Rep. Gannon Advocates for Concealed Carry

Representative Bob Gannon has stirred some controversy with this press release today:

The shooting this weekend at the East Town Mall in Madison makes clear that the leftist theory that a gun symbol inside of a circle with a line through it does not make the citizens of this state safer. It is evident that the criminal whom shot off his pistol at the mall either couldn’t read the gun ban sign or he didn’t comprehend the universal symbol that is now referred to as a “target rich environment”?

Personally I’ve never been in East Town Mall, as I refuse to spend my money at any business that believes my second amendment rights have to be left in my car. I’ve been unable to get a safe and secure feeling with the extra mall security that is now in place, yes, those individuals carrying nothing more lethal than a flashlight and maps explaining how to get to the coffee shop. I’m sure these employees are there to help clean up the mess, as an unprotected shopper gets caught in the criminal cross fire.

Currently our university students are as unprotected as the shoppers at this mall. Unfortunately, these students don’t have the option of studying at a different state college, as I have the option of shopping at other retailers, as all state universities have implemented the “target rich environment” theory.

AB 363 is in process in the state legislature at this time, and needs to get passed quickly so that students have a fighting chance if a criminal element picks their campus as the location of their next shootout. This bill allows students, faculty, and visitors, the same rights of self-protection as are enjoyed by state residents throughout this fine land.

Wisconsin does not have a death penalty law, but with significant practice and careful aim, law abiding citizens can help clean our society of these scum bags. Criminals no longer have any fear of our courts or our prisons, so it’s time that the citizens of this fine state stand up and fight back. A gang banger in the mall with a gun is going to think twice if there could be a law abiding CCW holder standing behind them fully prepared to shoot center mass, as this is how you’re trained to eliminate the threat these creeps pose to you, your family, and all law abiding citizens unwillingly dragged into their public crime spree.

He had me up until that last paragraph. I agree that gun free zones merely serve to disarm the good guys while having, at best, no deterrent effect on the bad guys. I also agree that allowing people to legally carry weapons on campus, if they so choose, is a good thing.

But then we get to that last paragraph. I believe that Gannon is trying to express the common sense idea that good guys with guns deter, or limit the damage of, bad guys with guns from behaving badly. Unfortunately, his rhetoric comes off as advocating violent vigilantism.

As someone who often carries a weapon, I pray that I never, ever, have to use it. And if I do, it will only be as a last-ditch effort to preserve my life or the life of someone else. Encouraging people who carry weapons to use them to “fight back” is reckless and dangerous for everyone involved. No, don’t use your weapon to “clean up our society.” Only use them to as a last resort to preserve a life.

Furthermore, as a passionate supporter of exercising our Right to Bear Arms, Gannon’s comments are frustrating because they damage the cause by playing to the worst emotions of those who oppose our rights. It feeds their fear that 2nd Amendment supporters are a bunch of yahoos looking to shoot someone. The fight to protect and expand our 2nd Amendment rights has come a long way in the last 20 years by saying and demonstrating that armed, law-abiding citizens are a net positive to our society. Gannon’s rhetoric is not helpful. I fear that his last paragraph may have torpedoed the campus carry bill for which he advocates.