It would have been more accurate to label me as a "gun rights advocate" than "gun advocate." Anyone who knows me well, knows that I certainly do not advocate guns for everyone. Don't like guns? Don't get one. Not sure of your ability or willingness to use one to protect yourself? Don't get one. Not sure of your ability to be responsible and safe in your handling of a gun? Don't get one. Not confident in your ability to keep a gun under your control and out of the hands of others? Don't get one. Don't want to know the laws? Don't get one. I advocate for the right and freedom to have the choice to have a gun available as one of many options available for one's personal security.You may remember when Isthmus did an article about me. Unlike Gold, I refused to let them photograph me for the cover. Looking at the picture they did of Gold, I'm reminded of why I didn't trust them to do a picture of me! I assumed they'd choose an unflattering picture. They've got a low angle on Gold, looking up his nostrils. He's got an unpleasant expression on his face. He's plunked squarely in front of a blocky building, which makes him look blocky. I don't know how blocky he really is, but I'd feel terrible if some unsympathetic photographer framed the background and my body to make me look bad.
It's not true that there will no longer be a reason to carry weapons openly once concealed carry laws change in Wisconsin. It will only be true that there is no longer a legal necessity to carry openly. Finally there will be a choice whether to carry openly or concealed, and under certain circumstances one option may make more sense than the other.
Joe Tarr opines that "Gold spends what seems an inordinate amout [sic] of time preparing to shoot his way out of dangerous situations." Joe is entitled to his opinion. But first, as a gun instructor, if people hire me with the expectation that I will be able to share some knowledge and improve their proficiency with a firearm and enhance their ability to survive a bad situation, I cannot simply be "adequate" with a gun. I have to be good. As good as I can possibly become. I owe it to them, because while I may be fortunate and never need a gun to protect myself or others, I can neither predict nor control the circumstances I will find myself in, or that of any person who comes to me wanting to become more proficient with a firearm or to enhance their personal and household security.
Secondly, nobody in their right mind sees "shooting their way out" as the first choice, or even second choice, for getting "out of dangerous situations." Use of a firearm always ought to be one's absolutely LAST way of getting out of a dangerous situation. Having a gun makes one's list of options a longer list than when you don't have a gun. But use of that gun belongs at the very end of the list-- when there are no other options. Anything else is irresponsible.
O'Hern suggests that public attitude and laws will quickly change if folks "go nutso" or if "gunfights erupt in a bar." Perhaps, but it should be noted than no state that has passed concealed carry has gone back and rescinded it. The predictions of blood in the streets have been made in every state that considered concealed carry legislation. Those predictions have never come true. Once Illinois stands alone as the only state not allowing concealed carry in some form, they'll still be predicting bloodshed in Illinois as a consequence of any concealed carry legislation under consideration there, even though it never came true in the other 49 states. Anti-gun people care little for the facts and much about pushing an agenda. Gun control is not so much about guns, as it is about control.
I look like a member of the Allman Brothers? Thanks Joe, you added another half-decade to my age! If you had suggested Metallica I would have been happier. Or Blue Oyster Cult-- I know, they're older, but I prefer them musically.
I didn't submit to the interview either. (The Isthmus writer made stuff up about what my refusal to be interviewed meant. He decided that my avoidance of publicity was evidence of my egotism. Whatever. If he'd approved of my politics, I'm sure the interpretation would signify modesty.)