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Sunday, February 1, 2015  |   Madison, WI: 16.0° F  
CITIZEN DAVE: Thoughts and ideas about city building from Madison's former mayor
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Citizen Dave: Snapping off a few shots in the Wisconsin Capitol
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Remember the aftermath of last spring's Capitol protests? Once the place was cleared out, they installed metal detectors at the entrances. Or, for some time, the entrance (singular), I guess.

Some found that too restrictive in terms of giving the public access to what is the symbolic center of the Wisconsin democratic (small "d") universe. So, the Republicans who run everything in Wisconsin from the Supreme Court to the governor's office to the Senate to the Assembly to the State Patrol (three of those institutions controlled by the same family) have decided to give the people's house back to the people.

Starting soon you'll be able to carry loaded firearms and loaded cameras into the Assembly gallery. Wiseacre elitist liberal snobs have been pointing out two things. First, it was the same Republican family that was so paranoid about the protesters and their painters tape, day care center, food pantries and toaster ovens that they set up the metal detectors in the first place. (To stop the smuggling in of dangerous toasters, I guess.) Now they want to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction, and allow Glocks in the very same building. In their twisted liberal way, the twisted liberals apparently see some inconsistency there. Go figure.

And if that's not enough, these smart aleck lefties are also pointing out that people were arrested just last week for taking pictures and video from the very same Assembly gallery where you'll soon be able to pack heat. People who just don't understand the Second Amendment apparently believe that citizens recording the statements and actions of the people who they elected are less dangerous than people carrying loaded firearms into a gallery from which they could easily kill a dozen people before the roll was closed. Go figure again.

Thankfully, those liberal naysayers were put in their place by Rep. Robin Vos, who pointed out that there is absolutely no inconsistency here. Both cameras and guns will be allowed in the galleries, but neither can actually be used there. Just right, Rep. Vos! Cameras and guns are pretty much the same thing. In either case, someone could always surreptitiously squeeze off a couple of shots. It's just that in the one case they'd get a couple of blurry photos, while in the other case two people would be dead. Otherwise, they're exactly the same thing.

Of course that could never happen -- except in that one case where it did. But that was in the U.S. House of Representatives, where four Puerto Rican nationalists got off only 30 rounds from semi-automatic handguns (just like the ones you can carry into the galleries next week) while firing down from the Ladies Gallery. Hey, they only wounded five congressmen, and none of them actually died, which speaks more to the lax target practice training of Puerto Rican nationalists than anything else. Moreover, the shooters were bent out of shape over a debate taking place on the floor about immigration policy. Goes to show how much times have changed, as immigration policy isn't the kind of thing that would get anyone hot and bothered these days. Nope, we've put that one far behind us!

Finally, note that the nationalists chose the Ladies Gallery from which to do their shooting. Take that bleeding hearts. Guns and gender equality have gone hand in hand since 1954.

The Republicans have given new meaning to the term shooting gallery.

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