Thursday, May 03, 2007

Round 3 on Concealed Carry

Ah, what a tangled web we weave...

Wisconsin's Supreme Court and Screechin'Shirley, the Chief Justice (sort of) will perhaps have to make another "Mommy, May I?" decision in the next year or so.

Pizza-delivery man Andres Vegas, who shot two people in seven months who were trying to rob him during deliveries, says the concealed-carry criminal charge against him ought to be tossed out for infringing on his constitutional rights.

Yup. It does.

In a motion filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court this week, lawyers for Vegas - he is fighting a misdemeanor charge for carrying a concealed weapon - contended that the state's concealed-weapons statute can't fairly be used against him because his job with Mona Lisa Pizza takes him places where he needs the gun for security.

"This prosecution functionally disallows Mr. Vegas' exercise of his constitutional rights to keep and bear arms for defense and security," his attorneys, Craig Mastantuono and Rebecca M. Coffee, wrote in the motion.

Yup. It does.

Authorities found Vegas shot the suspected robbers - one on N. 22nd St. on Jan. 4 and a 14-year-old boy on N. 34th St. on July 14 - in self-defense during what he told police were attempted armed robberies.

So he shot the perps in self-defense, but:

He was charged with the misdemeanor after the January shooting.

"Preposterous" is the word which comes to mind. He acted in self-defense, so he gets charged with an offense?

The Court has ignored the 25th Amendment to Wisconsin's Constitution and attempted, instead, to construct a case-by-case "selective enforcement" of the Amendment because it is in conflict with Wisconsin's restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon.

The wording of the Amendment is straightforward:

The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or anyother lawful purpose.

It'll keep the lawyers busy, and the Screech will have to become even more than normally gymnastic with words, meanings, and penumbras-and-emanations to sustain the folly engrained in her brain: that carrying a weapon for self-defense is wrong, wrong, wrong.

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