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January 26, 2005



Doyle's argument in opposition to concealed carry is that it would be too frightening to walk down the street not knowing whether someone was carrying a concealed gun or that we might have shoot outs in the malls etc. The fact is that concealed carry in other states correlates with a reduction in violent crime and the kind of law abiding citizens that would legally carry firearms aren't prone to irresponsible gun play.


The "Doyle position" above is identical to that of the Waukesha County DA (Bucher) who is running for AG this year.

As to the legal mess--if no CCW act is passed, the Supreme Court's decision will become wider and wider. The critical elements are "reasonable expectation of personal danger" and "[carrying] ...with [those] expectations."

The next case may well involve a shop-owner who transports his weapon from home to the shop. It would be a burden for the shopowner to possess TWO weapons--one home, one at the shop--so transporting will become permissible.

And as long as it is "reasonable" to expect serious personal danger while, say, visiting the Near South or Near North Side(s) of Milwaukee, carrying will be ruled legal.

The idiocy of the Doyle veto is that at least the law would have prescribed when, where, how, and qualifications. WITHOUT the law, there are none of these--in effect, the State is 'lawless' on the issue.


Criminals will always carry weapons because they have a strong incentive to do so. They make their living either by dealing in black market goods such as narcotics or stolen property, or by preying on citizens and businesses. Weapons make it easier to protect black market merchandise since redress cannot be sought in courts of law. Likewise weapons make it easier to prey on the law abiding.

Citizens on the other hand have less clear incentives. The costs of carrying legally are concentrated (money and time) while the benefits are generally diffuse in terms of a general reduction in theft etc. The benefits might be more concentrated for certain segments of society such as small business owners/workers in high crime urban areas.

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