Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You Need To Know Who You Can Trust

Brett Davis came over to the house when the concealed carry bill was being debated. He told me that he was holding out for stricter training requirements and for other changes to the bill as it was being debated to make it a "tougher" bill and more palatable for him to vote for.

Many of those changes were made and Davis did vote for the bill and, as promised, he voted to override Gov Doyle's veto.

Brett thought that by holding out for changes to the bill he would make Wisconsin a safer state. How has a concealed carry law in another state held up over ten years?
Under a Texas law passed in 1995, a license may be suspended if the holder
is charged with a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or indicted on felony
charges.

But now, indicted felon Tom DeLay is asking to have his suspension revoked after his indictment for felony money laudering.
The author of the original bill, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who was a state senator, said the section of law calling for suspension of licenses of people under indictment should probably be removed from the statute.
"It is clearly not rational, not called for, but it was one of those things we
did to make somebody say, 'OK, I'll vote for it,' " Patterson said
Monday.
Patterson said several provisions were put in the bill by backers in
order to garner support from other lawmakers who were leery about the
law.
Patterson said since the bill's passage more than a decade ago,
legislators have amended the statute and removed some of the parts he called
"onerous."
"There is a presumption of innocence. Would we take away his First
Amendment right to free speech?" Patterson said.


"Not rational," He says. "Presumed innocent," He says. "Not called for." Would Patterson be saying the same things if we were discussing Steven Avery? Is he willing to throw out the provision of suspension because it is "onerous?" Which felonies carry that form of presumption that would allow the indicted to continue to carry?

Those who draft these bills will keep coming back, year after year, to peel away the small protections offered in the original drafting. Paul Soglin has written about the attempts to rewrite the Castle Doctrine. I've written about attempts to change the presumption of an obligation to retreat before firing.

The proponents of concealed carry are like high-school boys in the back seat of an old Chevy. They're willing to say anything to get us to say yes in the hopes that they can get a little farther the next time. It's time to take a page from Nancy Reagan's book. Just say, "No."

1 comment:

elliot said...

It's funny, because the slippery slope slides both ways.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard this argument, except from people talking about folks who want to ban handguns.