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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Conceal-carry is coming to Wisconsin

Young and old, male and female, they stormed Wisconsin woods for nine days.


600,000 of them on the hunt.


600,000. That’s about the population of the city of Milwaukee.

600,000, all carrying loaded guns.

According to the misinformed, disillusioned gun control crowd, this should have been a recipe for disaster, an invitation to massive human carnage. That many people with that many rifles in such proximity? The only people smiling should be the undertakers. People don’t kill people, we are lectured. Guns kill people. Never mind that some evil person has to actually pull the trigger. It’s those blasted guns, and there are just too damn many of them. We need to get rid of all those guns. The sheer number of available guns is the main reason we have so much crime. So we are told.

Using this extremely flawed logic, the annual Wisconsin deer hunting season had all the earmarks of a veritable bloodbath. 600,000 guns is a lot of guns. Bring out the body bags.

The problem for the liberal point of view that is so often incorrect is that the mass murders never transpired.

Incredibly, with all those guns concentrated in the woods, there were ZERO fatalities. ZERO.

Twelve hunters were injured. That’s 0.00002 % of all hunters.

Wisconsin hadn’t witnessed a ZERO fatality deer hunt since 1974.

The 2009 season had but one fatality.

How can this be? The north woods was supposed to be a war zone.

Shooting large holes in the gun control argument, 600,000 hunters exhibited the utmost in safety because:

1) They are licensed.

2) They are trained.

3) They take their gun ownership and use very seriously.

Wisconsin’s uneventful and virtually harmless deer hunting season demonstrates why the state should and will become the next to approve conceal-carry legislation, just like 48 other states. The deer, if you will, are all in a row: New legislative session beginning in January with a Republican governor, Republican state Senate, and Republican state Assembly. No more gubernatorial veto, no more gubernatorial veto upheld because a Democrat changed his vote.

Conceal-carry that would allow law-abiding citizens that have undergone training and background checks, much like deer hunters, to arm themselves for their protection and the protection of others is not the highest priority for state policymakers, nor should it be. Appropriately topping the list are jobs, economic recovery, balancing the budget, and tax and spending relief.

Fixing the $3 billion budget deficit can be done, but the arduous process takes time, right through the end of June 2011. The tsunami of Wisconsin voters that swept Democrats out of power will want some major bones tossed their way. Call it instant gratification, but they will want some action completed before next July. That means work on making it easier for the private sector to create jobs begins immediately.

Governor-elect Scott Walker says his legislative priorities include creating a Waste, Fraud and Abuse Commission that will find and eliminate waste in state government; balancing the budget; 
implementing a small-business tax cut; restructuring the Department of Commerce so the Secretary of Commerce dedicates more time to economic recovery; enacting tax breaks for those with health savings accounts; and curbing malpractice lawsuits against medical professionals.

That’s all important; however, Republicans in control should sense the “what have you done for me lately?” sentiment of voters. Enter photo ID. I predict Governor Walker will sign photo ID legislation into law soon after the 2011-12 legislative session begins. Editorial writers will cringe. The majority of voters will celebrate.

There eventually will be other major policy decisions including conceal-carry. As mentioned earlier, nothing can stop the measure from becoming law.

John Lott, author of “More Guns, Less Crime” has conducted the definitive research and study on this issue, analyzing crime and handgun
data for all 3,054 counties in the United States during 18 years from 1977 to 1994.

“Criminals are deterred by higher penalties. Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to defend him or herself. There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate—as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent,” says Lott. “When states passed these laws, the number of multiple-victim shootings declined by 84 percent. Deaths from these shootings plummeted on average by 90 percent, and injuries by 82 percent.”

Lott contends that adults and children both benefit from conceal-carry laws.

“After extensively studying the number of accidental shootings, there is no evidence that increasing the number of concealed handguns increases accidental shootings. We know that the type of person who obtains a permit is extremely law-abiding and possibly they are extremely careful in how they take care of their guns. The total number of accidental gun deaths each year is about 1,300 and each year such accidents take the lives of 200 children 14 years of age and under. However, these regrettable numbers of lives lost need to be put into some perspective with the other risks children face. Despite over 200 million guns owned by between 76 to 85 million people, the children killed is much smaller than the number lost through bicycle accidents, drowning, and fires. Children are 14.5 times more likely to die from car accidents than from accidents involving guns.”

The benefit to women is even greater. Lott says, “An additional woman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for women by about 3 to 4 times more than an additional man carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for men.”

Conceal-carry is not all that high on the Republican priority list. It may not even be in the top ten. But make no mistake, it is a priority. And it will be approved in the next legislative session. The question is simply when.

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