Monday, December 12, 2005

CCW: What's Going On Here?

While Owen agrees that the heavily-modified Personal Protection Act should pass, as I do, it's increasingly clear that political silliness is dominating the discussion of the Act.

Basics-review time:

The Second Amendment was emplaced for TWO reasons, the first being for national defense--that the citizens should be able to defend the country. The second reason is hardly mentioned these days, but it's just as important: the citizens must be able to defend themselves from rogue Government. You can ask the Jewish residents of WWII Germany about that--or the current residents of Zimbabwe, Sudan, South Africa...the list goes on.

The Wisconsin Constitution implicitly recognizes a third item which was not mentioned in the Second Amendment--namely, the right to self-defense ("...any lawful purpose.") To the authors of the US Constitution, self-defense was a 'given,' arising from nature, and this remain so today for anyone possessed of common sense. (One could also argue that the Declaration's ", liberty, and the pursuit..." includes self-defense.)

So why all the amendments and restrictions about 'who can carry, where, and Who should Know?'

Mostly to get the bill passed. Restrictions on carrying in taverns, school sporting events, etc., etc., are window dressing for the wet-pants crowd which is utterly convinced that an armed citizen is an imminent danger to every single OTHER living being within, say, 50 yards. The premise is flawed; therefore, the conclusion is flawed.

Another amendment which is silly, but in a different way, has been added during this go-round: the item allowing the State's database of licensees to be perused by police when making a traffic stop. Some are already calling for this to be broadened, to include police access in domestic-violence calls, and for Press accesss under any circumstances, at all times.

Why is this silly? First off, you may have noticed that police officers now park their vehicles at a slight angle (nose-to-the-road) when arresting for a traffic violation. I noticed, and asked. The response was that the police car would provide some cover in case the arrestee pulled a gun on the officer. Secondly, most police officers are wearing body armor while on duty (you didn't really think that they ALL have barrel-chests like that, did you?) Most body armor is effective against common handgun ammunition. Finally, this silly amendment implies that the police officer is either poorly trained or very forgetful of their training: if they are not prepared for a surprise of some sort during an arrest, then they are NOT well-trained, or they are NOT thinking clearly. ALL of the above arguments apply perforce to a domestic-disturbance call. While a traffic ticket stop has a chance of armed resistance, the domestic-violence call has a much GREATER chance. An ill-prepared officer is on very thin ice in a domestic-violence call.

But a certain Republican District Attorney, not to mention certain left-wing police-administrative associations, scared the bill's authors, and the database-perusal amendment is now part of the Bill. (Oddly enough, the DA's own County Sheriff disagrees with the DA.)

Now comes the Press, arguing in effect that if law-enforcement can know about CCW permits, so should the Press (and whoever reads the newspaper, of course.) Again, the premise is flawed: the Press would have us believe that since drivers' licenses (and CPA licenses) are public records and are available for examination by anyone, that CCW licenses should also be available.

Wrong. The right to self-defense is inherent to all people by virtue of their conception and birth. However, there is no "right" to drive a car or practice accountancy which springs from nature or birth. The window-dressing concessions made by the bill's author(s)--which implicitly concede that "one has a right to self-defense EXCEPT at football games, or in a tavern" have opened this door for people who cannot think clearly. This obviously includes politicians.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court will be deciding one concealed-carry carry case shortly, likely in favor of the defendant, a tavern-owner who kept a pistol handy when making his nightly bank-deposit run. With all the PPA's exceptions that are contrary to the "any lawful purpose" line in the Wisconsin Constitution, it appears that the Supremes will be busy on CCW cases for a long time to come.

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