The most cynical gun proposal I’ve ever seen.

February 1st, 2006

Seth of In Effect makes Machiavelli seem like Mickey Mouse with his despicably cynical proposal that Wisconsin Democrats pass their own version of a concealed carry law.

Basically he thinks they should create a “carry” law that would prevent most law-abiding citizens from actually carrying a gun.

The Democrats could then take “credit” for passing a bill, cialis sick but not be troubled by very many citizens actually taking advantage of it.

I respect people who want to ban guns because they truly believe it’s the right thing to do. (Even though I disagree with them.)

I agree with people who think we have a constitutional right to bear arms and are therefore in favor of a real concealed carry law.

But to suggest that the legislature should pass a law that fools people into thinking their rights are being respected – but would make no real change – is cynical and unprincipled.

If Seth thinks Republicans will be satisfied by a law that forces you to beg some bureaucrat for permission to exercise a right that is enumerated in both the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions, viagra buy he’s not just cynical…he’s delusional.

I wonder how Seth would feel about a law that made you prove you had something worthwhile to say before your speech was protected by the First Amendment?

Entry Filed under: Politics

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Seth Zlotocha  |  February 1st, 2006 at 7:52 am

    If you read my post fully, including the comments section, you’d see that I wasn’t suggesting a Democratic concealed carry bill for solely political purposes. What I said was this: “Since a decent portion of the population, at least in some parts of the state, seem to want this ability, it’s worth the Dems time to consider putting together a bill of their own.”

    Is there a political side? Yes. Do I personally think people should have the right to carry concealed weapons? No. Do I believe in compromising in public policymaking? Of course. That’s how a republic works.

    The concealed carry bill presented by Republicans was a compromise, too. Certain provisions were included to appease some Democrats who otherwise would not have even entertained voting for the bill. The veto override vote came up short, anyway, but it wouldn’t have even been close without those provisions. Does that mean the Republicans were presenting a cynical bill because it wasn’t completely what they wanted? I don’t think so.

    My political point is this: The Republicans have a certain interpretation of the second amendment and the Democrats have a different interpretation. Right now, as long as the Republicans are the only ones proposing a bill that deals with the second amendment, their interpretation is controlling the debate surrounding that amendment. What else allowed them to tag Doyle with the nickname “Governor No.” If the Dems were proposing a bill that aligned more closely with their interpretation of the second amendment, that would not be cynical, it would be joining the debate by standing up for their second amendment interpretation. The key phrase there is “aligned more closely,” you know, compromise. That’s what you do in a democratic republic, as opposed to an authoritarian regime that simply decides on its own what’s best for the state. It’s tough to compromise, though, when you don’t even have a proposal of your own on the table. All I was suggesting is that Dems join the debate and do it seriously by presenting a proposal of their own. I figured people who truly care about the second amendment would appreciate such a suggestion.

  • 2. Seth Zlotocha  |  February 1st, 2006 at 8:14 am

    I need to clarify one of the points I just made in my last comment. When I said that I didn’t personally think people should have the ability to carry a concealed weapon, I was speaking from a Milwaukee County perspective.

    I’ve lived in Milwaukee County my whole life, minus my college years, so whenever I personally think about the effects of concealed carry, I envision those effects in densely-populated Milwaukee County. And every time I think about it at places like Summerfest, the State Fair, etc., it’s not a good situation.

    Does that mean someone in rural Bayfield County, for example, would be able to understand my personal view of the issue? Probably not. Which is why I completely favor allowing cities, counties, or, at least, regions of the state to develop their own guidelines for concealed carry.

  • 3. Administrator  |  February 1st, 2006 at 9:23 am

    I went back and reread your original post.

    1.) While it contains something you could almost call a “compromise,” it is not about compromise. It is about political maneuvering.

    2.) Your “compromise” is not a true compromise because your intention is to create an illusory right. You say as much when you state “because the number of permits issued would be potentially quite smaller.” And imply that the rules could be much tougher in a “densely-populated” county like Milwaukee county. (The one place where people actually need to protect themselves.)

    As said on Wikipedia: “Some may-issue states are, for all practical purposes, no-issue. “

  • 4. Seth Zlotocha  |  February 1st, 2006 at 10:54 am

    It’s about compromising and political maneuvering. Why is it not acceptable to have both? In fact, I couldn’t same a single public policy proposal made by Republicans or Democrats that isn’t about both.

    My compromise is not about creating an illusory right, it’s about questioning whether carrying a concealed weapon is an exclusive right at all. This comes down to a difference in the way we interpret the second amendment. You can bear arms on your personal property and for purposes like hunting all you want, I’m not trying to take that away and neither is any other Democrat. But carrying a concealed weapon anywhere you want is not a right demanded by the second amendment, just like completely uninhibited free speech is not a right demanded by the first amendment.

    Just like free speech is restricted in certain situations, I think we all agree that there are some places a concealed weapon should not be carried–in schools, in airplanes, in bars, etc. Similarly, we all agree that certain people should not be able to carry a concealed weapon–e.g., felons, kids, etc. The difference is where and how we draw the line between acceptable situations and unacceptable situations. I think those situations depend in large part on local considerations, which is why I favor allowing local governments (cities, counties, regions, etc.) to develop their own regulations on concealed carry.

    Creating a public discussion like the one we’re having is exactly why I advocated Dems proposing a concealed carry bill of their own. I think the issues surrounding concealed carry need to be teased out far more than they have up to this point. So far the debate has been one-sided because the Republicans are the only ones playing offense on this issue. It’s certainly much easier to have it one-sided for those on that one-side, but one-sided debates are not the best for a democracy because they create black and white scenarios when in fact there’s a lot of grey in public policy issues.

  • 5. Administrator  |  February 1st, 2006 at 11:35 am

    First, I’m impressed with the calm and measured tenor of your responses.

    And I’m open to debating reasonable restrictions on concealed carry.

    (Although my libertarian soul cringes even saying it. Because the problem is you start with a reasonable prohibition against shouting “fire” and end with bloggers not being able to write in favor of a political candidate without it being called a campaign contribution. Plus, when you allow a phrase like “shall not be infringed” to turn into “shall be infringed to the degree that some judge finds acceptable,” you’re opening yourself to the tyranny of the judicial branch.)

    And if we were just talking about where you and I would draw the lines we could probably come up with a reasonable compromise (as you pointed out, that’s exactly what the Republicans and Democrats did to craft this latest bill).

    But the real difference between “shall” and “may” permits are not about where the lines are drawn.

    It’s about whether government’s role is to set reasonable limits on intrinsic rights…

    …or whether we’re only allowed to exercise our rights at the whim of the government.

    Every state that has a “may” issue law either has a practical prohibition or leaves the discretion up to local entities like county sheriffs. This sets up a system of cronyism where friends of the powers that be can exercise their “right” to self-defense and everyone else is denied their rights without appeal.

    It’s completely undemocratic and arbitrary.

    (And who get’s to decide whose “need” is legitimate and whose is not?)

    As a side note: while I agree that many issues have many shades of grey, the perennial issues in American politics really are black and white.

    Either fetuses are humans and protected or they are not and you can kill them or experiment on them with no remorse.

    Either the death penalty is acceptable or it’s not (you can’t have half a death penalty).

    And finally, I don’t get why the Left fights this one so hard. They argue that a carry law is not necessary because there is no proof that the laws reduce crime (which is debatable), but what there really is NO evidence of is that the laws have EVER lead to more crime.

    Why would Wisconsin be the one state out of 47 where having the law lead to a rash of violent crime committed by permit carriers?

  • 6. Administrator  |  February 1st, 2006 at 11:44 am

    I just read the following in a comment thread at Althouse’s blog:

    ” To deprive a person of the ability to defend themselves is to turn a citizen into a subject.”

    That was basically my reaction the Seth’s original post.

  • 7. Seth Zlotocha  |  February 1st, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for your compliment on my calm and measured tenor. I’ll take what I can get in what’s otherwise a very heated cheddarsphere.

    I’m not looking to deprive anyone of the right to defend themselves, the question is how are we going to allow people to defend themselves in public places.

    The tricky fact remains that while carrying a deadly weapon may make someone feel more personally protected, it also necessarily makes them more dangerous in a society. That’s why when you’re on your personal property and away from others, you can carry around a gun or knife as much as you want. If someone breaks into your house to do you lethal harm, the law allows you to defend yourself with a deadly weapon. The situation changes when you’re in a public place or a privately-owned but open to the public establishment because it’s not just about your safety alone anymore. This is why population density is a key factor for me in determining whether concealed carry is a good idea or not.

    I disagree that carrying a concealed weapon in public is an intrinsic or natural right. While there is a natural right to protect oneself, exactly how is not preordained. Due to the responsibility that the state bears in protecting a society as a whole, the state has the obligation to dictate the parameters of how individual citizens can go about protecting themselves. Of course, in a democracy this means that citizens have the right to shape those parameters through public debate and the legislative process. This, to me, makes carrying a concealed weapon in public a privilege, not an inherent right. After all, there is a line that needs to be drawn. I think we both agree that allowing people to carry around an automatic assault rifle is not in the best interest of society, so we restrict that ability, but that does not mean we’re taking away the intrinsic right of people to protect themselves.

    And I suppose that’s where the crux of the disagreement between Dems and Repubs lies on this issue–where to draw the line between personal and societal protection.

    It’s been nice chatting with you. I appreciate that each of us has been able to remain civil in this discussion. I just hope that this type of discussion could be replicated in the public discourse. But I’m afraid it never will be until the Dems face this issue head on by proposing legislation of their own that helps to define for the public where they stand on the issue. Until then the debate remains over simply having concealed carry or not, when in reality there’s so much more to discuss.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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