Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Concealed Carry Not Over

Many on the left are justifiably praising the state Assembly for sustaining the governor's veto on the Republican concealed carry law. This was a strong move for the state Dems, which should be applauded.

But this battle is not over. By thinking it is, the Dems are playing right into the hands of the Republicans who are going to energize their base even more over this issue in the coming months. Expect Mark Green's coffers to get a boost in the next few weeks from people even more intent upon defeating Doyle (I'm working under the feeling that Green is pulling ahead in the race for the Republican nomination, in large part because he can play to the northern and western parts of Wisconsin, where the push for concealed carry is very strong, while Walker has a tougher time selling himself to those areas).

I was living in Minnesota when concealed carry was adopted there. It happened just after a Republican, Tim Pawlenty, won the governor's office in 2002.

The Dems cannot simply put this debate behind them. Instead, they need to engage the Republicans on it directly. More specifically, they need to propose concealed carry legislation of their own that fits more closely with the Democratic interpretation of the second amendment. Right now Republicans are able to play it off like Democrats don't believe at all in the second amendment, which not true at all, but believeable to those people who see the Dems doing nothing actively to support it.

The Dems need to start playing offense while they still can--if Green wins this November, they'll have all the time in the world to play defense. The concealed carry bill is just one issue where this should happen, but it's a very important one, too.

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