By David Codrea
“Wednesday was a normal afternoon at Lou Perrine’s gas station in Kenosha, except that there was something new—a sign on the door, telling customers to leave their weapons at home,” WITI-TV Fox 6 reported.
“‘I, myself, I have guns. I am going to get my concealed carry, but I just feel it is not necessary,’ Owner Anthony Perrine said.”
It’s an interesting attitude, but not exactly one to inspire customer loyalty among Perrine’s fellow gun owners. He was responding to reporter questions about Wisconsin’s new law that took effect on November 1 to allow for concealed carrying of firearms in the Badger State—making it the 49th state (the lone holdout is Illinois) with some form of concealed carry provisions for citizens: roughly designated as “may issue,” where permit approval is based on individuals meeting criteria determined by the issuing authority, “shall issue,” where permits are provided to anyone who meets the general requirements, and “unrestricted” or “Constitutional carry,” where permits are not required, as currently allowed in Alaska, Vermont, Arizona and Wyoming.
Wisconsin’s new law requires applicants to be residents, 21 years of age or older, that they pass a background check establishing they are not prohibited by law from firearms possession, and to provide proof of firearms training. It also provides for recognition of out-of-state permits where comparable background checks have been performed.
Naturally, the qualifiers did not stop horrified hoplophobes from issuing dire warnings. Speaking of a court decision from the year before that Wisconsin’s ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional, then-Brady Center President Paul Helmke declared “The ruling by a Wisconsin trial court judge that the US Constitution provides a right to carry concealed weapons in public endangers our communities, puts law enforcement at risk, and is just plain wrong… This ruling shows the danger of accepting the gun lobby’s vision of the Second Amendment as mandating its any guns, anywhere, for anybody agenda.”
Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center ramped things ups a notch, claiming “Concealed carry permit holders don’t prevent mass shootings, they perpetrate them. They don’t support police, they shoot them.”
Really. I didn’t make that up.
Ignoring such lunatic warnings from those who don’t trust themselves, and by extension, you with freedom, Wisconsin residents voted with their actions. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported on the day the law went into effect: “By mid-afternoon, the DOJ had received 145 applications, approved 123 and printed 85 permits… An agency website offering downloadable applications went live at midnight. As of 9 a.m., the site had received 400,000 hits and people had downloaded about 83,000 applications….”
What the citizen disarmament professionals never seem to realize is that we gun owners are “the gun lobby.” Elites just don’t fathom that grassroots trump Astroturf.
Seeing as how his business does not get its funding via grants and from well-heeled contributors, it’s something Anthony Perrine might do well to learn. Besides, it’s not like anyone intent on predation is going to take his stupid “No Guns” placard as anything but a sign of vulnerability.