Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Writings On the Wall, Police Are Pass'e

If your city declared a state of emergency after reports of looting and robberies during a natural disaster, would you feel safer knowing a gun shop down the street was still open selling guns and ammunition? Just who were their costumers? Nearby homeowners or people intent on taking advantage of the situation?

It’s two of many questions never asked in Wisconsin’s legislature by either party. As a result, we’ve entered a new age of anarchy.

This is a conservative’s wet dream, an electorate so frightened by their neighbors that they are left to defend them from the evil that surrounds them everywhere. A frightened unsure public will then look to an authority figure to re-assure them that their gun rights will be protect and keep them from harm. This political ideologue will then say the police can’t be there for everyone and will be very slow to respond. The second amendment will protect them. The system of law enforcement , public safety and your day in court are all but wiped out.

Racine’s March 8, 2008 Journal Times feature the article, “Bill would prevent restrictions on gun ownership during emergencies,” which brought up a number of public safety issues that should have prompted a real debate statewide, but instead disappeared of NRA second amendment talking points.

Under Assembly Bill 58, which also passed the Senate, in an emergency like Hurricane Katrina or a possible riot somewhere in Wisconsin, officials would not be able to restrict people from legally buying or using firearms. The words to key in on here are “buying or using firearms.”

It’s a bill that Racine Police Chief Kurt Wahlen feels flies in the face of public safety. “I think Wisconsin laws work fine. I think we need to leave the whole thing alone.” Wahlen is concerned about a martial law situation. “We will need to eliminate the sale of ammunition and weapons and those types of things. I would expect our leaders in our community to shut those stores down. In those types of situations, all (this bill) means is that we are going to have more bloodshed.”

What used to be a conservative wedge issue that defies common sense and safety is now acceptable public policy. How else can you explain the bill passing the Assembly by an incredible 84-13 or the 26-5 vote in the Senate? Think about it. During a public emergency, anyone can go out and buy firearms and ammunition.

According to the article, “Rep. Robin Vos, R-Racine said the government should not be taking guns away from residents who are not breaking the law, even during a state of emergency. ‘That is stopping people from buying a legal weapon. Someone does not buy a car with the intent to drink and drive. It is the action that creates the crime, not what they choose to use.”

That’s right, Rep. Vos would have you believe that even during a state of emergency, nothing really has changed enough to allow regulation to get in the way.

Liberals and Democrats have waited to long to publicly point out the twisted ideological insanity of their message. Because the public continues to treat their comments as if they based on an actual arguable point, they only add credibility where there is none. The point is, shouldn’t we all be tired of the car /gun analogies? Again, it’s good to review the intended function of each product for the confused masses. Guns were designed to kill. Cars were designed for travel. I’ll assume that most people will not be prompted to buy a car immediately after martial laws is declared.

“Jeri Bonavia, executive director of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, said the bill is 'unnecessarily broad.' The bill should address solely the issue of officials confiscating guns rather than addressing a whole list of issues such as selling and using firearms, Bonavia said. She said the bill also should be reworded to give law enforcement officials the ability to take action if they believe that they or others are in imminent danger.”

In a reader comment, Pete Karas wrote: “the Legislature should have limited it to confiscation and seizure and left all of the other senseless restrictions out like they have done in Louisiana and 20 or so other States.”

For example: The Louisiana bill 738. Emergency powers do not extend to confiscation or seizure of lawfully possessed or used firearms, weapons, or ammunition; exceptions

B. A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer's official duties may disarm an individual if the officer reasonably believes it is immediately necessary for the protection of the officer or another individual. The peace officer shall return the firearm to the individual before discharging that individual unless the officer arrests that individual for engaging in criminal activity, or seizes the firearm as evidence pursuant to an investigation for the commission of a crime.

According to Karas, Exception B is not included in the Wisconsin bill. There were amendments offered to make this bill at least reasonable, but they failed. So, the Chief is correct on this one.”

What could have been a reasonable knee-jerk law drawn up by gun advocates, is now vigilantism, law and order left up to the individual.

It really doesn’t have to be like this. “A Well Regulated Militia” is often ignored when arguing for gun laws or restrictions. Gun possession is fast becoming a liability free right.

In a September 4th, 2006 BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW Professor Saul Cornell, author of A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America,” makes some interesting observations about our Second Amendment rights.

“The Founding Fathers were not opposed to the idea of regulation. In fact, their view of liberty was something that they would have described as “well-regulated liberty.” The idea of regulation, the idea of reasonable government regulation, was absolutely essential to the way they understood liberty.

Once technology changes, and the market revolution engulfs America, then cheap handguns become readily available. Handguns were not a big problem in the founding era. They were relatively expensive and not very reliable.

Once you get this new change with handguns, and once you get this problem of interpersonal violence, then the question becomes: Can we get rid of this problem? Can you regulate, and quite strenuously regulate, handguns? Can you even ban handguns? And of course, the conclusion I found, generally speaking, is yes. The state can do whatever it thinks appropriate with regard to handguns. The one thing they can’t do is pass laws which would, in effect, make it impossible for the militia to be armed.”

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You get it?! After spending days talking about this with legislators (only to have most of them respond with a blank stare and an affirmative vote), I was beginning to think that reason, wisdom and common sense had all been buried under some giant snowbank. Thanks for your post!