Monday, November 4, 2013

Does "open carry" in Wisc. mean shotguns?

There was a long rant on Facebook yesterday, after a Wisconsin resident in Neenah was stopped by police for carrying his shotgun, as he walked around town. And not only his shotgun, but also more than 20 shotgun shells.

He seemed to be under the impression that the police should have been kind, gentle and polite with him. This was all on the Wisconsin Carry page on Facebook.

Several years ago I joined Wisconsin Carry, after they stuck up for five men who were eating burgers in Culver's. The five were armed, and police showed up after a woman customer called the Madison Police. She even told the dispatcher that the men weren't causing any problem; they were just having lunch. So the cops showed up and rousted the five, arresting them. The first set of charges was quickly dropped, and about a year later the remaining charges were dropped. The Madison Police officers had disregarded an opinion from the Wisconsin Attorney General that armed persons should not be automatically considered as lawbreakers, just because they are legally carrying firearms in the open.

I had an opinion about the Neenah man who had been hoofing around with his shotgun yesterday. The stream on Facebook was probably over 60 comments. Finally, Nik Clark, the organizer of Wisconsin Carry, weighed in and suggested that I didn't belong on that page, if I felt that a person shouldn't exercise his "right" to walk down the street with a shotgun. I had posted that I didn't think Neenah was like Fallujah.

Next time I went back to Facebook, I had been kicked out of the group.

I am a proponent of concealed carry and also open-carry, where legal. But citizens shouldn't be stupid about it. In my opinion, strutting your stuff around town, toting a shotgun or a deer rifle or an AR-15, is just plain stupid. The person doing so invites police contact and shouldn't be surprised or offended, when it happens.

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