Wisconsin's new concealed carry law takes effect on Tuesday. It will take slightly longer for the first permits to be issued, as the rules for training courses were just completed.
Keep in mind the axiom that Bad Facts Make Bad Law. It will only take a handful of screw-ups by permit-holders to make voters pressure the State Legislature to reconsider. It won't matter that the same kinds of screw-ups have been committed by non-permit-holders for years; everything will be viewed differently when people are carrying legally. The proponents of concealed carry have long claimed that everyone will be safer when law-abiding citizens are allowed to arm themselves, that it will be a deterrent to crime, and that no one but a violent criminal has anything to fear from legally-armed citizens.
So, in order to fulfill that promise and keep Wisconsinites from turning against legal concealed carry, here is some advice to those who obtain permits:
1. Keep your gun safely stowed in a proper holster or compartment in your bag rather than loose at the bottom of your purse or stuffed in your waistband.
2. Don't assume your gun isn't loaded.
3. Don't count on a self-defense plea if the circumstances are shady.
4. Do not use your gun to settle a domestic dispute.
Really, this should all be common sense. Unfortunately, I have noticed over the years that the people with the least amount of common sense often feel the need to be armed.
And to the opponents of concealed carry out there, relax. Your odds of being shot by an idiot or a stalker really haven't increased significantly.
Finally, I find it highly ironic that the same Republican office-holders who tried to argue several months ago that the State Capitol must be closed to the public for security reasons because a handful of bullets were found on the grounds now think it's OK for the public to bring guns into the Capitol.
* I am using "guy" in the colloquial Midwestern, gender-neutral sense (as in "you guys"). Wisconsin has plenty of armed idiots who are female.
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