I rarely respond to the talkback feature that accompanies articles on OnMilwaukee.com. I figure I had my say and now it's time for readers to have their say.
But I am making an exception this week because of the vitriolic comments on my column last week opposing the Castle Doctrine and Concealed Carry laws in Wisconsin.
I believe the anger of those responses helps to prove the point that guns in the hands of citizens is just asking for dangerous things to happen.
People called the Castle Law "the great equalizer."
Here's a sampling of other comments (Note: Comments edited for grammar) on the law and on the incident in Slinger where a young man was shot by a homeowner who discovered the youth hiding on his porch at 2 a.m. one morning:
"Free, level-headed, law-abiding citizens get permits and carry guns because they can't carry a cop, Dave Begel. You're a moron."
"It is unfortunate that the young man in Slinger was shot and killed, but he made a series of very bad decisions that put him where he was."
"As far as Bo Morrison goes, whether you like it or not, he entered someone's home without their permission. He got what he deserved. He wasn't an innocent kid, he had a lengthy record and was violating the law when he got shot."
"I would like to see what you would do if faced with being mugged or god forbid your family members being held up by gunpoint. Would you still try and rationalize with the guy or would you just shoot him?"
"As most East side liberal elitists you have no idea what the rest of the city is like because you never leave your nice Lake View neighborhood, especially at night."
"Look at the family raped burned alive and murdered in Connecticut, or the 50-something-year-old couple robbed, and the 53-year-old Minneapolis wife raped at the hands of the offender. Sorry if it makes you uncomfortable but this is why I carry a gun, and so does my wife. As long as you don't try to rob me, rape my wife or enter my home uninvited, I promise not to shoot you."
"As far as the shooting in Slinger, it was very unfortunate but actions have consequences. Drinking alcohol, then fleeing from police and finally entering someone's private property were all choices that person made. He put himself in harm's way."
"If someone threatens me or my family on my property while I wouldn't shoot to kill unless absolute necessary – I will definitely not back down from anyone. Although it may be better to shoot to kill so you don't get sued by the thief or thug trying to cause you harm."
If you take the passion out of this and just view it impartially, you get the feeling that these people think they are living in the Wild West with gangs of marauders patrolling the streets looking for victims to rape and pillage and murder.
Don't people realize that nothing good comes from using a gun to shoot at someone?
I almost get the sense, and I know there are no studies to back it up, that a lot of these people are hoping that they are put in harm's way soon so they can blast someone to death with their Glock or Smith & Wesson.
I mean it seems like the lunatics have gotten control of our asylum. We have a country and a state that is faced with many problems and difficulties in search of serious solutions.
Instead, we've got people fighting to keep a gun on their hip, to prevent gay people from getting married and ordering women to get an ultrasound before having an abortion.
Pardon me if I'm worried about Wisconsin. I have to live here. And I'm a lot more afraid of some guy with a gun just waiting to shoot somebody than I am about the kids who break into my car to steal change about every three months or so.
It's not even close.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.