October 7, 2011

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is okay with guns in the Capitol and other state buildings.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. How does that square with the image — seared in our brains — of thousands of protesters cramming into the rotunda and winding themselves up into a frenzy of indignation?
Van Hollen said those demonstrations did not change his opinion on whether people should be allowed to carry guns in the Capitol.

"Any one of them could have been carrying a firearm without our knowledge already had they wanted to do so," Van Hollen said.
At one point in the protests, weapons screening was introduced, but it's gone now. These days, there's nothing to stop a person with criminal intent from going in with a gun, so Van Hollen is implying that it's in fact a safeguard for ordinary citizens to have guns too. He doesn't come out and say that though. Having seen the effect of the rotunda on the human mind, I worry about ordinary citizens in the Capitol with guns.

77 comments:

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The proper weapon for a capitol building is a brass-knobbed walking stick, for thrashing gentlemen who impugn one's honor. Maybe a buggy whip.

Original Mike said...

"Having seen the effect of the rotunda on the human mind, I worry about ordinary citizens in the Capitol with guns."

Those weren't ordinary citizens. They were crazy, looney leftists. So yes, I think you're right to worry.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I assume it's legal in Wisconsin to carry a concealed buggy whip.

Methadras said...

If there is any criminal intent, I assure you it will be one of the leftards that will express it. Barring that, I find it hard to believe that a leftard likes guns, much less has ever held or fired one.

edutcher said...

Consider the 2 morons who came at Ann last summer.

Does anybody really want them armed?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The proper weapon for a capitol building is a brass-knobbed walking stick, for thrashing gentlemen who impugn one's honor. Maybe a buggy whip.

A brace of John Nock's duelling pistols might be appropriate,

Ann Althouse said...

Also, bullets ricocheting around in there will damage th historic marble.

Original Mike said...

"Consider the 2 morons who came at Ann last summer.

Does anybody really want them armed?"


Maybe we want Ann to have the right to defend herself. Whether she avails herself of it is her choice.

Besides, I bet Meade would be the one carrying.

Scott M said...

There are no metal detectors or Capital Police with wands when you go into the capitol on a normal basis?

traditionalguy said...

The disarming of citizens encourages gun violence by the only man that has a gun.

It's like the Law of Gravity. Repealing the law of gravity will not save anyone who jumps out of the window.

But that is a sweet idea.

Repeal Gravity and be safe!

Hagar said...

Professor, it is not the people who take the trouble to obtain a concealed carry license that you need to worry about.

And for the others, another statute law means nothing.

garage mahal said...

Those weren't ordinary citizens. They were crazy, looney leftists. So yes, I think you're right to worry.

They were your co-workers

The fact you have to lie about who was there it says it all.

Original Mike said...

It's true. I work with some crazy, looney leftists.

Fred said...

And you aren't worried about the Police carrying guns? Licensed CCW holders are less likely to kill or injure bystanders than the Police.

edutcher said...

Original Mike said...

"Consider the 2 morons who came at Ann last summer.

Does anybody really want them armed?"

Maybe we want Ann to have the right to defend herself. Whether she avails herself of it is her choice.

Besides, I bet Meade would be the one carrying.


Never said I didn't want Ann to protect herself, although I would tend to agree about who would be packing iron.

Ann is very big-hearted. She'd want to get them catharting with a vignette from "My Dinner With Andre".

Tyrone Slothrop said...

edutcher said...

A brace of John Nock's duelling pistols might be appropriate,


These are mine. Built 'em myself and I love 'em.

Class factotum said...

How many more people would have died at UT when Charles Whitman was shooting from the tower if students hadn't run to get their guns from their cars and shoot back at him, forcing him inside?

Pogo said...

Since social liberalism dismantled the "obedience to the unenforceable", the only reliable fallback is this:

More guns, less crime.

Expat(ish) said...

Ann, good thing individuals don't get to choose who carries and where.

-XC

David said...

Having seen the effect of the rotunda on the human mind, I worry about the effect of bullets on the human body.

And the marble too.

I don't own a gun, but in the immortal words of Kevin Greene "It's time!"

Or maybe not. As one of my favorite South Carolina redneck friends says, "I don't carry a gun, because if I ever pulled it out, I'd have to use it."

Rumpletweezer said...

The whole point of concealed carry is that no one knows who is packing. This complicates the planning for someone who is considering an act of violence. Making an area a "gun free" zone is just asking for trouble because someone considering an act of violence knows ahead of time that no one will be there to oppose him.

DADvocate said...

Having seen the effect of the rotunda on the human mind,...

I don't think it was the rotunda affecting those human minds.

Although I'm a strong gun rights supporter, I don't support guns in state capital buildings. The Tennessee state capital screens everyone that enters. Of course, they're not a bunch of left wing sympathizing wimps.

Kirk Parker said...

" 'Any one of them could have been carrying a firearm without our knowledge already had they wanted to do so,' Van Hollen said."

Wow, common sense breaks out in Wisconsin! And by one of your top officials too; maybe there's hope for your state after all.

Kirk Parker said...

DADvocate:

"Although I'm a strong gun rights supporter, I don't support guns in state capital buildings."

Why not? Just feeling that it's icky isn't a good enough reason, so I assume you have a better one... By point of contrast, here in WA it's perfectly legal to go armed into any state government building or office, except courts and a few other restricted places--and courts are explicitly required by state law to provide handgun storage for people entering the facility, and if the court is in a mixed-use facility to restrict the gun-banned part to court facilites themselves where practical.

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse, this is disappointing:

"I worry about ordinary citizens in the Capitol with guns."

Given the experience WA and other states have had with this (as mentioned above), doesn't your statement prove a little too much about how awful your fellow Wisconsinites are?

MadisonMan said...

There are no metal detectors or Capital Police with wands when you go into the capitol on a normal basis?

No. Why should there be?

roesch-voltaire said...

More crazy right wing thinking-- watch for the next headlines on some crazy shooting in the court room, or office of an official who offends John Doe.

garage mahal said...

It proves the metal detectors installed earlier had nothing to do with weapons or safety.

Pogo said...

r-v fantasies aside, the data correlate more guns with less crime.

Original Mike said...

Data??? We don't need no steenking data!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

roesch-voltaire said...

More crazy right wing thinking-- watch for the next headlines on some crazy shooting in the court room, or office of an official who offends John Doe.


And when John Doe turns out to be a non-partisan schizophrenic in illegal possession of a firearm, count on roesch-voltaire and the MSM to blame Sarah Palin.

garage mahal said...

r-v fantasies aside, the data correlate more guns with less crime.

If guns made us safe wouldn't we be the safest country in the world?

Rumpletweezer said...

Why do those of you who oppose letting ordinary citizens carry guns approve of the police carrying guns?

Chuck66 said...

Although I am fine with banning guns in certain public buildings such as the Capital, honestly, few carry permit holders will have their firearms with them there.

And wacky protestors don't seem to be the type to take the training classes and get a permit to carry.

Chuck66 said...

"If guns made us safe wouldn't we be the safest country in the world?"

If seatbelts save lives, then how come we still have car deaths?

Paul said...

"These days, there's nothing to stop a person with criminal intent from going in with a gun, so Van Hollen is implying that it's in fact a safeguard for ordinary citizens to have guns too."

A nutjob does not need permission to bring a weapon to the capitol.. by definition nutjobs are .. well nutjobs.

Same for criminals. You really think a law will stop them? A 'no guns' sign Ann?

At least now people can fight back!

MadisonMan said...

If seatbelts save lives, then how come we still have car deaths?

Seatbelts do not save lives. Seatbelt use does.

Nihimon said...

"I worry about ordinary citizens in the Capitol with guns."

*sigh*

If you don't trust "ordinary citizens" be armed, then how can you possibly trust them to vote? After all, their vote is far more likely to have a very real impact on your life.

shu said...

Oh, Ann! Ann! Ann!

I worry when I am in a place where concealed carry is not permitted. Someone who goes there with intent to kill will not be deterred by the prohibition. Yet those with no evil intent are denied the simple human right to protect themselves.

Sigivald said...

Having seen the effect of the rotunda on the human mind, I worry about ordinary citizens in the Capitol with guns.

Are Capitol security/police immune to the Magical Effect Of The Rotunda?

Sorry. Cops aren't "different" from "ordinary citizens" in any meaningful sense.

(Indeed, ordinary citizens who are firearms enthusiasts, who are those most likely to get carry permits, tend to be better at shooting and trigger discipline than the "professionals" in police departments.

Cops aren't actually special in some ability to carry arms "safely" while the ordinary citizen is a risk.)

BJM said...

So when some nutjob opens fire in a public place or your workplace you'd rather be standing there with your dick in your hand? (figuratively speaking)

Fred4Pres said...

An armed society is a polite society.

Pogo said...

Actually, garage,
"If gun control made us safe wouldn't we be the safest country in the world?"

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

Also, bullets ricocheting around in there will damage th historic marble.

Frangible bullets. Solve that one.

Fred4Pres said...

I was watching him at bat and had to board a flight. Later I saw a guy with a BoSox hat who confirmed the Yanks went down. The folks on the plane all expressed joy. Nothing but derision for Pay-Rod.

James said...

There are no metal detectors or Capital Police with wands when you go into the capitol on a normal basis?

No, and I've wondered about that. Twice recently I've been in the Capitol with a monopod made of hardened aluminum topped with a heavy steel head and no one said anything.

The Supreme Court was hearing arguments during my last visit and Meade and I walked right up to the door of the court room; which is much smaller than I imagined. With a few quick strides I could have been at the justices' desks before anyone stopped me. Interestingly enough, Justice Prosser was seated right next to Justice Walsh Bradley, but for the time I observed him he was leaning back in his chair as if to get as far as possible from her.

Matt said...

Original Mike
Those weren't ordinary citizens. They were crazy, looney leftists. So yes, I think you're right to worry.

Well, there we go. Truth always comes out. If someone you like carries a gun then that is there constitutional right. But if someone you don't like carries a gun then we all better worry and there should be gun control.

Remember is was Ronald Reagan who implemented strict gun laws in CA because the Black Panthers were openly carrying guns. Can't have black folks carrying guns was the message.

DADvocate said...

Why not? Just feeling that it's icky isn't a good enough reason, so I assume you have a better one...

Not really. Just a matter of decorum and etiquette. That's rather out of style nowadays, though. Of course, in Wisconsin it should be a requirement to carry considering the riff raff that hang out there.

Original Mike said...

"Well, there we go. Truth always comes out. If someone you like carries a gun then that is there constitutional right. But if someone you don't like carries a gun then we all better worry and there should be gun control."

I didn't say they should not be allowed their constitutional right.

Try commenting on the post that was written, not the one in your head.

DADvocate said...

If guns made us safe wouldn't we be the safest country in the world?

Only if guns were the only thing that injured and killed people. But, cars, airplanes, stairs, criminals, crossbows, lances, spears, hand grenades, water, cliffs, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, HIV, semis, honey bees, snakes, et al also come into play.

I'm guessing you never had a logic class or flunked it if you did.

Mary Beth said...

A few months ago the concern wasn't the effect of the rotunda on citizens but how citizens were affecting the rotunda.

Patrick said...

OT: but Pat talks exceedingly clear and well about the middle east. And it probably applies to the Wisonsin Dems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1N1zhUm84w&feature=player_embedded

frank said...

The Capitol building, which has been seized by 'rethugs'--Governor, Supreme Court, Legislature is today's Army Math Center. Any 'diverse' UW Law School grad can tell you. So guns are not the answer, car bombs are the only effective tool in saving our world.

Matt said...

Original Mike

My response was simply to what you wrote. How do you define 'ordinary citizen'? The idea that 'looney lefties' are not ordinary citizens and therefore a threat is an indication that you just might believe that some can carry guns and some should not be allowed to.

Maybe you were simply joking, which is fine and sorry if I didn't get the joke.

lgv said...

"...I worry about ordinary citizens in the Capitol with guns."

Don't worry about ordinary citizens.

First, nothing wrong with banning hand guns if you screen everyone. If you ban and don't screen, only the law abiding will not be carrying the guns.

Second, I feared the concealed carry way back when in Texas. The stats are in. I shouldn't have worried. The required course is just long enough and cheap enough that people are willing to do it and learn from it. Acts committed by licensed holders are minimal.

caplight said...

"Consider the 2 morons who came at Ann last summer.

Does anybody really want them armed?"

I would have felt better if I had been armed. After all, when seconds counted the capital police were only minutes away. However, I could have been just as happy with a brass-knobbed walking stick. It would have beat a vuvuzela in the face.

Cedarford said...

Class factotum said...
How many more people would have died at UT when Charles Whitman was shooting from the tower if students hadn't run to get their guns from their cars and shoot back at him, forcing him inside?

============
The heroes with guns a blazing were ineffective. Whitman was a crack shot, and just kept shooting from enfilade (cover) as he had been trained to in the Marine Corps.
All the gunfire delayed a response as police 1st thought there were multiple shooters. Some cops on seeing dead bodies, then began shooting at a person with a hunting rifle, chasing him into a building...then calling for backup to help take down or root out the started Gun-loving Hero who had been blasting away on the Tower. Fortunately, they had other civilians say the guy was just shooting at the actual sniper..just as cops were ready to storm the building and kill the Hero.

Keep in mind that cops as well as many Guns Mean Freedom!! folks also operate on the premise that it is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. And if they don't know what is going on and people are being shot by a gunman - any civilian with a weapon is a threat to be put down and neutralized. And courts back the cops in killing any armed person they thought was a threat...though the city or town usually settles a lawsuit later

Whitman was shot by a cop, backed by one unarmed civilian, and one with a .22 revolver. Cop acted on his own initiative without instructions. From witnesses, he knew at least one of the shooters was in the Tower. He went up to kill the guy. Trying to, he was smart to keep low, because he was a target for the hero gunman below as much as Whitman was.

To this day, it is believed that 1-2 civilians on the ground were shot by cops as a threat. But it was Texas, 1966...no one was in a rush to investigate any shooting other than that "Dallas incident".

Kirk Parker said...

lgv,

Actually, there is something wrong with banning + screening, or at least there certainly can be depending on how it's implemented.

First of all, if the screening causes a bottleneck in entering the banned area, then all you've done is create a target-rich environment at the checkpoint (cf. the LAX shooter.) Secondly, unless the perimeter is somewhat hardened, determined individuals will find it too easy to breach. For example, I've been in a couple of the local jails looking at their computer systems, and I would have no qualms disarming to enter: they have an "airlock" system, where you enter the first door, place your handgun in a locked cabinet, and only then does the gate person open the inner door for you. Pretty hard to breach. Our local courts are another matter, they just have a metal detector at the doors, and--especially at some of the minor entrances--not nearly enough backup to prevent someone from breaching their security, especially by someone who didn't care if they survived their escapade.

Kirk Parker said...

lgv,

"Second, I feared the concealed carry way back when in Texas. The stats are in. I shouldn't have worried. The required course..."

Fine, but the stats for places like WA and PA, which have no training requirement at all, are just as good as they are for TX. In light of that, shouldn't y'all do away with the training requirement?

BJM said...

@Matt

Remember is was Ronald Reagan who implemented strict gun laws in CA because the Black Panthers were openly carrying guns. Can't have black folks carrying guns was the message.

I seem to remember it a little differently:

On May 2, 1967, armed members of the Black Panther Party enter the California state capital to protest a bill restricting the carrying of arms in public.

The law under consideration was to restrict open carry and transport of LOADED weapons within city limits, not banning ownership, a law that is still in force today.

Two high profile shootings in 1972 and 1973 fueled public support for gun legislation in CA, not racism.

In spite of strict gun laws the turf war homicides continue in Bay Area urban neighborhoods and an open war between African-Americans and Latinos rages on in LA.

Gun control is an abject failure in CA, of course the left wants to double down on failure, as usual.

Scott M said...

Gun control is an abject failure in CA, of course the left wants to double down on failure, as usual.

It's a messaging issue.

A. Shmendrik said...

Enuff gun control debate - the Brew-crew do it or die in 12 minutes!

Orion said...

@Tyrone:
Those are lovely! Do you ever go out? There are still a few who do...

@Everyone else:
Strangely, I was recently in an area where every last one of us was carrying an assault rifle and anywhere from 30-210 rounds of ammo at ALL TIMES and no one shot ANYONE! Shocking! And everyone was unhappy about being there too.

I carry concealed every day. Many of my friends do. None of us start blowing away people we disagree with. I would hazard a guess that in most states, when you go to work you pass by a least a dozen concealed firearms and never know it.

Orion

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@Orion

So far, no one has impugned my honor, but if they do...!!!! Anyway, my gloves are out at the cleaners.

wv: exessenf--German for "too much mustard"

lgv said...

Actually, there is something wrong with banning + screening, or at least there certainly can be

I can't argue against a "can be", but my main point is that it is worse than ban + no screening. You end up simply removing the end of the curve with the most law abiding citizens.

Fine, but the stats for places like WA and PA, which have no training requirement at all, are just as good as they are for TX. In light of that, shouldn't y'all do away with the training requirement?

I'm not ready to go that far just yet. I do know that those who take the course are more likely to handle their guns properly and use them with more discretion than those who don't take the course.

If you make the course short, effective, and low cost, I still think everyone wins.

The down side is that it can be used as an effective ban by making it difficult, costly, and time consuming. What Texas proves is that it doesn't have to be any of those things to work.

Carnifex said...

All Americans, even you limp wristed Wisconsin Libs have a right to carry arms period dot end of sentence. The Constitution does not say "except here, here, or here."

Why do you worry about someone taking your rights when you give them away freely at the door?

I do not have a CCW, and I will never have one. I will carry open, and have as I deem needful period dot end of sentence.

And if it makes my elected officials worried, good.

People need to grow a pair. What are you gonna do in the seconds needed to prevent a crime when the cops are minutes away, and guess what. They got families to go home to at the end of a shift.

So, you gonna rely on someone who's not there, with no vested interest to risk themselves, to protect you? If you do, I got some porcupine eggs for sale.

Ann Althouse said...

"I worry when I am in a place where concealed carry is not permitted. Someone who goes there with intent to kill will not be deterred by the prohibition. Yet those with no evil intent are denied the simple human right to protect themselves."

I understand that and that weighs toward allowing guns. Agreed. But think of other situations, in which there's no one who comes in with criminal intent, planning a massacre or whatever. It's just a bunch of people who get each other wound up and they get crazy and somebody gets mad and it escalates suddenly. I'm afraid of people in that situation taking out guns.

Firehand said...

As I recall, in Texas you show your carry permit to the guard at the door, and then carry your sidearm with you into the Capital.

Last I heard, zero problems with anyone.

jimspice said...

Ann, for your own sake, please be more discriminating when calling "police, police." As we've seen from the comments here, you'll likely be facing a large dry cleaning bill. That gray matter is a bitch to get out of cashmere.

Orion said...

@Anne,
Well, there are a LOT of states with a LOT of folks carrying concealed to all sorts of rowdy gatherings.

How many times has someone whipped out a firearm and blasted away at their nemesis of the moment?

I believe that number is zero. Against millions of firearms and millions of people carrying every day in just about every situation imaginable. I'll put my faith in my fellow American's ability to control themselves, at least those who have a lawful right to carry a weapon and who have gone to the trouble to get a CHL.

In almost every case I've heard of where someone DOES go nuts with a firearm, it's someone who should never have had possession of one in the first place. (Felon, psych-case, MCDV-convict, etc.) And of course, they were not deterred by the rules telling them that they couldn't have a handgun, much less couldn't have one at .

Orion

Scott said...

Ann said "I understand that and that weighs toward allowing guns. Agreed. But think of other situations, in which there's no one who comes in with criminal intent, planning a massacre or whatever. It's just a bunch of people who get each other wound up and they get crazy and somebody gets mad and it escalates suddenly. I'm afraid of people in that situation taking out guns."
Ann it doesn't happen that way as has been proved in 48 other states in the last 25 years. Look at MN they allow guns in their capital if the permit holder sends a letter to the capitol police stating their intent to carry. In the five years (or seven depending on how you count) there have been zero incidents. Zero, permit holder or not. TX and FL studies find permit holders are up to five times less likely to break any law other than speeding restrictions than the average population. There are an estimated 5.5 million people in the country with a carry permit and the VPC has struggled to find 50 permit holders in the past ten years that have broken a law and used force.
I'm pleased with that part of Van Hollens opinion, I'm not so pleased with the DOJs rules on classes going against what the legislature said would be the requirements.

Drang said...

Presumably, the same thing will happen that's been happening since WA started allowing licensed carry at the capital in Olympia: Liberals tools will experience PSH. Since liberal tools are unlikely to be carrying a gun themselves, there will be less violence than before...

AntiCitizenOne said...

Here in VA, we're allowed to carry in the State Capitol and other government buildings.

The Virginia Citizens' Defense League has been doing their lobby days with their supporters fully armed and so far no one has gotten hurt...

Ms. Althouse, you have made the same arguments stated by those against concealed carry in general. Whose side are you really on?

Doc Merlin said...

Just like everywhere else its been legalized. Nothing bad will happen.

Doc Merlin said...

In texas, if you have a concealed permit card, you can go into the capitol building without being searched.

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