WI: Journal Sentinel's last editorial before assembly vote


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Monkeyleg
November 5, 2003, 01:09 AM
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has done a fine job of trying to appear fair and balanced in its editorials on concealed carry. Now that we have a vote scheduled for tomorrow, they've unleashed their "blood in the streets" and "dead cops" diatribe. On top of that, they just have to mention that NRA/PVF has donated $117,000 over a seven-year period to all legislative and gubernatorial races--an average of $16,714 per year. Given that the maximum donation allowed for a represenatative is $500 per year, the maximum for a state senate candidate is $1000 per year, and the maximum for a gubernatorial candidate is $43,128, it would seem that the NRA/PVF is downright cheap compared to, say, the teachers' union. Or the Indian tribes, who gave Governor Doyle $750,000 in just one year's election cycle.

Yup, the NRA is buying Wisconsin politicians. :rolleyes:

Here's tomorrow's editorial:

Editorial: Last call on weapons bill

From the Journal Sentinel

Last Updated: Nov. 4, 2003

From all the hype, you'd think there was a groundswell of support for a legislative proposal to permit ordinary residents to carry concealed weapons in Wisconsin. But an opinion poll released Monday shows that most residents oppose the measure.

To be sure, Republican lawmakers, joined by some Democrats, are stampeding to enact the proposal - but not in response to any popular demand for it. Rather, legislators are paying obeisance to a narrow interest group: the gun lobby. In the process, they are acting against the wishes of most residents.

The Senate has approved the bill; the Assembly, which may consider the legislation as early as today, ought to defy expectations - and the gun lobbyists - and vote against this measure.

The Badger Poll, conducted by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center in Madison for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Capital Times, shows that 69% of residents oppose in general "a proposal to allow people who can legally own handguns to carry concealed weapons in most public places"; 27% support the measure.

The proposal's advocates attack the poll's wording, arguing that the survey should have mentioned that permit holders would get training. Still, several questions dealt with the issue, permitting a multidimensional view of where the public stands.

A question mentioning training may have yielded less opposition, just as a question noting that concealed guns could be brought to Little League games - a point made by Gov. Jim Doyle - may have yielded more opposition. The survey questions were phrased in a neutral manner, and the answers jibe with other polls showing majority opposition to a concealed-carry law in Wisconsin.

For instance, a recent survey done for the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association by Matousek & Associates of Green Bay found that 56% of voting-age residents want Doyle to veto the concealed-carry measure should it come to his desk; 41% want him to sign the measure.

The gun lobby somehow manages to get concealed-carry laws passed despite popular disapproval. For instance, such a law took effect in Minnesota in May despite public opposition. And in a referendum in Missouri, voters actually shot down a proposal to permit the toting of hidden guns, only to have the Legislature pass it anyway. The governor vetoed it, but lawmakers overrode the veto.

One reason is the gun lobby's habit of spreading money around in state legislatures around the nation, including in Wisconsin. Since 1996, the National Rifle Association's political action committee has poured $117,000 in soft money into legislative, gubernatorial and attorney general races in Wisconsin, overwhelmingly for Republicans, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which keeps tabs on political expenditures. At the same time, the NRA has donated $13,100 directly to candidates - likely just a sliver of the contributions from the gun lobby, says Mike McCabe, the campaign's executive director. Most of the lobby's money is not readily traceable, McCabe says.

The argument that concealed-carry laws somehow help in the fight against gun crimes doesn't fly as good public policy among the professionals who ought to know. Note that Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has urged Doyle to veto the legislation, saying it would jeopardize the "safety of my deputies and the citizens they represent" and that "there are better ways to fight crime than to flood the streets of Milwaukee with dangerous weapons."

It's probably too late this time, but Wisconsin lawmakers should stop kowtowing to the gun lobby and heed the people, who are in sync on this issue with the officials who deal with crime daily - the state's sheriffs, police chiefs and district attorneys, who have spoken out against the bill. Lawmakers should trust the voices of experience, rather than a risky, disputed theory that putting more guns on the streets leads to less crime.


From the Nov. 5, 2003 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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CommonSense
November 5, 2003, 02:46 AM
I have to ask: What did you expect, Monkeyleg? The pro-CCW people have been unwilling to bend to reason. You and all the others unwilling to compromise will be the reason for failure or success. If you win, celebrate til dawn. If you lose, please don’t make excuses for your own poor behavior.

I see that you’ve directed at least one other user to a thread where I posted the latest on the bill. And as you can clearly see (don’t take my post as bible, go look it up yourself), the bill is clearly a slap in the face of any business that doesn’t want armed people in their store.

A few weeks ago I asked for help fixing this bill. Everyone knew better. Enjoy what you asked for. When the bill is vetoed, which we all know will happen as presented, pray for 2/3rd of both houses. If you don’t get it, blame yourself for the wonderful public relations campaign you’ve been involved in.

CommonSense
November 5, 2003, 03:25 AM
I forgot to mention that I can't vote for this bill as presented. To do so would go against all the business rights I've been fighting for and against all the DNR baloney my family has had to tolerate over the years. Again, enjoy your win if you get it and still feel like a celebration is in order.

It still seems to me there are about 3.2 billion other things "our" legislators should be hard at work on.

AJ Dual
November 5, 2003, 10:24 AM
QUOTE] It's probably too late this time, but Wisconsin lawmakers should stop kowtowing to the gun lobby and heed the people, who are in sync on this issue with the officials who deal with crime daily - the state's sheriffs, police chiefs and district attorneys, who have spoken out against the bill. Lawmakers should trust the voices of experience, rather than a risky, disputed theory that putting more guns on the streets leads to less crime.
[/QUOTE]


That sounds an awful lot like the Journal Sentinel is throwing in the towel, doesn’t it? :D

I wonder what the reliability of their "inside-track" press contact info is in Madison. That might be a big indicator of Doyle's veto being overridden.

CommonSense, I'm a Libertarian/Conservative and I know just how badly businesses are hemmed in, regulated, and taxed to death. But if you want to make me say it, I'll say it. I'll go on record, here it is:

Individual self-defense rights are more important than "Business Rights" Either you have a right to self-defense or you don't. "You have the right to self defense, but not here, here, here, here, here, here, or here." just doesn’t cut it with most of us who are concerned about the issue.

It still seems to me there are about 3.2 billion other things "our" legislators should be hard at work on.

And by your own argument, there are about 3.2 billion other "anti-business" regulations and taxes out there that you ought to be urging our legislators to be hard at work on than CCW.

In all practicality, if the CCW bill goes through in it's current form, "anti-business" items and all, :rolleyes: judging by the experiences in 44 other states (leaving out MO until the injunction is cleared up) you'll never know the difference.

I look forward to seeing you start your own WI grass-roots organization that is "Pro-CCW with exceptions". And await any proposed amendments to WI's CCW with interest.

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