The time for reckoning is at hand. The Wisconsin state Assembly will vote on Governor Doyle’s veto of the Personal Protection Act concealed carry bill (SB403) on Tuesday, January 31.
Our victory–or our defeat, if you allow it–will be decided on that day.
We’ve come a long way since 1992, when Representative Gunderson’s bill was just that: a bill, but a bill with no sponsors, or even committee votes.
In 2004, we lost the veto override by just one vote, when a former sponsor and supporter of the bill gave his allegiance to Governor Doyle, rather than to his constituents.
This Tuesday is the best chance we’ve ever had to finally give Wisconsin citizens the right to CHOOSE whether they would like to have a means for self defense.
Nobody is telling people that they have to get a concealed carry permit just to buy a gun. Contrary to what you may have heard from certain self-interested groups in Wisconsin, this bill does not require a registry of gun owners, fingerprinting, or any other hyped-up claims.
This bill is simply about giving you, your family members, or your friends, the ability to legally carry a weapon for self defense against violent criminals. Since 1873, Wisconsin citizens have been denied that right. 46 states now recognize that right. In just a matter of weeks, Nebraska will likely become the 47th state to recognize the right of citizens to carry weapons for self defense.
Opponents of our bill, including Governor Doyle, argue that Wisconsin doesn’t need this law, because we have a relatively low crime rate. Tell that to any of the roughly 12,000 Wisconsin citizens who are the victims of murder, attempted murder, rape, assault, armed robbery, and other violent crimes every year. Many of those victims are now among the voices calling for passage of this bill.
Governor Doyle doesn’t have to worry about carrying a concealed handgun, knife, or other means of self defense. He’s constantly surrounded by some three dozen armed bodyguards. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, another critic of this bill, has an entourage of bodyguards who have fully-automatic M16 rifles at hand.
The political elite see no need for this bill, because they have hired people to do the “dirty work” for them, if necessary.
Similarly, there are some in the gun community who don’t see a need for this bill because they don’t think it will affect them. Some think that they live in communities where violent crime is rare.
Until it happens to you.
And it can happen anywhere.
Even if you’ve never been affected by violent crime, don’t you think you owe it to your fellow citizens who’ve been victims to give them the right–again, the right to CHOOSE–whether or not they would go through training and licensing in order to legally have a means to self defense?
In the past, when gun owners have hung together, we’ve made enormous strides: the Right to Keep and Bear Arms amendment, the pre-emption law that struck down Madison’s handgun ban, the Right to Hunt, Fish, and Trap amendment, the Range Protection Act, and more.
Make no mistake: the fight on Tuesday will not be about the merits of the Personal Protection Act. The arguments have been heard, and the various sides have taken their positions.
The fight on Tuesday will be purely political. It will pit the gun owners of Wisconsin against the anti-gun forces, led in full force by Governor Doyle’s lobbyists, a governor whose 12-year record as Attorney General should leave no doubt that he is a dyed-in-the-wool True Believer in gun bans.
In 2001, then-Attorney General Jim Doyle suggested a piece of legislation that would have banned all ammunition except that designed for single-shot firearms. The author of the bill, former state Senator Jim Baumgart (D-Sheboygan), suffered a crushing election defeat because he authored the bill.
Perhaps Jim Baumgart might have some advice for Sheboygan Representative
Terry Van Akkeren, who has voted for the Personal Protection Act three times, including a veto override vote in 2004, but is now waffling on his stance.
The same advice should be given to Representative John Steinbrink of southeastern Kenosha county. Representative Steinbrink has now voted for the
Personal Protection Act four times, including a vote to override Doyle’s veto in 2004.
Governor Doyle is now reeling from secret grand jury investigations into his fund-raising scandals by the US Attorney’s office. That’s why he’s been over in Iraq this week, as far as he can get from the WI news media.
Your message should be loud and clear to those who would think about crossing Wisconsin gun owners: hitch your star to Doyle, and you will be defeated in the November elections.
Next Tuesday, we need the largest turnout of gun owners that the state Capitol has ever seen. We need to demonstrate the overwhelming power that gun owners wield in this state. Time and again, we’ve proven that nothing happens in the legislature unless gun owners approve.
It’s time for you to show your power again.
Please make every effort possible to be at the Capitol on Tuesday by about 11 am. When you arrive, stop by Senator Dave Zien’s office (Room 15 South) for some PPA supporter stickers. (He’ll also have some of the best venison sausage and buffalo jerky you’ve ever tasted. Also, if you have some old brass you don’t plan on reloading, Senator Zien would appreciate it if you brought it along. He’s looking to pave his driveway with brass cases. Is this guy a gunner or not?).
In the meantime, please continue to contact Representatives Terry Van Akkeren and John Steinbrink. Their contact information is:
Representative John Steinbrink (608) 266-0455
Representative Terry Van Akkeren (608) 266-0656
Representative Gunderson, Senator Zien, the NRA, the WI Pro-Gun Movement,
Sporting Heritage Inc, the Wisconsin Rifle and Pistol Association, the WCCA, and other groups have done all that we can to bring us to this point.
Our victory or defeat now depends solely upon you and your friends, and your
committment to making Wisconsin a “Free State.”
With your help, we can win. It’s that simple.
The Wisconsin Concealed Carry Association
P.S. Please forward this email to very friend of freedmom that you know.