Right to Carry?

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GODDOG
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Right to Carry?

Postby GODDOG » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:59 pm

So...found this story quite disturbing.
http://www.madison.com/tct/mad/latest/453703
I thought we were allowed to openly carry firearms in Madison. I mean that is what Dangerousman keeps reporting. These kids are damn lucky not to be six feet under. So...if you see someone carrying a firearm all you have to do is say they pointed it at you and the would be carrier gets a ticket? Seems pretty easy to get guns away from those that choose to carry it. Hell, back in my day we'd put on an extra pair a jeans some goggles and head to the woods for some real and dangerous cops and robbers. Times they are a changing. Cowboys and Indians and Cops and Robbers seems to have morphed into Cops and kids.

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby Jazznews » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:34 pm

What are those kids doing with those guns anyway? And it is lucky they didn't get shot. The police take threats to their lives seriously and if the guns look real they will shoot.

Kids don't need guns, no one does really (except for hunting).

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:42 pm

(except for hunting).


And for protecting your home from the unstoppable onslaught of Muslims, Liberals, and Rapists.

Walter
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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby Walter » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:54 pm

Having a BB pistol in the front of your pants is not open carry.

Having a real pistol in the front of your pants is not open carry.

Reaching for either can get you shot. Drawing either will get you shot.

This not when you grew up. I don't want to shoot someone but I will if I have to.

Leave the airsoft/BB guns out on the farm or at the cottage or whatever and out of your pants.

Open Carry will get all kinds of people freaked out in this town and garner some police attention from all the 911 calls about the person with a gun. Proceed at your discretion.

I don't care if Wisconsin does pass CCW legislation because I assume you all have guns. Whether or not I can see it is irrelevent.

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby Dangerousman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:27 pm

GODDOG wrote:So...found this story quite disturbing.
http://www.madison.com/tct/mad/latest/453703
I thought we were allowed to openly carry firearms in Madison. I mean that is what Dangerousman keeps reporting. These kids are damn lucky not to be six feet under. So...if you see someone carrying a firearm all you have to do is say they pointed it at you and the would be carrier gets a ticket? Seems pretty easy to get guns away from those that choose to carry it. Hell, back in my day we'd put on an extra pair a jeans some goggles and head to the woods for some real and dangerous cops and robbers. Times they are a changing. Cowboys and Indians and Cops and Robbers seems to have morphed into Cops and kids.


You are allowed to carry: real guns. Provided that you're at least 18 and can legally possess a gun, e.g., not a felon; and in a place that's legal to carry, e.g., not in a tavern or government-owned building. Madison has a city ordinance that prohibits people under the age of 18 from possessing BB guns. (Madison also has an ordinance that prohibits anyone (except law enforcement and military) from going armed with a real gun, but that ordinance has been unenforceable for 14 years now under state law. Even if that law (66.0409) were changed, it would be constitutionally problematic to enact an outright ban on carrying firearms due to Article 1, Section 25 of the state constitution.

There is a state statute regarding "facsimile firearms" which prohibits one from carry or using something that appears to be a real gun in a manner that threatens or alarms people. In the cases discussed here the police would be quite within their power to take a BB gun, real gun or imitation gun away from someone under the age of 18. Madison may have it's own "facsimile gun" ordinance too, I don't know and I don't care because facsimile guns are neither protected by the state's preemption law nor the state constitution. Taking a gun that is not actually a firearm out in public in an urban setting is stupid and dangerous in my opinion. While the police may be self-restrained in their reaction, a criminal may not be. If a criminal believes you have a gun he may decide to attack you with a REAL gun or other weapon, and you're left defending yourself with the bluff of a fake gun. Makes as much sense as carrying an unloaded gun in my opinion. In Madison, the kids have been lucky that the police have been cautious and not shot someone who has a lookalike gun, because it has happened elsewhere.

That said, as I mentioned, not only is it perfectly legal, it is a constitutional right for an adult to carry (openly) a firearm in Wisconsin in any location not specifically prohibited by law-- of which there are only a few. The court has ruled you can carry concealed on your own property or place of business too. The Madison police seem to be fully aware of the legality of open carry. However if there is an obvious question about your age, don't be surprised if they have questions for you. If you are brandishing a firearm (waving it around in a threatening manner) they'll not only have questions, but handcuffs for you. They may have a body bag for you too. However if you are simply carrying a holstered, visible firearm law enforcement may wish to initiate a consensual conversation with you. Obviously, if it's consensual you can elect not to discuss it with the police, although it probably won't win you any friends among the police. Nobody is or ought to be required to explain why they choose to exercise a constitutional right. You may wish to tell them however that you carry a gun for your security or as a fashion statement or whatever lawful purpose you wish. Can't hurt! Open carry in the urban areas of Wisconsin is still relatively rare and novel. In some states you'll get no attention from law enforcement or anyone else except tourists from other countries, California, or some of the more repressive states in the north east. I've openly carried in Madison numerous times and have had the same experience most other gun carriers have-- few people notice the gun, and those who do, are not alarmed or panicked. (Contrary to hysterical predictions of many anti-gunners.) It has never alarmed anyone that I've seen. The police have not been called, and if they were to be, I would expect to have a brief and pleasant conversation with them and to be on my way. Chief of Police Flynn in Milwaukee stated that his "troops" would put anyone they see with a gun on the ground, disarm them, and then decide if they "have the right" to have a gun. Outside of Milwaukee however, there have been fewer public calls for a police state. Flynn's bluff has been called and proven to be only big talk. A number of people have openly carried their firearms on the streets of downtown Milwaukee since then, all without incident. Personally, I think Flynn's type of arrogant and inflammatory threats ought to be something of great concern to everyone. The police are hired to enforce laws, not opinions. Nor do they make the law. In an NPR interview, in response to questions about Flynn's rhetoric Attorney General Van Hollen stated that Milwaukee could be safer as a police state, but that's not how we operate in Wisconsin or the United States.

Goddog I hope you are not advocating making false reports to the police. If somebody actually points a gun at you, sure call the police. At the very least, I would do the same. But why would anyone choose to fuck with someone peacefully going about their business? The police are not stupid and they have a knack for identifying false uncorroborated reports. Not to mention, generally it would be unwise to piss off a person who has a gun, don't you think?

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby Dangerousman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:42 pm

Walter wrote:I don't care if Wisconsin does pass CCW legislation because I assume you all have guns. Whether or not I can see it is irrelevent.


You make a good point. One of the often-heard criticisms of CCW legislation in Wisconsin (and other states as well) was that "the police would not know who is armed" during a traffic stop. Well, they already do not know. And no police officer who is worth a crap will ever assume that a person is not armed just because they ought not to be armed. That entire line of argument was a red herring.

It doesn't matter whether you're in Vermont, which allows concealed carry without any permit whatsoever, or Illinois, which allows almost no carrying of firearms outside of one's home except for hunting and a few other purposes-- well-trained police, even half-trained police, will not assume another person is unarmed.

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby Dangerousman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:16 pm

From Channel 3's report on this:

"When officers found them, police said a 12-year-old boy reached toward his waistband, where an officer could see a bulge. The officer pointed his gun, ordering him to show his hands."

Hmmmm.... well.... if just having a bulge in your pants is enough... :wink:

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby ilikebeans » Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:33 pm

So, Dangerousman, care to explain why you feel a need to carry openly in Madison? Deterrence? Afraid of getting mugged? Feel like you can thwart a robbery or other crime in progress if you come across it before the police?

Something to consider: Let's say you are accosted, or find yourself a spectator at a robbery or assault. If it's at night (when I imagine most street crime occurs), I'm thinking any deterrence a visible sidearm might have would be lost because of it being, well, dark.

Anyway, let's say something happens. You feel the need to unholster and brandish your weapon. Let's further assume the police arrive about that time.

In this high-stress situation, whom are they most likely to point their weapons at, and potentially shoot first? The actual perp(s), who may or may not be holding a weapon, or the guy most definitely holding a weapon and pointing it at other people?

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby Dangerousman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:47 pm

ilikebeans wrote:So, Dangerousman, care to explain why you feel a need to carry openly in Madison? Deterrence? Afraid of getting mugged? Feel like you can thwart a robbery or other crime in progress if you come across it before the police?

Something to consider: Let's say you are accosted, or find yourself a spectator at a robbery or assault. If it's at night (when I imagine most street crime occurs), I'm thinking any deterrence a visible sidearm might have would be lost because of it being, well, dark.

Anyway, let's say something happens. You feel the need to unholster and brandish your weapon. Let's further assume the police arrive about that time.

In this high-stress situation, whom are they most likely to point their weapons at, and potentially shoot first? The actual perp(s), who may or may not be holding a weapon, or the guy most definitely holding a weapon and pointing it at other people?

No, I don't care to explain why. Each person has their own reason, so mine is no more interesting than any other person's reason. But no, I have no particular fear of being mugged. Armed or not, I'm not a good candidate for a mugging, since muggers look for easy targets, not challenges.

Do I feel like I could thwart a crime in progress? Well, yes I could, if I was inclined. But it would certainly depend upon the crime and circumstances. Nobody ought to be too eager to pull a gun, and unless there was an imminent threat of great bodily harm against myself or another innocent person, I would not even touch my gun. I would not, say, chase down a shoplifter. The police are hired to pursue criminals, I have no obligation to do that. One cannot use deadly force to protect property. That's the law. Self-defense laws are the same for everyone in this state, law enforcement and non-law enforcement alike. On the other hand, if I happened to come across a group of people beating the life out of someone, or a rape in progress, or other crime of that nature, you can be damn sure I'd become involved. In reality most crimes of that nature do not have someone stubble across them while in progress. The police usually don't happen to come across that sort of crime in progress either. If they do, it's usually just out of luck and because they tend to patrol crime-ridden areas. If you're not a cop, it's wise to avoid crime-ridden areas if you can. If you are a cop, it's in your job description to patrol those areas.

You're right, if they can't see your gun, it isn't directly deterring anything. One might argue that if Wisconsin joined the other 48 states that have a provision for citizens to legally carry concealed weapons in public there could be a general deterrence to crime since criminals would never know if any particular person was carrying a gun. But, like the police, criminals have no way of knowing who is carrying a weapon as it stands. I suspect there are quite a few people who carry concealed guns in Wisconsin without any criminal intentions. And unless you're really bad at concealing a gun, or just unlucky, I suspect one could carry a concealed gun in Wisconsin for years without a problem. Not that I'm advocating it, but I believe it is true. I've carried both openly and concealed many times, and have never had a problem with either method. There have been times when even my own family was unaware that I've had a gun on me. When Wisconsin finally gets a concealed carry law, it will probably be rare that I will openly carry.

If, as you ask, the police happened to arrive at a moment that I'm using a gun defensively, or even in the aftermath, I would expect them to disarm me or even point their guns at me. They need to take control of the situation and sort it out later. I would not fault them for that, it's their job. The chances that the police would simply start shooting at me because I have a gun are low. The police are well-trained, and they know that even a person who looks like me could be law enforcement, or a civilian who is justified in using a gun. If you comply with their commands, you aren't likely to be shot. You let them take over the situation and cooperate with them. Ideally, I would be the person who called the police in the first place and I could describe the situation to them. Even then, I would expect them to disarm me and assume control of the scene. No problem with that.

I would have a problem if I was just walking my dog while armed, or enjoying a lunch, and the police wanted to intrude on that peaceful non-threatening activity simply because I had a gun. They would have no legal grounds to do anything other than to initiate a consensual stop. They, and everyone, has the right to initiate a consensual conversation with anyone. But a non-consensual stop can only be initiated if they have reason to believe a violation of law is, or is about to be committed. Possessing a gun, in itself, is neither a crime nor evidence of a crime about to be committed. Just ask anyone who has followed the case of Brad Krause in West Allis, who was arrested at gunpoint because he was planting a tree in his yard while wearing a holstered sidearm. Ask anyone who has followed the case of Jesus Gonzalez in Milwaukee who has been arrested twice for simply having a gun while shopping. Krause was found not guilty of a municipal disorderly conduct charge (The county DA wisely wanted nothing to do with prosecuting him, so the city attorney prosecuted him and lost.) A county judge in Milwaukee ruled that the police had no grounds for arresting Gonzalez and ordered his gun returned, shortly thereafter he was arrested a second time, in Chilton, simply for wearing his gun. The Chilton police quickly realized they had nothing to charge him with, and returned his gun. But the damage was done and Gonzalez now has a federal lawsuit pending against both the West Milwaukee and Chilton police departments. So, yes, Walter is correct when he warns that people carry guns at their own discretion, but the police need to also use discretion when encountering a legally armed citizen. Policing is not an easy job, but nothing says it is supposed to be easy. I think the gun is irrelevant. The police ought to judge the behavior of the individual, not the gun. If I'm merely walking a dog then I should get no particular notice. If I'm merely walking a dog, while wearing a gun, again, I've done nothing that merits scrutiny. If I'm walking down the street irate and yelling threats, I'll be asking for attention from the police. Doing it with a gun is asking for attention too. So, it is the behavior of the individual, not the gun, that ought to determine the interest of the police. Of course, the presence of a gun in a place where guns are not allowed will also merit a legitimate interest by the police. For example, wearing a gun in Woodmans isn't noteworthy. Wearing a gun on school ground is!

That approach by the police is the only reasonable way that I know to respect the constitutional right to bear arms that we enjoy in Wisconsin.

Don't get me wrong. Just because it is a right, I am not advocating that any person who can carry a gun ought to carry one, particularly openly carrying one in urban areas. There is a world of difference between combat shooting and stalking through the woods with your .22, plinking at tin cans, or just putting rounds downrange at the local rod and gun club. I consider it very imprudent to go armed in public for defensive purposes without knowledge of the self-defense law, firearms laws in general, weapons retention techniques, cover and concealment, malfunction clearing, movement and tactics, proper equipment, and many other topics to be studied, practiced, and mastered. We can't stop someone who lacks these skills from carrying a gun, but I would advise against doing it, or you're asking for trouble. People who do stupid things with guns only make it more difficult for responsible gun owners. It is a right that is inseparable from great responsibility in my opinion.

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby Jazznews » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:52 pm

ilikebeans wrote:So, Dangerousman, care to explain why you feel a need to carry openly in Madison?


Image

Dangerousman
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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby Dangerousman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:08 pm

Jazznews wrote:
ilikebeans wrote:So, Dangerousman, care to explain why you feel a need to carry openly in Madison?


Image

I've already responded to that question.

Great picture! By the way, did you know it was a bunch of armed citizens in Northfield, MN that tore the James Gang to shreds? :D

And I'm not talking about the band!

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby fennel » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:12 pm

Dangerousman wrote:I've already responded to that question.
Really? Could you summarize in a concise way?

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby Dangerousman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:16 pm

fennel wrote:
Dangerousman wrote:I've already responded to that question.
Really? Could you summarize in a concise way?

Certainly. See my post above where I said I do not care to explain my reasons. That was my response. If you want it put more concisely, then substitute this response to Bean's question: No.

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:05 am

I've already responded to that question.


He has an irrational fear that his home will be attacked by terrorists, rapists or liberals. He's said as much in other threads. He'll claim protection but really it's just irrational fear.

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Re: Right to Carry?

Postby Dangerousman » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:31 am

fisticuffs wrote:
I've already responded to that question.


He has an irrational fear that his home will be attacked by terrorists, rapists or liberals. He's said as much in other threads. He'll claim protection but really it's just irrational fear.


I see that you are up to your usual bullshit fisticuffs! Making up lies is easy, supporting them is harder work. I do not fear terrorists, rapists or liberals. I have no irrational fears, unlike you and your fear of guns-- and of self-reliant free citizens-- something you could never hope to be, nor wish anyone else to be.

I guess Senator Feingold isn't a liberal in your distorted political view. That would be news, although like all your views, trivial news, to him.


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