See me! Feel me! Touch me! ARREST ME! ... Gazing at you ...
Matt Rothschild was arrested for wearing a sign on his shirt and taking pictures from the State Assembly visitors gallery Tuesday, the day that carrying concealed weapons became legal in the great state of Wisconsin.
No doubt, history will record my frequent debating partner as another Martin Luther King Jr. in the Birmingham Jail, fighting for freedom.
If ever a man wanted arresting, it's Matt R. Like many Progressives, he wants to bring the disorder of the Capitol Rotunda this February and March into the legislative chambers themselves. Isthmus' Judy Davidoff has the story.
Matt wore a sheet of paper taped to his shirt bearing the text of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its Wisconsin equivalent, in small type. Get the irony?
But the rule against signs, demonstrations, and photography in the Capitol galleries is longstanding and Matt and his compatriots bore no witness when Democrats' ruled the chamber.
The editor of The Progressive magazine is among the folks who insist on the "right" to speak everywhere and anywhere, at any time and all of the time. So, please do not confine yourself to the Wisconsin State Legislature's galleries.
Test your supposed rights in the courtroom of Federal Circuit Judge Barbara Crabb while she is conducting a trial. Hold your signs from the gallery of Majority Leader Harry Reid's U.S. Senate. When and if your case gets to the U.S. Supreme Court, hold your signs there, too, during oral arguments.
Camel's nose under the tent
If you win your case, you get to write the rules: what size signs would you allow? Or would that size be unlimited? How large may the type font be? Large enough to see from the floor of the chamber, perhaps? Would any message be permitted? Profanity allowed? How do you define profanity? Signs on paper only or may they be electronic -- perhaps an array of iPads flashing a message like the Miller Park ribbon display?
The Legislature's rules allow our elected representatives to be heard and to conduct the people's business -- not to be drowned out or intimidated by the antics of self-appointed activists who want to turn the galleries into the student section at Camp Randall in order to undo the results of those elections.
The protestors make much of the fact that guns are allowed in the galleries but not cameras. Actually, both are allowed, neither can be used. Here are the rules for the Senate Gallery. The closest I could find for the Assembly was its Rule 6.
What? "The Wave" is not expressly forbidden? Matt, there's your opening!
Who is afraid of law-abiding citizens?
Many of our liberal you-know-whats. The same ones who invoke the name of "The People" in everything they say but little they do.
Who in their right mind would want to carry a concealed weapon? Let's put a number to it: Guess the number of Badgers good and true who will apply in the two months before the end of the year. I am going to guess 200,000. Your guess?
On a website that normally sees 81,000 hits a day, the Department of Justice's website recorded almost 800,000 on Tuesday, the first day that carrying concealed weapons became legal in Wisconsin. My application was in the mail Tuesday morning. Here again is the link.
The usual fools are sputtering dire imprecations, sprinkling their jeremiads with phrases like "Wild West," and suggesting insufficient penis size.
Yeah, by becoming the 49th state in the union to allow CCW, we're about to become another Iowa. You can find plenty of craziness at The Daily Page Forum (what else is new); the thread title, "Gun Mania," says it all. But the most half-cocked (ahem) has to be Milwaukee County Supervisor Eyon Biddle, Sr.:
"Happy Concealed Carry Day to everyone here in the great state of Texas....I mean Wisconsin! ... The Governor and Legislature feel good about putting the public's safety at risk because of the powerful financial interests of the gun lobby. ... The only question now becomes how many people might be shot dead before ..."
That's enough punishment, dear reader. Follow the hyperlink if you must.
Who is "the threat?" The citizens of the United States who have taken a course of instruction, submitted to a criminal background check, answered a questionnaire, paid a fee in submissive application for a government permit. (Few states require so much documentation, PolitiFact finds.)
We thousands, who elected the Democrats and Republicans alike who voted for CCW, are "the gun lobby."