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Concealed carry comes to Wisconsin

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2011

And then there was one:

Wisconsin stands on the verge of becoming the 49th state in the country to allow citizens to carry concealed guns, after the state Assembly made a bipartisan vote to legalize that practice Tuesday.

The measure passed 68-27, with 11 Democrats voting in favor of the bill along with the body's lone independent and all Republicans except Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Hartford), who had wanted stronger legislation. Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) said his vote was mistakenly not counted and he would seek to correct that.

The approval of the bill marks one more piece of long-blocked legislation that Republicans have been able to pass now that they control all of state government. The bill to allow the concealed carry of guns and other weapons such as Tasers passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote last week, so approval in the Assembly sends the bill to Gov. Scott Walker, who supports the measure.

Once the measure is signed by Gov. Walker, Illinois will be the only remaining state in the nation that completely bans concealed carry. Nine states issue concealed carry permits, but give the issuing law enforcement agent (usually sheriff or police chief) some discretion on who to approve. The other 40 are "shall issue" states — anyone who meets the statutory requirements (generally some training and no felony conviction or adjudicated mental health problem) must be issued a permit — or "no stinkin' permit required" states (Vermont and Alaska). 

And as a result, our streets are running red with blood as crazed gun nuts shoot it out over parking spaces, cutting in line at the express lane, etc. Oh, wait … they're not. Violent crime continues to decrease as gun sales and carry permits increase.

In fact, it seems almost like violent crime rates are inversely related to rates of gun ownership and carry. Just what you'd expect if (1) the vast majority of people are peaceful and non-violent; (2) violent crimes are almost exclusively committed by a very small percentage of the population who have no moral compass or impulse control and aren't deterred by laws alone; and (3) that small violent minority can be deterred to some extent (and if necessary, stopped) by members of the peaceful majority who are prepared to defend themselves and others.

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