Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Village Buzz - September 22nd

Village Buzz, Village Board, Germantown

The G’town Village Board has spoken on the issue of concealed carry within the village, and especially within village buildings.

The decision apparently was a difficult one to make with some impassioned debate on both sides of the issue.  In the end, the Board approved concealed carry inside village buildings except for the Police Department.  It appears that at least some village employees were not in favor of the decision that was made based upon publicly taken positions.

The Board also gave the Police Department the ability to respond to private businesses, where concealed carry has been forbidden, in the event of violations.  Offenders in those situations could be ticketed.

I was a bit surprised with the decision since I hadn’t expected to see any village buildings permitting concealed carry.

On one hand, it is not too difficult to see the position of an employee who has interactions with less-than-happy village residents over one or another issue.  I am sure there have been some heated incidents and remembering those, against the backdrop of wondering if that person is “carrying”, would cause some concern over this decision.

On the other hand, there is virtually no evidence that concealed carry results in anything approaching what was feared, and that comes from 48 states that have preceded Wisconsin down this path.  Those favoring concealed carry make the argument that the very fact no one knows if there is a person carrying makes everyone safer.  That seems to be borne out by the experience so far across the country.

If a person were to become so incensed as to walk into a facility with a gun and bent on killing someone, he or she probably would’ve done that in either environment.  I suspect the majority of those situations have a root cause of divorce or other mental duress and would happen in either environment.  If it were to occur in the presence of someone carrying, there might be an opportunity to drastically reduce the harm to others.

Open carry has been permissible in Wisconsin but has been enforced in different manners in different jurisdictions.  As was mentioned during the Board’s debate, there had been nothing to stop anyone from walking into a Village facility with a weapon before this if they had been incensed over some issue.

I don’t think the village has yet addressed its policies with regard to employee concealed carry, but I expect that it will be doing so in the near future given the November 1st date for concealed carry to become effective.

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