Point-counterpoint: Conceal and carry veto

Mike Papincak

There has been a discouraging trend in Governor Doyle’s career in the past few years. This trend would be to veto almost everything that the Republican-controlled State Assembly and Senate have passed regarding issues that are important to Wisconsinites.
The most recent piece of legislation to be passed by the Assembly and Senate and then vetoed by Doyle concerns the legality of carrying concealed weapons.
From my understanding, this was passed in December and was then vetoed by the governor. The Republicans decided that they must override this veto, which they did in the State Senate. However, when this went to the Assembly, two key Democrats, who first voted for the bill to make carrying and concealing legal, voted in support of the Democratic governor.
They, of course, said that no political pressure was in play, but how could you believe that, especially when the governor is of the same party? It came down to two key politicians from the same party and the party saw an opportunity to beat out the overpowering Republican strength in the state government and took it, even if they had to pressure two supportive politicians into it.
In their defense, both representatives, Terry Van Akkeren and John Steinbrink, said that concerns coming from their respective districts were the main reason why they changed their minds about the bill. They also both stated that they had some problems with certain amendments to the bill.
I am all for concealed weapons as long as there is a clear and concise process for giving permits and as long as the wrong people do not get these permits. I also support an amendment that states that businesses can decide for themselves whether or not people with concealed weapons are allowed to enter or not. But I do have to say, I do not think that having concealed weapons in malls and places that involve small children is a good idea. I also have to agree that places that serve alcohol will not mix well with this law either.
As long there are checks and balances in the bill that make this law safe, I am all for it. I feel that this bill will come up again and pass successfully without a veto, especially if we get a Republican governor in the election coming up in November, which I think we will.