The gun-obsessed lobby pushed concealed carry legislation in Wisconsin for years. Now we can all start packing heat but apparently it still is not good enough. Now a “castle doctrine” bill is getting some movement in the legislature. This legislation would allow people to use deadly force if someone breaks into their home or business. It would allow a person to use deadly force whether the intruder was armed or threatening or not.
If the Wisconsin legislature rushes through this new “castle doctrine” bill, what comes next? How far are they willing to go? Many members of our current legislature are clearly under the influence of groups like the National Rifle Association. In fact that powerful influence should perhaps worry us more than anything else. There has been real extremist rhetoric coming out of the leadership of that organization for quite a long time. How much of it will our legislators turn into Wisconsin policy?
Today a new website called Meet the NRA was launched by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. The site provides a plethora of information on the board members of the NRA. That information includes a disturbing amount of over-the-top vigilante rhetoric. One of the many examples listed includes the crazy rantings of NRA board member Ted Nugent. During Texas Governor Rick Perry’s 2007 inaugural ball Nugent declared, “Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em! To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead.”
Reasonable Wisconsinites should be concerned that each gun bill in our state legislature seems to be moving closer to the same “shoot ‘em” approach that is expressed in Nugent’s comments. Again, we should be asking exactly how far our lawmakers are willing to go in this dangerous direction? At what point does this become less about actual public safety and more about a base fascination with vigilantism?