Saturday, November 05, 2005

Carrying Concealed Weapons in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin legislature has begun to hear arguments for and against a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons, such as handguns, knives and billy clubs, so long as they are at least 21 years old, pass a background check by the state Department of Justice and complete weapons training.

Not to put this too indelicately, but the arguments for carrying concealed weapons always sound more than a little stupid. State Senator David Zein views a willingness to carry weapons as a simple test to find out whether or not I deserve to live. Zein said, “If people don’t want to defend themselves, they deserve to die.” It’s a fact, senator, that not everybody wants to carry a weapon, but it doesn’t make them any less virtuous than anybody who would, and especially not people who would repeat the kind of sanctimonious crap you do. It’s a fact that some people would like to spend an evening in a restaurant or a tavern without having to wonder who’s carrying a weapon, and whether or not the evening might end in gunfire. Don’t give me the argument that law-abiding citizens won’t misuse their handguns; those who argue in favor of this bill say they want to defend themselves in public places. I’m not too happy about my chances for survival if I find myself caught in the crossfire between the law-abiding likes of you, Sen. Zein, and a common criminal with a handgun.

Representative Scott Gunderson, a cosponsor of the bill, broke down in the legislature as he recalled how someone attacked him with a crowbar. Gunderson supposed he wouldn't have been attacked if the criminal thought Gunderson was carrying a weapon. And maybe Gunderson wouldn’t have been attacked if the criminal thought Gunderson was carrying a weapon illegally, or if the criminal thought Gunderson had a black belt in Judo, or any one of a number of other specious suppositions, but the criminal wasn’t thinking that. He wasn’t thinking much at all; if he had been thinking, he wouldn’t have been threatening somebody with a crowbar.

I'm not crazy about letting members of the public carry handguns, for much the same reason that I'm not crazy about sharing the beltway with anybody who can apply for a driver's license: An awful lot of so-called law-abiding citizens can't abide even the simplest laws. It's bad enough they can't remember to signal when they change lanes. To think about what they're going to do if they can carry handguns in public ... why isn't the reason this scares people self-apparent?
Farts Galore!

An island in the middle of Island Lake Massachusetts, floats on a layer of decomposing gas and moves from one side of the lake to the other as the (breaking?) wind carries it. (The NY Times also reported that there's a sizable patch of marijuana growing on it, so I suppose it'll be trampled before the weekend's out.)

A landfill in Kansas smells like farts and disgusts the neighbors.
Think of endings for this sentence: "Dude, I pinched such a big log yesterday ... "

Obligatory related link about Bob Dougherty, Home Depot, and a prankster with some heavy-duty glue.