lives in Southeastern Wisconsin. He has studied and taught political science for over 20 years.