Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

“The NRA’s Vision for America is Anarchy.”

Chief Flynn say legislature’s “insane” concealed carry law causes crime and threatens police safety.

By - Dec 8th, 2015 11:15 am
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Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

Not long after Ed Flynn took over as Milwaukee Police Chief in 2008, he began pushing Democratic politicians like Gov. Jim Doyle to pass a concealed carry law. By then Wisconsin was one of just two states without such a law, and Flynn predicted it would inevitably pass here. “I said you better pass a law soon, because otherwise you’ll get a law passed with anything the NRA (National Rifle Association) wants,” Flynn recalls.

Both Flynn and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm urged the Democratic-controlled legislature to pass a law, but with common sense restrictions, as they saw it. The Democrats declined, and once Republicans took over the legislature, they wasted little time passing a sweeping concealed carry law in June 2011 and submitting it to Gov. Scott Walker.

Flynn does not oppose concealed carry for law abiding citizens. “I’m in favor of it. There are neighborhoods in this town where people should be able to carry a gun lawfully,” he says. But he adamantly opposes a law without some restrictions and pleaded with Walker to be the “adult” and use his power to make sure the law’s language gets amended. Walker declined.

The result is a huge increase in guns and violent crime in Milwaukee, Flynn contends, and a situation where police safety is in jeopardy. Under the current law, he says, “we are doing everything we can to make sure our criminals have unfettered access to high-quality firearms and get to carry them in record numbers. There are more guns out there every year.”

Flynn notes several problems with the law that could have been avoided if it had been more judiciously crafted.

First, the statute only prohibits convicted felons from carrying guns. “There are a lot of bad people out there who don’t get a felony conviction,” he notes. Indeed, state law has a “habitual offender” statute — in essence defining a “career criminal,” Flynn says — whose definition includes someone with three or more misdemeanor convictions. Yet they are allowed a CCW (carrying a concealed weapon) permit.

The reason for the three misdemeanors rule is many felonies are downgraded during plea bargaining, and so, for instance, aggravated assault may become a simple assault. “There are 15,000 felony arrests a year,” Flynn notes. “Guess what? There’s not going to be 15,000 trials.” The cost would be astronomical and the legislature would never pay for this.

There are also those with just one or two misdemeanors such as “endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon” or “pointing or aiming a gun” that Flynn also believes should not be allowed a CCW permit.

Second, when criminals are nabbed for carrying a gun Illegally, he notes, it’s a misdemeanor, “no matter how many times you are arrested for this.” So why should any gang member stop carrying a gun illegally?

Third, the law bars the police from learning anything about concealed carry’s impact. “The law prohibits the police from sorting, accessing, analyzing or publishing any data regarding their experience with concealed carry,” Flynn notes. At a time when all these best police departments in America are data-driven, why tie their hands this way?

Fourth, the new law has put police at a disadvantage in dealing with criminals. “For years we’ve taught police officers the visual clues and behaviors that make it likely this person is armed.” That could lead to police nabbing a criminal before a crime is committed.

But under the CCW law, “the new language says when the police see someone carrying a gun we are to assume they are carrying legally, even in a high-crime neighborhood where there are hundreds of crimes that happen,” Flynn notes.

It’s still possible to preemptively nab a criminal carrying a gun but its now harder, both Flynn and Chisholm say. Chisholm notes that there had once been a joint effort by the police, DA, state Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney to target those illegally carrying guns. Much of that effort has melted away, he says.

Then add other, long-standing loopholes regarding guns. Those who purchase guns legally can sell them on the street to criminals, because no background checks are required for secondary sales. And friends or relatives of criminals can simply make straw purchases of guns for them, and if the police trace the gun to the straw purchasers they can simply claim they lost the gun or it was stolen. “And there’s no legal requirement to report a lost or stolen gun,” Flynn notes.

The police were able to prevent a likely shootout on the near North Side where one criminal was armed with several guns and tons of ammunition supplied by his brother, who had a CCW permit. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Department.

Police were able to prevent a likely shootout on the near North Side where one criminal was armed with guns and ammunition supplied by his brother, who had a CCW permit. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Police Department.

In a recent example, the police were able to prevent a likely shootout on the near North Side where one criminal was armed with several guns and tons of ammunition supplied by his brother, who had a CCW permit. (See photo taken by police.)

The result in Milwaukee, says Flynn: “there’s a robust industry of buying guns legally and selling them on the street.” The number of guns recovered by Milwaukee police has risen every year since CCW was passed, rising from 1,972 in 2011 to 2,329 in 2012. “And so far this year we’ve already seized more than 2,400 guns,” Flynn notes. That’s an increase of at least 22 percent.

Flynn says the result is more fatal and non-fatal shootings. “81 percent of our homicides are committed with firearms. And 40 percent of all homicides are the result of fights and disputes and retaliation between criminals.”

And this category of homicide has risen significantly in recent years. “How do we stop criminals from shooting each other over mean mugging and Facebook fights?” Flynn asks.

Finally, he notes, the restrictions on how cops can handle those suspected of carrying guns has put them at risk: “For all the talk about officer safety, this legislation has made the city unsafe for my officers.”

The issue of any restrictions on guns is often presented as a battle between gun owners and those who don’t own them. In fact, polls show that “85 percent of gun owners favor universal background checks,” as the Washington Post reported. “Gun owners also strongly support a federal database of gun sales, prohibiting ownership for those convicted of domestic violence and barring people with mental illness from buying guns.”

Nearly 1 in 3 Americans own a gun. But only a tiny portion of those people — 5 million — belong to the NRA. In Wisconsin polls in past years show respondents opposed concealed carry by a 60 percent to 32 percent margin. It seems quite likely many gun owners would have favored some restrictions, all the more so if they were proposed by law enforcement officials.

Flynn recalls pleading with one legislator to amend the law to include some restrictions. “He said he was open to the idea but was held hostage by the NRA. He told me to call the NRA lobbyist and if they said it was okay the legislator would vote for it.”

“The law was dictated by the NRA,” Flynn charges. “The NRA’s vision for America is anarchy. We are supposed to believe the founding fathers wanted to arm our pirates, the highwaymen and anyone else who wanted to tear down democratic institutions. It’s insane.”

Supporters of concealed carry, it’s worth noting, claim it reduces crime, but there is no credible evidence for this, as Data Wonk colunnist Bruce Thompson has reported. Even as they have made such claims, the NRA-led lobby has made sure no research can be done on the impact of guns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not sponsored research on guns since 1997, due to threats from Congress to cut off funding, in response to NRA lobbying. And Wisconsin’s concealed carry law, similarly, allows no research to be conducted.

Thus the police in Milwaukee or any urban area in Wisconsin, where most crime occurs, cannot keep track of crimes committed by those with CCW permits, or crimes stopped by law abiding citizens with permits. Neither claim can be tested by research. No learning is allowed.

Flynn’s complaints, in far briefer form, were reported by the Washington Post. Flynn called the concealed carry law “ludicrously weak” and in response, Walker’s ever-busy spokesperson Laurel Patrick noted that Walker is concerned about gun violence and provided funding for the shot-spotter program that traces the location of gun shots. As for any problems with the concealed carry law, Patrick noted, Walker will not apologize for being a strong supporter of gun rights.

77 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: “The NRA’s Vision for America is Anarchy.””

  1. Vincent Hanna says:

    Why would legislators listen to the police chief of the state’s largest city when it comes to guns and crime? After all, while they are not scientists when the issue is climate change, they are all criminologists and law enforcement experts when the subject is concealed carry and crime.

  2. AG says:

    If we enforced the laws on the books the way they are written now, then we would avoid a lot of his issues. We need to prosecute more criminals for the felonies they are committing. When they only get a misdemeanor slap on the wrist there is no incentive to change their behavior.

    That, combined with the no chase policy, have given many criminals (especially youth) a feeling that nothing serious will happen to them. Time for Flynn to take some responsibility for this horrible increase in crime.

  3. Vincent Hanna says:

    Your NRA-sponsored talking point does nothing to address the real problems with the state’s concealed carry law that Flynn details. It seems that he knows a whole lot more about the problems than you do.

  4. Casey says:

    AG- the laws on the books might be great but the thing with our justice system is that the burden of proof is so high. Instead of prosecuting the DA’s office many times will lessen the charge or drop all together.

    I’ve reviewed so many cases were the subject has been arrested again and again on serious charges only for them to either be dropped or only read into a lesser count.

  5. Tim says:

    AG, why don’t you post your data that backs up your story?

  6. Vincent Hanna says:

    Not to mention Flynn is a concealed carry supporter. He isn’t some gun control advocate looking to take people’s guns away. He seems like a pretty sensible guy. Clearly our state’s cc law is flawed.

  7. Sam says:

    @AG If we follow your line of thinking to it’s logical conclusion, then you should be advocating for massive increases in state dollars for local DA offices to prosecute these crimes to the fullest extent and massive increases in state dollars to lock these criminals up. Not to mention the increased costs/time to the courts to hear these cases.

    Do you know much that would cost to fully fund the justice system for your plan? Please enlighten me to the specifics of your new and fresh idea! Bob Donovan 2016!

  8. Casey says:

    @Sam “Not to mention the increased costs/time to the courts to hear these cases”

    How about the increase cost from criminals causing havoc and tearing loved ones from their families? Lost wages? Creating more single parent homes because a parent was murdered? How about the cost in lost tax revenue from decreasing home values, sales tax and income tax?
    Maybe pull most of the troops from foreign soil? Use those funds to tackle criminal and social issues domestically?

  9. Casey says:

    Society’s cost:
    But yeah….let’s keep saying that it’s too expensive to enforce laws to keep criminals off the streets. We’re not talking about broken taillights here.

  10. Vincent Hanna says:

    Didn’t the state provide funding for two attorneys who will work in the DA’s office and focus only on gun crimes? Is that happening yet?

  11. AG says:

    @Vincent Hanna, I don’t disagree with some of his positions on the concealed carry law. The main objection I have is his blaming the rise in crime on ccw laws.

    @Tim, why don’t I just link this article back to you then? Since it agrees with what I said regarding felonies being pled down to lesser charges.

    @Sam, yes I believe we should increase funding for the DA’s office and corrections. Ultimately by doing that and getting criminals off the street, in addition to improving education and job opportunities in the inner city, we may see the tide turn for crime in Milwaukee. I doubt anyone would want to read through a comprehensive plan for each of those items on a comment board. My thinking is in line with Casey though… how many lives does it take to equal the tax dollars we’d have to spend to lock the criminals up?

  12. jfoust says:

    The most interesting proposal I’ve read recently? Put NRA rules into law.

  13. Penrod says:

    “there’s a robust industry of buying guns legally and selling them on the street.”

    If these industrious people are buying guns in order to sell them on the street, they are committing the twin felonies of straw buying and dealing guns without a license. Therefore they are NOT buying guns legally: Felony does not equal Legal.

    “Flynn charges. “The NRA’s vision for America is anarchy. We are supposed to believe the founding fathers wanted to arm our pirates, the highwaymen and anyone else who wanted to tear down democratic institutions.””

    By these multiple lies Chief Flynn has removed himself from the realm of reasoned discourse. He is yet another dishonest Democrat politician pure and simple.

    ” the NRA-led lobby has made sure no research can be done on the impact of guns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not sponsored research on guns since 1997″

    Do you know why that is? Do you care? Of course not.

    The feds were conducting and/or sponsoring junk science ‘research’ which had a pre-determined outcome in favor of gun control. Congress banned funding dishonest politicking at taxpayers’ expense. There is no ban on privately funded research: the gun banners are demanding their propaganda be funded by the taxpayers.

    “one criminal was armed with several guns and tons of ammunition supplied by his brother, who had a CCW permit.” That isn’t a loophole: That is already a felony. It is a felony to knowingly provide a gun to a prohibited person. If the criminal needed to get a gun from his brother, he hadn’t been busted for a misdemeanor: he was a felon. So the felon was committing yet another felony by illegally possessing a gun and ammunition, and the brother committed a felony by providing him with guns, and also for providing him with ammunition.

    Repeat: this anecdote is not about loopholes, it is about two people committing multiple felonies.

    I notice that no gun rights officials were quoted in this one-sided article. Any reason for that?

  14. Vincent Hanna says:

    As best I can tell Flynn is saying that the weak concealed carry law in WI is playing a role in the rise in crime. He is not suggesting that it is the one and only reason for the rise. He doesn’t shy away from calling out criminal behavior in Milwaukee. He seems frustrated by all the guns in the city and how easily accessible they are, how easy it is for criminals to attain an arsenal, as he should be. You don’t have to be a radical supporting gun confiscation to believe that it is way too easy for people to get guns & ammo. As Colbert said on his show last night, it’s harder for him to get cold medicine than it is for him to acquire an arsenal of guns & ammo.

  15. David Blaska says:

    Chisholm has got to stop plea bargaining felonies down to misdemeanors. And yes, Democrats could have enacted the concealed carry law they wanted. But they did not want law-abiding citizens to carry guns. Witness the legislation proposed by Reps. Subeck, Taylor, Berceau and Sargent, all D-Madison, that would have retroactively banned semi-automatic weapons, which is most hunting long-arms and most handguns.

  16. Vincent Hanna says:

    Penrod where is your evidence proving that it was “junk science?”

  17. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Flynn, Murphy and all the other white, male, liberals that run Milwaukee are trying to make us believe that by arming the legal citiizens of this state that commit hardly any crimes ever that the problems are worse. I have not seen one article, in Wisconsin ,that concealed carry citizens of which I am one, also frequent victim of crime, have murdered or robbed people.
    If you take away the inner cites that Flynn,Chisholm,Barrett/Kremers have laid out as soft on crime areas you will find that the most guns per person in state, the red counties have little crime and few murders.
    As gun ownership has grown, over 100 million guns sold since Obama has taken office, crime in the read areas has decreased. The problem areas are all run by People like Barrett/Flynn types. incompetent Lefties who can only whine, blame their little sisters for their failures.

  18. Bruce Thompson says:

    Here is a list of states with their murder rates over the past couple of decades:
    Although the correlation is not perfect, the high murder rate states are heavily skewed towards “red” while the low rate states are heavily “blue.”
    Rates in most states have gone down over the period. One that did not is Missouri which is now 3rd highest. A Johns Hopkins study concluded this was due to repeal of a law requiring all gun purchases to be registered.
    Trying to tease out cause and effect is tricky. I think the differences are partly due to gun laws and partly to culture. And also luck: as Illinois has learned it doesn’t help to be wedged between states with lax gun laws (like Indiana and, to a lessor extent, Wisconsin) where purchases are largely unregulated.

  19. Bill Kurtz says:

    Re Flynn’s comment that a legislator told him to get the NRA lobbyist’s permission to vote for restrictions. I understand that one Republican legislator considered backing legislation that Flynn has called for, the one that would bar habitual offenders (3 or more misdemeanors) from carrying legally), and consulted a pro-gun advocate. The gun advocate responded that such a law would keep somebody up north who had had youthful scrapes from going hunting with his buddies. “Besides,” the gun advocate added, “this was only needed for about three zip codes in Milwaukee.” The legislator backed off.

  20. tim haering says:

    FLynn should advise how he’d construct concealed carry instead of fecklessly flailing it. Let’s give concealed carry a try. It may be the worst form of security … it may be Churchill’s Democracy … but we won’t know unless we’ve tried it. Anarchy reminds me of slogan I saw painted on a bike path our here — “Anarchist of the world unite!” “Inconthievable!” Vizzini shouts. LOL

  21. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Flynn cannot protect us, Clarke is right. WE must take care of ourselves and family. Barrett/Flynn/Chisholm/Kremers the unholy gang of white, male, liberal, racists that run Milwaukee just has excuses from their incompetent leadership.
    Funny they are not blaming their little sisters.

  22. Vincent Hanna says:

    Doesn’t Flynn do exactly that tim? He says he supports concealed carry but wants changes to it, and then describes what changes he wants (and how he tried and failed to get them before the law passed).

  23. Kairy Ibrahim says:

    I agree with Flynn, but I decry the way Bruce Murphy used his comments. First, Flynn did not describe the Wisconsin CC laws as insane; he was referring to the ability of felons to obtain permits when their felonies are bargained down to misdemeanors. Second, it is disingenuous to place Flynn’s remarks under the title The NRA’s Vision …

  24. Bill Sweeney says:

    “The issue of any restrictions on guns is often presented as a battle between gun owners and those who don’t own them. In fact, polls show that “85 percent of gun owners favor universal background checks,” as the Washington Post reported. “Gun owners also strongly support a federal database of gun sales, prohibiting ownership for those convicted of domestic violence and barring people with mental illness from buying guns.””

    In light of this, I have often wondered why there is not an organization of gun owners who believe in the right to own guns AND that there should be common sense guidelines both to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them, and to train people on the responsibilities of gun ownership.

    Also there seems to be a naive attitude among gun advocates that he or she would know exactly how to react in a dangerous situation with their guns. It seems to me that in a number of police shootings, the officer, who has been given a lot of training on the use of firearms, simply panics when he finds himself in what he perceives to be a threatening situation. There are also many stories of highly trained soldiers in battle who have killed or injured innocent civilians, or worse, their brothers in arms, in response to the stress of the moment. It may be just as likely that having a gun in a situation could result in an unforeseen and unfortunate occurrence as it could in a positive result.

    This is not to mention all of the accidental deaths that happen to children and adults because of irresponsible gun ownership. Most gun deaths are suicides. I believe I am correct in saying that there is now the technology to make guns that will only fire if it is in the hand of the owner. Why not explore some of these things?

    The point about anarchy is that the NRA prevents legislators and other citizens from even having reasonable discussions about the role of guns in our society. Fear seems to be the prevailing factor, fear that citizens have of unspecified danger which they feel can be alleviated by owning a gun, and fear among politicians to do or try anything that may bring on the wrath of the NRA.

  25. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    There are guidelines, trouble is that felons pay no attention to them and the DA does not prosecute paper gun crimes. They plead out the gun crime part asap. Define mental illness? Who falls in that category. Domesitc abuse, they are barred from guns by restraining orders.
    Sweeney, most of your article is worthless, unbacked up anecdotes.
    We have documented 2 million uses of guns in self defense per year. If you take out NO, DC, LA, Chicago, all run by Leftists, from your deaths you will find out that we area actually quite low, and declining in the world as people arm themselves to defend themselves per David Clarke..
    I have spent lots of time in S Africa where guns are strictly regulated, yet they had 45,000 murders, by guns, last year and 10 times that number of shootings. Same with many countries.
    Violence is higher in UK and many other countries with strict gun bans. Low ins some countries like Swiss where everyone owns guns.
    FBI documents all of this.
    How do you plan to get 300 million guns back?? In NY, they demanded registration of semi auto assault weapons and only 5% of people did that.
    Actually so called assault rifles account for very few crimes, it is always semi auto pistols.
    I propose that we have national Concealed carry laws enabling anyone to get license that qualifies to carry everywhere, increasing the number of people with guns.
    Schools have selfdefense classes, women should be taught to shoot so they can defend themselves against men and thugs of all color.
    Tax credit for buying guns to defend yourself.
    Finally listen to David Clarke and laugh at the white, male, liberal racists that run Milwaukee, and their endless excuses for their failures as one of the worst run municpalities in world.

  26. Vincent Hanna says:

    Hi WCD. For you.

    1. “No other developed country in the world has anywhere near the same rate of gun violence as America.”

    2. “The research on this is overwhelmingly clear. No matter how you look at the data, more guns means more gun deaths.”

    The solution is not more guns WCD. We already have 300 million of them in this country. Where has that gotten us? See numbers 1 and 2.

  27. old baldy says:


    Your claim that “semi-automatic weapons, which is most hunting long-arms and most handguns”, is lacking the truthiness test. Provide some proof or retract.

  28. Penrod says:

    Vincent Hannah: “No matter how you look at the data, more guns means more gun deaths.”

    This isn’t merely untrue, it is obviously and overwhelmingly untrue. Since 1993 the gun homicide rate has dropped 49%, while the number of guns in the US has gone up dramatically.

    With all the additional guns, the gun homicide rate is at a 50 year low.

    Don’t trust me: Look it up yourself.

  29. Vincent Hanna says:

    @Penrod. Try reading the Vox piece. The more guns a state has, the more gun deaths it has. The more guns a nation has, the more gun deaths it has. See how that works?

    Also, “Another argument you sometimes hear is that these shootings would happen less frequently if even more people had guns, thus enabling them to defend themselves from the shooting.

    But, again, the data shows this is simply not true. High gun ownership rates do not reduce gun deaths, but rather tend to coincide with increases in gun deaths.”

  30. AG says:

    Old Baldy, it seems you have no clue what semi-automatic means. Almost all handguns are semi-automatic and over half of hunting rifles are semi-automatic.

  31. Penrod says:

    Vincent Hannah: “But, again, the data shows this is simply not true. High gun ownership rates do not reduce gun deaths, but rather tend to coincide with increases in gun deaths.”

    Then why has the gun homicide rate collapsed by half as we added 100,000,000 guns to the private stock?

  32. Vincent Hanna says:

    From that story:

    A recent, highly sophisticated study found that once you control for general crime rates and other confounding factors like poverty, “each 1 percentage point increase in proportion of household gun ownership” translated to a 0.9 percent increase in homicides. A meta-analysis — study of studies — found a strong consensus among researchers that access to guns correlated with higher homicide rates in the United States.

  33. AG says:

    Vincent, when I have more time I’ll dive into those studies that vos cites, but when I did my own regression analysis based on state(and DC) gun ownership rate and gun homicides I found little correlation. This is using census bureau data from 2010.

    Multiple R 0.328118736
    R Square 0.107661905
    Adjusted R Square 0.089450923
    Standard Error 0.134175482
    Observations 51

  34. Vincent Hanna says:

    @AG there is a lot of research that finds a lot of correlation between gun ownership and gun homicides.

    @Penrod, “After peaking in 1993, gun homicides in the United States dropped 36 percent by 1998, while non-gun homicides declined only 18 percent. In that same period, the fraction of households with at least one gun fell from more than 42 percent to less than 35 percent. Duggan finds that about one-third of the gun-homicide decline since 1993 is explained by the fall in gun ownership. The largest declines occur in areas with the largest reductions in firearm ownership.”

  35. Tim says:

    “Then why has the gun homicide rate collapsed by half as we added 100,000,000 guns to the private stock?”

    Captain Obvious would say that healthcare is much better today than 10 years ago, let alone 50 years ago.

  36. Vincent Hanna says:

    The gun homicide rate has probably declined because there has been a drop in household gun ownership.

  37. Jane says:

    This is for anyone who mentions gun violence and mental illness in the same breath:

    “Fewer than 5 percent of the 120,000 gun-related killings in the United States between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness.”
    “The mentally ill are 60 to 120 percent more likely than the average person to be the victims of violent crime rather than the perpetrators.”
    “Even the overwhelming majority of psychiatric patients who fit the profile of recent U.S. mass shooters – gun-owning, angry, paranoid white men – do not commit crimes.”
    “People are far more likely to be shot by relatives, friends, enemies or acquaintances than they are by lone violent psychopaths.”

    “Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. — 43.8 million, or 18.5% — experiences mental illness in a given year.”

    There is no causal link between mental illness and gun violence. The U.S. needs to do a better job of identifying and treating mental illness, but that improvement will have no effect on gun violence.

    The people we need to fear are the 81.5% of American adults who are not mentally ill. They commit 95% of gun violence.

  38. AG says:

    Vincent, good links. While my basic regression analysis shows no correlation, when you take other factors out such as poverty and whatnot there does seem to be a correlation.

    However, correlation does not equal causation. In one study you cite, *actually an update to it) “The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Stranger and Nonstranger Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981-2010″ they show that more guns only show a positive correlation in non-stranger homicides. But then again, you already pointed out that 4 out of 5 homicides are perpetrated by someone the victim knows.

    More importantly though, they go on to discuss how their study is more of a cross section and does not compare same states over time. Thus, the reason for the findings could be from such things as reverse causation. Essentially they say in this case it could be that, since in a given area people see more crime/homicides, they decide to purchase a gun.

    Interesting stuff… wish I had more time to delve into it. Another time perhaps.

  39. AG says:

    Interesting meta study. “The Impact of Gun Ownership Rates on Crime Rates: A Methodological Review of the Evidence” Kleck, GaryView Profile. Journal of Criminal Justice43.1 (Jan-Feb 2015): 40.

    They looked at various gun ownership/homicide rate studies. “Each study was assessed as to whether it solved or reduced each of three critical methodological problems: (1) whether a validated measure of gun prevalence was used, (2) whether the authors controlled for more than a handful of possible confounding variables, and (3) whether the researchers used suitable causal order procedures to deal with the possibility of crime rates affecting gun rates, instead of the reverse.”

    They found that studies that support the hypothesis of higher gun ownership causing higher gun violence did not solve for these issues and studies that did solve these issues did not support the hypothesis.

    They flat out said “Technically weak research mostly supports the hypothesis, while strong research does not.”

    Hmmmmm…. another interesting twist.

  40. Frank Blank says:

    AG – Lol, your regression analysis. You can’t even understand the article. It tells you about the inadequacy of the laws as they exist and it tells you why the prosecutorial system renders them even less adequate, yet you come out with the right wing canard ‘enforce the laws that exist.’ I suppose that you, being a deep thinking right-wing derp, are going to persuade the republican legislature to raise taxes to fund a city court system capable doing all that enforcing.

    -Penrod – One obvious factor in the decline on gun murders is that fewer people have guns. (Which is partially why the huge majority of Americans (and I mean huge beyond Chumpian proportions) favors stricter gun control. And the traditional reason is that gun violence rises and falls with the proportion of males 16-25 in society. That proportion is smaller than it was back in the shoot-em-up 80s and 90s and has been growing more slowly than other age groups.

    The other thing was, somebody brought up the brain-dead right-wing threat that ‘you’ll never get all 300 million guns from the people.’ Sure you couldl and it wouldn’t even be that hard.. Like most right-wing nonsense, that statement is made by positing a static universe. But in actuality things change and over time you can reduce the number of people with guns (we have) which in turn will make it more difficult for the rabid minority to continue to control stupid and greedy right wing legislators. Then with the introduction of a sprinkling rational gun laws, hopefully federal so people in a gun limited area can’t drive 10 miles and get a trunk full of guns, and a few buy back programs, the number of guns will go down. It would be inevitable. What drives the increase is the fear mongering by neo-fascists: there’s a mass murder and everyone goes out and buys a gun(s), slightly raising the likelihood that they will get shot. A black guy gets elected: ‘OMG,’ wail the right wing tough guys, ‘he’s going to take our guns.Our precious little gunny-wunnies, ooh, ooh.’

    Tell you one thing he should have done: he should have had the army shoot the drooling gun thugs who showed up “in support of” Cliven Bundy, the welfare-cheating, deadbeat cowboy.

  41. Bill Johnson says:

    In time we will regard the NRA as the single most effective organization arming anti-American terrorists.They more any anyone else are responsible for domestic terrorists having weapons for mass murder.

  42. old baldy says:


    I know exactly what they are, qualified as Marksman with both M14 and M16, taught Hunter Safety, and own a number of them semi autos.

    Blaska was in error, as are you.

  43. Sam says:

    @Casey and AG Well let’s get the legislature to do it then. Give me a fully funded judiciary/corrections in the state of Wisconsin. That includes the public defender’s office by the way. I don’t think you realize the monumental cost that entails. I’m not belittling the real problem of gun violence in Milwaukee. I’m just saying no one realizes the true scope of what is needed to address it.

    Until we do that, it’s all band-aids and hot air.

  44. Rhyanna says:

    I wonder why the democrats refused to fix the stupid law, for from the article, it gives criminals more power than the police. What does Walker, the other supports of the NRA want, only the rich can get richer and not have to follow the laws. The Criminals, spit in the face of police because the DA can’t fully prosecute them thanks to the many loopholes in the law.
    As President Obama has repeatedly said and I agree, The Loop Holes, that the NRA Lobbyists have put in the law, does not prevent a person who is on the Do Not Fly List, and prevent someone with a lot of misdemeanors from getting weapons, guns, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I fear this eroding of rights will indeed lead to anarchy as mentioned in the above article.

  45. AG says:

    Old baldy, I was somewhat confused how someone with a background like yours could be so wrong… but I realize now that you and Blaska are probably saying two different things. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you are saying existing guns owned by citizens and Blaska (I’m assuming) is talking about guns being sold now. More semi automatics are sold now than any other type of firearm. If you could double action revolvers that percent is ever higher. I included them when making my initial statement.

    So you can both be right. Total guns owned in the US, Semi-auto’s make up only 20% when you don’t include double action revolvers. Total gun sales, over half are semi auto and even higher when you include the double action revolver. (or higher yet with any revolver if you’re simply using the 1 trigger pull, 1 shot, 1 round loaded in the firing position)

  46. AG says:

    Sam, I’m down with that. At least taking a step in that direction. You’ll never take care of it all… but such is life with most things. Even the deep tunnel doesn’t stop all the overflows… so too can we not prosecute everyone unless we spend exorbitant resources. That shouldn’t stop us from providing more resources though. I can think of a lot of money we waste on far less important things.

  47. John says:


    Whenever I hear people make the comment on wasting money on less important things, I always love to hear the examples people can provide when they say that.

    Less road expenditures? Slash education further? Department of Corrections already has a budget in line with what we spend on education in this state, which is sickening. The per capita expenditures on criminals versus students is beyond insane already.

  48. old baldy says:


    Blaska is pretty clear. How can you retro actively ban a gun yet to be sold. And you included double action revolvers as semi autos? That pretty odd, as they aren’t. I suspect you know little about fire arms. I stand by my comment

    “that would have retroactively banned semi-automatic weapons, which is most hunting long-arms and most handguns.

  49. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    If the Left was not so inept in teaching kids to read and grow in about 10 districts we would not have to spend so much on prisons.
    Fact is that the white, male, liberal, racists that run Milwaukee care far more about trolleys, Bucks, Cultural events than they do about kids at MPS>

  50. AG says:

    Well, remind me not to play the middle man to try to figure out how two people can be so different on such a concrete topic. I did misread his original comment, and now assume he’s talking about gun sales. It’s an internet comment section, so I’ll not going to parse everyone word for word. And the reason I put the caveat regarding the revolvers is that they have the same effect, 1 pull of the trigger – 1 shot with no further action needed to repeat. Most people don’t seem to understand that semi-auto’s do that and nothing more. I’m no military marksman, but I know plenty, thanks.

  51. AG says:

    John, I’d say that yes we do waste money on highway spending by adding lanes and having to pay debt service. I also think we waste money in our university system by not aligning shared functions and resources that could easily work inter-university. There’s plenty of other areas… not having stronger controls on foodshare fraud (you don’t have to catch it all, just enough to deter people), or local spending on arena’s or streetcars or paying for marina maintenance in small towns…

    These are personal opinions on spending and what is valuable, but you get my point.

    Further, federal spending has many even more blatant abuses that can, if you didn’t want to just reduce federal spending, be directed to the states for any number of things.

    In the end, incarcerating someone is clearly more expensive than educating someone because you’re housing them, feeding them, and keeping an eye on them every hour of every day. But just because it’s expensive, doesn’t mean we should abandon our justice system.

  52. Vincent Hanna says:

    AG for me the bottom line is that more guns is not the answer to solving this country’s gun violence problem. No one who is obese loses weight by eating even more fast food and ice cream. I do not support confiscation or a complete ban on semi-automatic weapons. I have no problem with people who own a firearm for defense of their home or to hunt. What concerns me is how insanely easy it is for virtually anyone to build an arsenal (the San Bernardino suspects had more than 6,000 bullets!). In an era where we show ID to get cough syrup and undergo background checks to adopt a cat, I just fail to see why it’s so simple for people to so heavily arm themselves. I agree that just because incarceration is expensive, so don’t abandon the justice system. I feel similarly about gun violence. It might not be easy or cheap to reduce gun violence, but that doesn’t mean you don’t even try. It sure seems like a lot of folks don’t even want to try and immediately resort to fear-mongering if someone even hints at universal background checks.

  53. AG says:

    Vincent, I actually think we’re pretty close on this ideology, as I’m not against universal background checks. But I also realize that California already has pretty much all these measures in place and yet it still happens there. While you say adding guns won’t stop violence, I think many of these measures won’t stop them either. I do however believe that prosecuting the gun laws we have on the books in a more rigid fashion would help (along with a lot of other social and education programs).

    In the end, I see the gun control debate as a false narrative… mass shootings account for such a small portion of homicides and so called “assault rifles” even more so. I don’t know if it’s a feel good thing for some people to debate so they feel they’re doing something or if there is something else behind it. Either way it won’t do much to stop terrorist attacks like in San Bernadino or the sicko’s who perpetrate massacre’s like Sandy Hook and others.

  54. Vincent Hanna says:

    I am all for more/stricter prosecution of gun laws. I also want to see more adults charged with a felony when their child or young relative shoots either themselves or someone else. That happens quite a bit (Slate was tracking these incidents for a while) and rarely is the adult charged even if they left a loaded gun in a place where a child easily finds it. That enrages me.

    Hasn’t Australia not had a mass shooting since they passed gun control measures after a major mass shooting? Even if it isn’t possible to completely eradicate them, it’s worth passing measures that have widespread support like universal background checks and seriously debating other measures that could help (some are mentioned here:

  55. old baldy says:


    If you are too lazy to “parse everyone word for word” don’t get your undies all bunched up when someone calls you on your ignorance. That is called reading comprehension.

    Double action revolvers also rotate the cylinder and cock the action with that trigger pull. That separates them from semi-autos that do those actions “automatically”. Makes sense, huh?

    What scares me more than any gun control proposal are folks like you and blaska that make absurd comments about subjects with little background knowledge.

  56. AG says:

    Old Baldy, you’re missing the point. Insults aside (and I won’t even call you out for your false statement that the action is “automatically” taking place), to the layman who is not familiar with guns, they don’t realize that a revolver will give the same result as a semi-automatic which is 1 bullet firing and 1 bullet loaded into a firing position. The only different being that the semi-auto will expel the cartridge. I’m not saying this for your benefit, I’m now saying this for anyone else reading this who does not understand. Whether it’s a mechanical action that is done by the pull of the trigger or from the gasses expelled from the round, the result is the same.

    People have such a greater fear of semi-auto’s which make up the majority of gun purchases these days, yet they don’t really understand what that means.

  57. AG says:

    Vincent, it’s not actually true that they haven’t seen ANY “mass shootings” but it’s true they are few and far between. But we could never pass a confiscation like they did. The Wash Times puts other options on the table, but even a permit to purchase would now be seen as a way to build a registry of gun owners for future confiscation. Conspiracy theory or not, it too would probably not pass.

    The other option I see as viable is the universal background checks… but Cali has that and more and yet they still have problems.

  58. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    I can fire my pumps and revolvers almost as fast as they can semi autos. And they do not jam. but the facts on guns are simple. In Wisconsin the most guns per capita are in the red counties and also the lowest violence rates.
    The bad area are run by the left, and they do not believe in putting people in jail, so poor black and Hispanic families are getting shot up all the time.
    We have added 100 million guns and violence has gone down, except in the Lefty areas where people violence has gone way up.
    All the Barrett/Flynn/Chisholm /Kremers gang has done is increase violence.. People talk about mass shootings, but they are very small part of the violence in this country which would escalate rapidly if citizens had to surrender their guns. Violence in UK and Australia has gone way up since citizens were disarmed.

  59. Vincent Hanna says:

    Hey WCD: “For 2013, the 10 states with the highest firearm age-adjusted death rates were: Alaska (19.8), Louisiana (19.3), Mississippi (17.8), Alabama (17.6), Arkansas (16.8), Wyoming (16.7), Montana (16.7), Oklahoma (16.5), New Mexico (15.5) and Tennessee (15.4).”

    What do those 10 states have in common? They are all red states.

  60. Vincent Hanna says:

    OK New Mexico leans blue, but the rest are red states, so 9 out of 10 are red states. So you are full of sh*t WCD.

  61. Penrod says:

    Most of the comments are centered around an irrelevancy: Is some kind of gun control/ban good policy or bad?

    I understand that a great many people hold the US and state constitutions in contempt, but they exist. Those constitutions put some policy options (good and bad) on the table, do not put others (good and bad) on the table, and explicitly prohibit others (good and bad).

    It does not matter if one thinks accurately that some gun bans are a wonderful option: The constitutions ban those options.

    If you want to ban weapons, respect the constitutions enough to amend them to empower state and federal bans.

    The alcohol prohibitionists understood that, and accepted it as their responsibility to amend the constitution. They did so, and achieved terrible policy, but they went about it the right way. They did not pretend that the Constitution authorized such a ban until they had amended it.

    Gun banners demand that we ignore the constitutions, or to be more accurate “reinterpret” them as saying that which they do not.

    Opponents of the much reviled ‘Citizens United vs FEC’ decision, which ultimately revolved around the question “Is the federal government constitutionally authoritized to fine and/or imprison citizens for airing a movie critical of Hillary Clinton?”, want to reinterpret the 1st Amendment to say “Of course our side’s politicians can prosecute anyone who criticizes our side.” So too do they want to pretend the 2nd Amendment does not protect mean/ugly/scary weapons which may or may not themselves act to slaughter innocent people.

    For constitutional purposes it does not matter if every mean, scary, ugly gun is salivating at the thought of leaping out of the closet and forcing some innocent nut/terrorist/toddler to pull the trigger.

    If you think gun bans are wonderful, live up to your responsibility as citizens and amend the Constitution.

  62. BT says:

    Who REALLY wrote Flynn’s ridiculously stupid and 100% POLITICAL (so 0% common sense) statement? I know that it WAS NOT FLYNN he’s not that stupid, was it do nothing Barrett? Former MKE cty Democrat Party chairman “I’ll do ANYTHING to get rid of that damn Sheriff Clarke” Sachin whatever? Who cares anyway, it is so stupid as to not be worth even reading ONCE!



    We have a remedy here and its been used already, about to be used again and I say lets go all the way with it, STATE TAKEOVER!!!! FLYNN’S PILE OF SH%T speech shows the need to enforce laws NOT keep current system where we just keep letting violent criminals out AND THEN YOU BRAIN DEAD LIBERALS BLAME LAW ABIDING CCW HOLDERS!! YOU ARE EITHER INSANE, RIDICULOUSLY STUPID OR BOTH!

    Time for state legislature to act, strip Barrett and Flynn of all power and put the man who the voters want in charge of law enforcement FULLY IN CHARGE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT-SHERIFF DAVID CLARKE!!!

    Watch the morale of the MPD cops go through the roof overnight knowing that NOW instead of a totally political clown who starts every day with a thorough licking of Tom Barrett’s butt and a chief who will throw as many cops under the bus to save the asses of those at the top they now have a REAL COP IN CHARGE!!!!



  63. Eric S says:

    BT giving WCD a competition in the race for most unreadable drivel.

  64. old baldy says:


    I think the point you have proven is that you don’t know the definition of a “semi-automatic” weapon.
    My original comment stands.

  65. BT says:


    Great job Eric S!

    Feel free to stop by and pick up your prize, a beautiful Hillary “We stand with you for AY -unless its my husband Bill you’re accusing or sexually assaulting you, then who cares what some trailer trash slut claims,you’re just an attention and money seeking dumb bimbo!” poster and l][et me say, it is very nice, in a nice frame and with an excellent illustration of some woman running from trailer, bleeding from the mouth (Bill’s trademark move!) and crying, while ol “Mr Curved Wee Wee” Bill is zipping up his pants and hopping into the back of an unmarked AK state troopers car and if you look real closely, you can see his brother Roger Clinton’s in there too and he’s got a nice big line of blow all ready for Bill to toot up so he’s charged up for his next “date”. Hillary though, she’s going to be there for you!!!!

  66. AG says:

    Come on BT, I think old baldy gets a nod in that category as well. Blindly telling people who know what they are talking about that they don’t… That was right up there in the totally stupid, backed up by nothing, saying nothing realm as well.

  67. old baldy says:


    To paraphrase the federal law, a “semi-automatic weapon” works the action, loads the round in the chamber, and cocks the hammer/firing pin/striker “automatically”, all the shooter does is pull the trigger for each round fired. . You only squeeze the trigger to fire the round. A double-action requires you to rotate the cylinder and cock the hammer ( it has multiple chambers that are loaded already) on the initial segment of the trigger pull, hence the term “double action”. The law is WI is similar. You can look both up.

    As Twain said about folks that have little knowledge but lots of opinion, ” Keep your thoughts to yourself and be thought a fool. Open your mouth and remove all doubt”.

    Now apologize.

  68. AG says:

    Old Baldy, if you are not going to read my comments then stop responding to them. I’m not saying DA revolvers are semi-automatic… I’m saying you get the same result from each pull of the trigger. That is: to fire you only need to pull the trigger once and take no other action before or after to fire another round. You are not saying anything that contradicts me.

    To someone who uses firearms the difference in how and when a new round is loaded into the chamber (or the chamber is moved to the firing position in the case of a revolver) the distinction is important… but for the many people who don’t know about firearms and blindly want to ban semi-auto’s the difference is negligible.

  69. old baldy says:


    “and take no other action before or after to fire another round”.

    You can come over and try that scenario with any of my double action revolvers and see how it works out.

  70. AG says:

    Sounds like you have SA revolvers…

  71. old baldy says:


    You are willfully ignorant. End of discussion.

  72. AG says:

    Old baldy, you’re the one that thinks double action revolvers mean multiple actions for the shooter. Double action means the double action of the trigger (cock hammer, fire). You are making yourself look worse and worse as you continue to respond.

    You either are making up your military experience, are confusing which is SA and DA, or you are confusing it with double action semi autos that require manual cocking of the hammer. Regardless, it is time you review your firearm knowledge.

  73. old baldy says:


    Check the definitions in federal law if you don’t believe me. And the Hunter Ed Handbook as well.

  74. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Arguing with Left is useless, no logic or brains. We have 100 millionmore guns in service plus enormous amounts of ammo, since obama took office. over 100million gunowners, more not less with thousands of more women taking and buying. why? In NY they passed law to register “assault weapons”, silly title and only5% have done so. No one will give them up and doubtfull that localal pollice will go after them or end up like Canda jsut givng up.

  75. Milwaukeean says:

    While I applaud everyone’s ability to find support for their opinions via Google, what about parenting? I grew up in a home with a full arsenal of guns and never once thought of using one of those guns for anything other than target shooting or hunting. People aren’t the problem, and guns aren’t the problem. Bad parenting is the problem, and it really does take a “village”. If you want to make a REAL change in the community in which you live, volunteer to help change the life of a young person so that they don’t grow up in a life of crime and violence. And furthermore, if the City scares you, either make a difference in your community, or move.

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