Like a reoccurring bad dream, the Republican-controlled Legislature appears committed to passing some form of concealed carry legislation this session. There are three different versions of this ill-conceived legislation currently being considered by various standing committees in Madison.
However, the concealed carry measure that appears to be getting the most traction in recent weeks is the “Constitutional Carry” bill, which imposes no permit, training or background check requirement.
Unfortunately, this entire concealed carry quagmire is laden with serious fallacies and misconceptions. Some of these erroneous beliefs include:
- There is no “absolute” right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Much like there is no absolute right to free speech/expression. One is prohibited from shouting “fire” in a crowded movie theater when no such exigent circumstance exists.
- It would deter criminals. However, by in large, the national crime rate has been declining for the last decade, and includes a broad spectrum of crimes (murder, rape, juvenile and property).
- It levels the playing field. But, in my view, it creates a “potential minefield” where tragic gun scenarios are just waiting to happen.
Considering the present make-up of the Legislature, some form of concealed carry will undoubtedly make it to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Initially, it was reported that Scott Walker would sign any concealed carry measure put before him. However, there are now faint rumblings that the governor may have some reservations about signing gun legislation that contains no training or permit requirements.
It is beyond belief (and logic) that increasing the number of hand guns in our midst makes us safer. It is also beyond rational thought that there wouldn’t be a background check stipulation, to identify felons or individuals with mental histories. Not to mention, the potential carnage that will ensue as a result of individuals carrying handguns without any formal training.
It’s a recipe for disaster that ultimately may play itself out in the State Capitol corridors – where concealed carry would be permitted under the bill.