February 1, 2006

No concealed carry in Wisconsin.

The Assembly fails to override Governor Doyle's veto. "Two Democrats who had voted for the bill when it originally passed changed their votes."

57 comments:

anonlawstudent said...

Temporary reprieve from legislative insanity.

Gahrie said...

I disagree. Some of the safest places to live nowdays have concealed carry laws, and the unsafest places to live have draconian gun control. It can never be said enough, when you outlaw guns, only outlaws have guns.

al said...

What a shame. I had hoped that Wisconsin would finally pull ahead of Illinois and allow the law-abiding the right to legally carry.

Bruce Hayden said...

Interesting. The previous two posters have summerized the two sides of the CCW debate rather nicely. Don't know what anyone can add to either.

Bruce Hayden said...

I should have said, the first two posters. (nothing against what al said third, of course).

Goesh said...

yeah, put a sign up on the front door that reads " Smoke free, firearm free environment" and see what happens. The folks that believe guns kill, not people, really need to show their true colors and display their convictions in this manner, especially those living in non-affluent areas. I have a shotgun gathering dust in my closet and I suspect that more than one lass from the Dells has a pistol in her purse - you know, for when rapists in those dark parking lots at night pounce and all the screaming in the world is not going to bring the police with their evil guns. The old adage better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 still rings true.

individ said...

To not allow law-abiding folk to carry a firearm in self-defense is a violation of basic human rights. If you look at the history of gun control, you will find that many of the 22,000 gun laws (those that limit freedom, anyway) were passed with racist intent (e.g., the current "May Issue" law still in effect in CA). If you want an example of "effective" gun control, see many of the major cities Like DC). And note that many with the most restrictive gun laws have the highest minority populations: Racism.

Slac said...

More like, at least two Democrats who had voted for the bill when it originally passed received phone calls from Democratic party leaders informing them to change their votes.

Sebastian said...

Interesting. I wonder what the two legislators were promised in return for switching their vote? It didn't seem like they were fence sitters.

It'll pass eventually though. Most other states have gone through this and in none of them have any doom and gloom predictions of blood running in the streets come true. I think in theory these laws could create a deterrent to crime, but my feeling is not enough people bother with legally carrying guns to really make much impact either way.

DaveG said...

Allow me to make a prediction: if/when concealed carry gets approved in Wisconsin, the requirements put in place for licensing will be burdensome and onerous.

Goesh said...

I think requirements for the CWP should be very strict with some hurdles to jump. I'm all for enforcing gun laws and closing loopholes for instant purchase of guns at flea markets. That is flat out irresponsible for anyone to be able to go to a flea market and buy a firearm. I urge women in particular, especially single women, and if they are comfortable with it, to get training in the use of a handgun by a qualified professional, purchase one and keep the darn thing on their nightstands beside their beds. Ain't it a shame vicious criminals have no respect for the Law and locks?

Abraham said...

I think in theory these laws could create a deterrent to crime, but my feeling is not enough people bother with legally carrying guns to really make much impact either way.

Even if the practical effect is minimal, it is the right thing to do, morally. To deprive a person of the ability to defend themselves is to turn a citizen into a subject.

elliot said...

Abraham,

I wish I had read your comment before I entered into this debate.

In one sentence you summerized everything I was trying to say.

David said...

The deterrent factor of CCW resides in the beauty of 'concealed!'

That effectively places the burden on the bad guy to consider whether the intended victim may be armed.

For those of you who may want to obtain a CCW legally, remember what we learned in the military;

"Don't go to war without a '4"-4 being the minimum calibre required to give the perp second thoughts upon visual confirmation.

The Peace, Love, Dove, 60's loving marijuana smokers are still alive and well in Wisconsin.

Elizabeth said...

Burdonsome and onerous requirements for a legal practice? Is this the abortion thread?

Elizabeth said...

goesh: "lass from the Dells" cracked me up. Your comment on gun shows reflects my own views. I support CWL, and own weapons, but I'm opposed to a complete lack of regulation.

EddieP said...

Here in Georgia our CC law works just fine. The lowest crime in the state is Kennesaw where the citizens voted that every household must have a weapon for self defense.

Our restrictions are as follows:

No guns to felons.
Must be fingerprinted as part of the application.
GBI conducts background check.
Cost $15.

Gaius Arbo said...

Regulation yes, outright banning, no. I live in a state that DOES allow CCW. In fact, I am getting a permit next week (you have to take a class).

States that have passed CCW laws do not see a sudden outbreak of blood running in the streets.

Danny said...

Being a UW-Madison student, I've been following this case closely and I am extremely disappointed by the outcome. I always tote my piece to lectures in Humanities and it's a direct infringement on my basic human rights that I can no longer defend myself in a room full of 350 freedom-hating Al-Qaida lovers.

Sebastian said...

Even if the practical effect is minimal, it is the right thing to do, morally. To deprive a person of the ability to defend themselves is to turn a citizen into a subject.

I agree with you on this. I have a license to carry a concealed weapon myself, and I generally support liberalization where there's no good justification for restrictions.

Dan from Madison said...

I find it interesting that Governor Jim Doyle, who is soooo against conceal carry was seen in and around the Outback Bowl in January when the Badgers played there. Doesn't he understand that Florida is a very unsafe place since they passed their conceal carry law? You would think that those who are so against conceal carry would stay away from the 46 states that have it.

anonlawstudent said...

I think that to allow the citizenry to use deadly force is to undermine the rule of law. One of the most fundamental principles of a society based upon laws, is that then there's a grievance, it is handled through the rule of law, not vigilante acts. There was a case a few weeks back where some schmuck in northern Wisconsin shot and killed a kid who was stealing his neighbor's car. Some other neighbor was quated as saying that we should be able to shoot people to protect our property; otherwise we might as well be inviting them into our homes to take our stuff. Honestly, I think if you see a thief, you should call the cops; that's the rule of law.

anonlawstudent said...

Additionally, I defy anyone to come up with good, solid empirical data that shows that concealed weapons carried by the public will reduce rates of violent crime. Much has been made of Wisconsin's status as the only state that forbids concealed weapons altogether; do we have a higher violent crime rate, when compared region by region, to similar states? Madison to St. Paul? Milwaukee to Cleveland? Prarie du Sac to Charlotte, VT.? I doubt it.

Gaius Arbo said...

anon,

Start here:

http://armsandthelaw.com/

Defying anyone is an interesting way to shift the burden - why don't you cite proof that armed citizens (as opposed to armed criminals) are making the streets run red with blood? I have been hearing (sorry, no citations) that crime rates are dropping in states with carry laws.

Regarding your mention of a case where someone shot a criminal stealing a car, that would be illegal in my state - unless the criminal tried to run the shooter down, but may or may not be legal where they were. I am not familiar with the law there or the case.

As for rule of law, I agree law is important, but the right to defend yourself is basic. You cannot rationally believe that it is the duty of a citizen to not defend himself if attacked.

Validation "etuumg" - what Caesar actually said.....

Ernst Blofeld said...

Of course, the concealed carry permit isn't a license to take the law into your own hands. It simply provides the ability to defend yourself from attack. Once the threat of attack goes away, so does your right to use the weapon, as in any case of self-defense.

John Lott did an extensive multiple-regression analysis of concealed carry laws and found a slight decrease in violent crime after states passed concealed carry laws.

anonlawstudent said...

"Defending oneself" is taking the law into one's own hands. Maybe it's justified.

John Lott's work has been heavily critisized. The book, for those who are interested, is "More Guns, Less Crime" published by the University of Chicago Press, (c) 1998, 2000.

I offered the challenge, rather than standing up to the plate myself, because I doubt there is unimpeachable empirical evidence either way. If there was, the debate would be over. Since there is not, I think we should strip away the fa├žade and have the real debate in more abstract terms. The statistics are tainted; let's talk about values.

I believe one is never justified in taking the life of another. Period. No exceptions. I do not buy into the theory that an individual forfeits (sp?) a right to life because of some conduct or another. Nor do I buy the premise that a life engaged in the unprovoked taking of another life is thereby devalued. Thus, I cannot condone the carry of weapons for use against people under any circumstance. Shoot all the deer and partriges you want. Keep your guns away from me and the rest of Gd's people.

Gaius Arbo said...

Well, we disagree then. I will not willingly allow someone to take my life - or the life of anyone else that I can defend - if I can stop it. I would willingly die trying to defend my family, but I would go down fighting. If I had to kill, I would. I would prefer it not come to that, but there it is. As an aside, I am fully trained in the use of firearms and legitimate use of deadly force - not a minimal course, either(long story, but I am).

So - we disagree. I do not believe the State can or should defend me in all situations. You obviously do. Good luck on that belief, I honestly respect that. I do not think it realistic for me, and I would rather you did not take away my rights based on your beliefs.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Anon,

Are you really saying that nobody has a right to defend themselves against a determined attacker if the only way to avoid your own death is to kill the assailant?

If an armed intruder breaks into my house with intent to kill me, you don't think I should have the right to live, but the assailant should?

anonlawstudent said...

Gaius Arbo-->

Thank you for your reasoned and respectful response.

What is a "right"? Is this a constitutional right to be armed? A human right to self-defense? Is that right abrogated in the pursuit of a greater good? If we all exercise the "right" to use deadly force, we seriously erode the rule of law.

Does the willingness to take life have a cost? I think it does. I'll avoid descending into a theological discussion; sufficed to say, I believe there are potent religious and spiritual arguments to nourishing moral integrity even at the expense of bodily security; even at the expense of one's own life.

anonlawstudent said...

Pastor_Jeff -->

I'll repeat my questions about rights, and add that a political or legal right is not the equivalent of a moral or just course of conduct. Perhaps I have the "right" to an abortion. Perhaps I might even choose that course of conduct. It may not be justifiable, however.

If there were too many "perhapses" and "maybes" there, it only belies my own insecurity in proclaiming any sort of moral certitutude. Still, it seems a viable perspective to me; no?

Gaius Arbo said...

anon,

I suspect - admittedly with no proof whatsoever - that you do not have children.

I can tell you that there is no possible scenario you can think of where I would not fight to my last breath to save any one of my children (or my wife). Even if that meant killing another.

Would I have to live with that for the rest of my life (and possibly longer than that) - yup. Doesn't change a thing for me at all. I'd do it, and I would not even think about it while it was happening.

I seriously hope you (or I) never have to face that.

Gahrie said...

anonlawstudent-

You asked: "What is a "right"? Is this a constitutional right to be armed?"

Yes. It is called the Second Amendment.

anonlawstudent said...

I confess you are right, no kids. So I lack significant experience in human relations to lay claim to knowing all of the conditions necessary to discuss the potential situations where deadly force might be justified.

I'd also like to think that the love I have for my family and closest friends is equally as deep as any parental love one might experience. So perhaps my expeience is not fatally flawed. Yet that say the parent-child relationship is different.

I'm going to say something that might come across as really offensive; I hope it doesn't. I certainly mean to imply no judgement or critisizm with the comment.

The impulse to "protect our offspring" strikes me as quite animal. That we'd differentiate the love from parent to child from the love between spouses or the love from child to parent even, seems like a holdover from our pre-cognizant past. I'd hope that with greater spiritual compexity we'd come to understand our relationships in a deeper manner. Perhaps my lack of experience as a parent does me a disservice in this realm.

anonlawstudent said...

gahrie-->

I was specifically asking what Gaius Arbo meant when he refereed to his "right."

As for the constitutional right to be armed, do not forget the first clause of the ammendment..."A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State..." Perhaps it is to be interpreted as a belief that the citizenry ought to be able to act as vigilante law enfocement. I don't read it that way.

Stipulated that the purpose of the second ammendment is to allow the citizenry to be armed regardless of the purpose, the authority of the constitution can and must be challenged when it creates or encourages conduct that is self-destructive, as I believe violence to be.

I still have material to read for Property tommorrow; this blogging crap is going to be the death of my grades this semester. Thanks Ann.

Ernst Blofeld said...

There's a fundamental human right to self-defense; see Locke's 2nd treatsie, and English common law. As a matter of the letter of the law every single state in the union recognizes a right to self-defense. The idea that it is "taking the law into one's hands" is goofy and contrary to the actual law. It isn't a matter of the victim punishing the transgressor; it's a matter of the victim defending his own life.

The critics of Lott say that the data actually shows no difference at all in the violent crime rates. If that's the best the critics can do, we should pass the concealed carry law on the priciple of maximizing liberty.

Gaius Arbo said...

anon,

Well, let's see how you feel after the first time you hold your child. It may change your outlook.

Regardless, Please get your studies prioritized. Law is a subject I'd personally not be happy in. Engineering is much easier - we have laws that are actual LAWS - not subject to interpretation or precedent.......

But I do believe I have the right to life (Locke's view, too) and an agressor does not have a right that trumps mine. I'd surely never let anyone hurt one of my family if there was anything I could do to stop it. I'm funny that way. It goes without saying I'd have to live with myself afterwards. I hope I never have to exercise that right, too.

Good luck with the studies.

Gahrie said...

When you examine the Second Amendment, you have to look at it in the context of two facts.

1) The nations of Europe had controlled their citizenry for centuries by outlawing the possession of weapons. Regulating and banning weapons was,(and is), seen as a way for the government to control the populace. An armed citizenry prevents the government or an elite from instituting tyranny.

2) The Founders oopsed a standing army. The language about a well regulated milita is in the amendment because the Founders anticpated that that would be the only defence the US had from foriegn attack. The Founders fully anticipated and expected that private citizens would own military grade weapons. (similar to modern day circumstances in Switzerland and Israel)

3) There is a reason that the right to bear arms is the Second Amendment. That is because without the right to bear arms, the First Amendment doesn't matter.

4) what other "self-destructive" clauses in the Constitution are you opposed to? Free speech? Freedom of religion? The veto?

Gahrie said...

That should be "opposed a standing army."

Sebastian said...

I don't have kids, nor am I married, but I have to strongly disagree with anonlawstudent. I don't besmirch your choice to refuse to do violence to defend your own life against those who threaten it; it's your choice as to whether to present your throat to the wolves for the slaughter, but please don't use the force of law to force that choice on everyone else.

There's a strong difference between vigalanteism and self-defense. To live in a peaceful and stable society we surrender the power to seek retriubtion on those who have wronged us to the state, but retain our right to defend our own lives and well being against those who wish us harm.

There's a big big difference between seeking your own retriubtion (taking the law into your own hands) and defending yourself against an attacker. One undermines the rule of law, and the other is operating within it.

Dan from Madison said...

Anon - I would be interested in knowing if you ever venture outside the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska - as those are the only four states that don't allow conceal carry at this time. If so, I suppose this argument (with you, anyways) is over. Why would you expose yourself to such potential violence if you really believed in your cause?

anonlawstudent said...

Dan-->

We're all "exposed to potential violence" all of the time everywhere we go. I've spent time in war-torn third world countries, and spent time in gang-occupied municipalities. I intend to do so again. All I'm saying is I won't respond in kind.

Sebastian-->

Does your distinction between "retribution" and "defense" apply also to property? How about governments? Just curoius.

Gahrie-->

Yep. Lot's of context is necessary to understand the 2d amendment. Our government will not threaten us with tyranny-by-arms; why bother, NewSpeak works better. We now do have a standing army; there's no way an armed citizenry will stand agains that army, or an invading army either. I think in large part the entire document is outdated. Time for a revision.

To assert that "the founders fully anticipated" a citezenry armed with military grade automatic weapons (should we carry nukes in our pockets too? landmines?) is to attribute a prescience to them that borders on the supernatural. They were smart guys and all, but do you really think they could anticipate weaponry more sophisticated than a muzzle-leaded musket?

Gaius Arbo-->

Don't be silly. Why would I want to study "laws" so dissosciated from human conduct? That would be dull. The reason that human law is so variable and flexible is that human conduct is so delightfully varied and divers. I study law because it is rife with ideas about who and what we are, how we can live together, what we think is important. It's tremendous fun.

As for John Locke, I'll take it on your word that he believed in self-defense. I just have a hard time seeing that there's anything that distinguishes my life from that os an agressor except, perhaps my unwillingness to take a life. If that is the only difference, I want to preserve it, and my integrity, by not responding in kind.

Dan from Madison said...

Anon, interesting non sequiturs. All I am saying is that if you really believe in your cause, I would expect you to stay away from places that allow conceal carry. And if you really do plan on spending time in "gang-occupied municipalities" all the more reason to be armed - because THEY ALL ARE. Really, you are only one mugging from being a conceal carry proponent.

al said...

Interesting that anon went from concealed carry of a handgun to defend ones self from bodily harm to pocket nukes... typical gun-grabber nonsense.

WRT the use of deadly force - since you don't have kids and have already decided that you won't defend yourself I hope that those words don't come back to haunt you someday esp since you claim to go to places that are potentially dangerous.

As for myself I avoid dangerous places. But if danger comes calling and places anyone in my care in harms way I'll respond with the same level of force. I just wish my wife would agree to moving to a hospitable state.

Sebastian said...

Does your distinction between "retribution" and "defense" apply also to property? How about governments? Just curoius.

I don't really understand what you're asking.

Gaius Arbo said...

anon,

Well, I certainly won't fault you for your beliefs - provided you don't try to make me conform to them.

I have tremendous respect for the Society of Friends and their uncompromising stand against war. Sadly, I also believe they can only continue to exist as long as someone else is willing to defend them. But, I digress.

As for me, I shall continue to believe that I have an absolute right to NOT surrender my right to life to another person.

anonlawstudent said...

1) I do not advocate taking away anyone's gun. I oppose allowing people to carry concealed weapons, and I oppose the legalisation of the use of deadly force. Your're welcome to own your guns, but if they take a human life, I think you're responsible.

2) I only mentioned "pocket nukes" in response to the argument that we need to be armed to protect ourselves from the government. Not in the context of the self-defense against muggers argument. Does anyone honestly believe we could use armed insurrection to protect ourselves from this government?

3) Why should my opposition to the use of violence prevent me from living or travelling to potentially dagerous places? Certainly I tend to shun back alleys and active war zones; but simply because one place is more dangerous than another has no bearing on my opposition to the use of force. The staunchest pacifists I know have gone to war torn countries to try to make peace; Peace workers all over the world are putting themselves in the line of fire, despite their opposition to the use of violence. Why is this contradictory?

4) Sebastian --> you differentiated between use of force as self-defense (as legitimate) and use of force for retribution (as userping the role of law enforcement). The former you claimed to be legitimate, the latter not. I simply wonder, in your perspective, whether we can defend property with force, but not seek retribution for property crimes. And the self-defense v. retribution distinction brought me around to the idea of preemptive force on the part of the goverment, vs. response to attacks. In this case I see the opposite argument being more persuasive, no? That for a goverment, use of force is only legitimate after provocation, not to preemptively strike. Maybe my reasoning is muddy here.

5) How does an armed citizenry protect the first amendment? Freedom of speech is protected by the courts, not the militias. When was the last time a journalist opened fire against the police to protect her job? We use due process to protect our rights.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Anon,

Thanks for your consistently polite responses. If I understand you correctly, you believe personally that there is no moral basis for the taking of human life, and that while we may have the right to self-defense we are not obligated to use it. Please correct me if wrong.

I would be interested to understand what has shaped your thinking in this area. What has led you to this belief?

Also, you wrote earlier:
"I do not buy into the theory that an individual forfeits (sp?) a right to life because of some conduct or another."

Wouldn't that also apply to the person minding his own business at home? By denying him the right of self-defense, you are in fact forcing him to forfeit his right to life.

While non-violence can be a moral choice for an individual, it's a suicide pact for communities and nations. People willing to commit violence will oppress, terrorize, and kill those unwilling to defend themselves. In seeking to maintain a moral principle, you have created outrageous injustice.

Were the Allies wrong to fight Nazism in WWII and end the Holocaust? Should every country have laid down arms and allowed Hitler to take over the world?

anonlawstudent said...

Pastor_Jeff-->

You've asked the toughest questions and I honestly don't have an answer for them.

I know this: that the use of violence perpetuates more violence.

I know that I am in no moral position to judge whether my life, the life of my (hypothetical) children or other (real) loved ones, or the life of my nation are of greater value than another. I simply can't make that judgement.

I will renege a bit, and confess that I can see no way to avoid situations where that judgement must be made and acted upon. In those cases, perhaps violence must be used. But each and every time we resort to violence, it is because we failed to find a better way; and each and every time we resort to violence we legitimise and promote violence; by doing so we devalue human life and we stain our own integrity.

Would Dr. King have shot back at his assailant? Would Ghandi take up arms to evict the oppressor? Would Jesus?

Sebastian said...

you differentiated between use of force as self-defense (as legitimate) and use of force for retribution (as userping the role of law enforcement)....

I don't believe in using deadly force to protect property. If someone steals my car, that's a matter for the police and the court system. The 'retribution' in that case, carried out by the state, would involve a couple of months/years in prison.

Deadly force is something that should only be used for the preservation of life and limb.

Preemptive action by a government to protect itself is a different story, since there's no rule of law, or anyone to enforce it among nations. No one was going to go arrest Saddam Hussein for invading his neighbors and generally being belligerent over the next 12 years.

How does an armed citizenry protect the first amendment? Freedom of speech is protected by the courts, not the militias...

The courts only have power because the people with the guns (the police, military, prison guards, etc) enforce their decrees and protect their power. An armed citizenry doesn't come into play until a break down of the normal system that's in place to protect these things.

Sebastian said...

Would Dr. King have shot back at his assailant? Would Ghandi take up arms to evict the oppressor? Would Jesus?

In both these cases non-violence worked, and was the right thing to do, because they were protesting in or against a society that valued human life, rule of law, and could be shamed into changing.

If Ghandi tried the same thing in Iran, they'd just hang him, and anyone else who followed him. Non-violence only works against an opponent who values your life more than power.

anonlawstudent said...

Re: sources;

I'd rather avoid discussing my history, but some sources include:

"Faith and Practice of the Society of Friends" particularly the New England Yearly Meeting, and other Quaker thought.

"Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity" by Abraham Joshua Heschel

Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason"

Maimonides' "Guide for the Perplexed"

Various aspect of the Zohar

The myths of the Baal Shem Tov (see, perhaps Elie Wiesel's "Sould on Fire")

"I and Thou" by Martin Buber.

Now anyone who knows me will know who I am.

Dan from Madison said...

I think the better question is "would I shoot back at an assailant" - and if the answer is no, you die. If the answer is yes, you possibly live. I like the odds of the latter better than the former.

Gaius Arbo said...

Sebastian makes a point that I have also heard elsewhere (and personally agree with). Non-violence only works in a society that respects the fundamental right to life. It sometimes takes time to work properly - for example during the struggle for civil rights in theis country - but it does work.

However, in a culture that does not recognize the individual's right to life, non-violence does not work.

Does violence automatically beget more violence? I don't know for certain that that logic applies. Sometimes violence is a terrible choice, but may also be the only proper response. Judicious use of violence may very well head off worse violence. The example would be what if the Allies had not stopped the Nazis? How many more would have died? I don't know, but I suspect the number would dwarf what actually did happen.

I see I may have hit pretty close to the mark mentioning the Friends. You have every right to continue to stand by your beliefs.

By the way, nice, reasoned responses make for a good discussion. Thanks for that.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Anon,

Thanks again for your polite and well-considered reponses. I appreciate the honest interaction and the humility with which you are approaching these profound issues.

My Christian faith tells me that one day Jesus will return to destroy evil, sin and death. In the meantime, we live with the tension of the Kingdom of God having already come in part, but not in full.

Jesus refused to retaliate and called us to pray for those who persecute us. But he (and his disciples) also recognized the authority and legitimacy of the state wielding the sword as a terror to evildoers.

The end of history will not be inaugurated by the gentle coming of Jesus' reign of peace, but by the bloody and violent destruction of evil and evildoers. Jesus is gentle and humble, but also a warrior who will shatter his enemies with a rod of iron - precisely because he hates the evil, oppression and injustice inflicted on those he loves.

That doesn't mean we engage in vigilante justice. But it does inform how we see God and what it means to reflect the character of Christ. God reserves the right to take life; but he also expresses that divine prerogative through worldly authorities.

Anon, what I truly appeciate in your comments is the implicit recognition that if we've erred in one direction, it's been towards the cheapening of human life. That should give us all pause.

These are indeed serious questions deserving mature reflection. Thank you again for a great discussion.

anonlawstudent said...

I'll write one last comment, and I'll be sure to read what everyone else has to say in respone:

Gaius Arbo -->

1) "Culture that respects life." I am wary of discussing the values or qualities of a "culture." Humans are always multi-faceted and complex. There is no such thing as a culture where the majority of the people do not respect life. All cultures honor family, friends. Undoubtedly one might point to suicide bombers as symptomatic of a "culture that does not value life." Without drawing any moral parallels, I could point to the death penalty, abortion, and the second amendment as evidence of a culture that doesn't value life. Not the same at all; still, indicative of a willingness to sacrifice lives for something more important.

2) I believe that the stand I am taking against violence -- placing the utmost value on my own moral integrity by acknowleging that I have not the authority to take a human life -- can hlp to transform the culture, community, society I am in. I am actively participating in that transformation. If there was such a thing as a culture that did not value life, I would seek to change it by demonstrating the highest regard for life.

3) What about WWII? Tough question. I can't really answer it properly. History did not end in 1945. We continue to have tremendous violence in this world. Korea, Vietnam, Uganda, Kosovo, Los Angeles, London, Sri Lanka. the list is endless. Perhaps, if at some point in history, someone said "I'm not going to do this; I will not take up arms against my brother" some of this suffering could have been averted. If we keep fighting, we will continue to fight.

Note: I'm not a member of the Society of Friends, but they have tought me a great deal. Truly some of the most compassionate, thoughtful, and honorable people I have ever met. I have nothing but praise for the Quakers.

Pastor_Jeff -->

I can't engage you in that conversation. I've found tremendous learning from Christian mysticism and theology; but the eschatology I cannot come to grips with.

Perhaps the world is destined for a violent end. It's not for me to say, I suppose. Stipulating that that is the case, and stipulating that that is a divinity I could worship, I still don't think I could elect to emulate that behavior. But really this is too far astray; I would need to be someone else -- someone I once thought I could be -- to engage in this conversation.

Thanks all.

Gaius Arbo said...

Well, anon, this has been one of the better comment sessions I have been involved in, thanks for the conversation.

Hubert said...

Wisconsin is one of only two remaining states that have NO opportunity for concealed carry. Our constitution DOES give us the right to bear arms for security and defense, but we have a statute that expressly forbids concealed carry. We have some Supreme Court judges up for election in April, which might change the view on the court, but as it stands now, the court will not declare the "NO CARRY" law unconstitutional. Further, we have a VERY liberal Governor who will NEVER sign a concealed carry bill. He is an EXTREME anti gun Democrat. In the fall election, the balance of power shifted in one of our state houses to Democrat control, so there will be NO concealed carry in Wisconsin any time soon (4 years at least).

The court has ruled two or three times now URGING the legislature to take action to rectify the discrepancy between the statute and the constitution. It is obvious to everyone in the state that the legislature cannot take any action because of the governor. So as more of these cases come before the court hopefully the court will rule that ten (10) years has been enough time for the legislature to act and that the court now needs to act and declare the current NO CARRY statute unconstitutional.