Wisconsin gun banners show just how extreme they are

Having already seen his veto on concealed carry legislation overridden in the Wisconsin Senate, Democrat Governor Jim Doyle is holding out hope today that he can avoid being overridden in the Assembly - perhaps for the same reason Taft avoided the same in Ohio - some pro-CCW legislators may care more for party politics than defenseless citizens.

(UPDATE: Wisconsin Assembly falls one vote short - "The Assembly failed to get the two-thirds majority needed when it voted 65-34 to overturn the veto after Rep. Gary Sherman, D-Port Wing, decided to side with the governor even though he had voted for the legislation last year.")

Wisconsin's veto showdown is being played out in one of the country's most liberal cities - Madison, Wisconsin. And as one NBC cameraman remarked after observing open carry walk protestors on the streets of Cincinnati last September, Wisconsin state representatives are learning that the only violent people in the debate are the gun ban extremists.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

February 3, 2004
WBAY Action 2 News (Green Bay)

Lawmakers Get Eyeful in Concealed Carry Debate

The Assembly scheduled a vote Tuesday on the governor's veto of the concealed weapons bill. A last-ditch effort is mounting to keep concealed weapons out of peoples' pockets.

Late Monday afternoon, members of 20 organizations announced they plan to rally Tuesday at the Capitol against concealed weapons. The noon gathering is expected to include law enforcement and victims of gun violence.

If the Assembly has enough votes, people could request permits to carry concealed weapons. Last month the Senate overrode Governor Doyle's veto, but last week the Assembly postponed its vote. Democrats charged the Assembly Speaker delayed the vote because he didn't have enough votes to guarantee an override.

The concealed weapons bill has been such a controversial topic at the Capitol that some lawmakers received threatening emails. Capitol police say the same message was sent to about 30 legislators. It reads, "Don't you think that passage of the concealed weapons bill increases the chances of your being assassinated?"

"I would never expect this from anybody," Representative Amy Sue Vruwink said. The Milladore, Wood County, Democrat was on the Assembly floor debating the concealed weapons bill when she opened the email on her laptop computer.

"It just took me aback and I was in disbelief when I read that," she said.

Her staffer sent it to the Capitol police. They say they're taking it seriously, as they do all threats.

Representative Carol Owens, an Oshkosh Republican, said people like this make the argument for carrying concealed weapons even stronger.

"If he wants to change my philosophy, this isn't going to get him anywhere," Rep. Owens said.

Vruwink says the email won't change her vote in favor of concealed carry, and she still feels safe doing her job. "Living in Wisconsin, I've always felt secure."

The man who sent the email signed a name to it and Capitol police learned he lived in Fort Atkinson. An investigator paid him a visit, and the man said he didn't mean the email as a threat. The Dane County district attorney won't be filing any charges against him.

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