Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mark Green Conceals Stance on Concealed Carry

A commentary up at WisOpinion today reminds me of an issue I've been meaning to raise for some time.

JJ Blonien of the Wisconsin Conservative Digest points out that getting rid of Doyle is the only way to get a concealed carry law passed in the state.

Without getting into all of the issues of whether or not such a law is a good idea, it is interesting that the Green Team has been conspicuously silent about concealed carry so far during this election.

In fact, you can't even find the words "concealed carry" anywhere on Green's campaign website, nor do they appear in any edition of "The Green Sheet" dating back to when the publication started in May 2005.

Why the silence?

A poll by UW-Milwaukee in April showed that 69 percent of respondents oppose the concealed carry law, but proponents frequently argue that survey results depend upon the wording of the question.

It seems, though, the Green Team has evidence that no matter how you frame it, concealed carry is not a winning issue this election year -- otherwise, why not use it?

To dig a little deeper, it may be that Green is trying not to upset voters in Milwaukee and other urban areas (which tend to oppose concealed carry more than voters in rural areas).

If Green is to beat Doyle in November, he needs to do well in the urban locales. He's already well-known in Green Bay, which helps his chances there (although he couldn't even muster 50 percent support in the area in the latest WPRI poll).

But the rest of the state -- including Milwaukee -- still doesn't know him (or at least know him very well) and it's likely he doesn't want arming citizens to be the issue they get to know him by.

To be sure, concealed carry isn't exactly a mainstream Republican issue in Wisconsin. After all, one of the most popular governors in state history -- Tommy Thompson -- opposed the idea since it was first discussed in the state legislature during the mid-1990s. The Doyle Administration is simply following in Thompson's footsteps on this issue.

Perhaps it would be wise for the Doyle Team to inform the voters -- especially in urban areas -- of exactly how this aspect of life in Wisconsin would change under a Green Administration.

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