As the recall of Gov. Scott Walker creeps forward I find myself thinking of the most egregious thing he's done, the one thing that bothers me the most, even though I don't agree with recalls for policy differences.
I think his legislation messing up collective bargaining for public employees is horrible.
But the worst thing he's done, aided and abetted by a compliant legislature and a growing redneck public, was to sign the concealed carry and castle laws for gun owners.
Everybody knows what these laws are.
Concealed carry allows citizens to hide a gun in their clothes and carry it with them. Castle laws allow citizens to use deadly force to protect themselves in their castles (read: homes).
More and more I can't believe how absolutely crazy and dangerous these laws are.
About a week ago I was pushing a cart up an aisle in a popular grocery store. Coming toward me was a guy wearing sweat pants and one of those satin jackets that might be a team jacket.
When he got a couple of feet from me he flashed his jacket open and pointed to the holstered gun under the jacket. He closed it quickly and cackled at me.
I thought he was nuts.
And then, two aisles later he did it again. Now I knew he was nuts.
Another aisle later I saw him being escorted from the store by two nervous store managers. And I asked myself how in the world could a crazy guy like this have a gun?
What the hell is wrong with this place?
The news of the innocent teenager in Florida being gunned down is a big deal now. But we had a case like that in Slinger earlier this month.
A young man named Bo Morrison was at a party when the cops were called because the party was noisy.
Morrison ran away and tried to hide on a neighbor's porch. The neighbor shot and killed the young man.
He was protecting his "castle."
The gun rights crazies were quick to point out that Morrison was a young man who had an occasional brush with police, as if that made it okay to gun him down.
They also point out how nice the homeowner was to call the police himself to announce the shooting.
It makes me shake my head.
Are we as a state going absolutely nuts?
What in the world are we thinking that makes it okay to shoot and kill someone who tries to hide on our porch?
Make no mistake, there is a racial component at work here. It's going to be a long time before we hear about a black homeowner shooting a white kid who is trying to hide on his porch.
What Scott Walker has done in signing this kind of legislation is the same thing that the most virulent right wing talk radio does.
It has given freedom for fear to flourish.
On talk radio the talk is about feeding the fear of enemies, like the "liberal media." On your porch it allows you to hide behind a door, waiting for one of "them" to come up so you can blow him away.
I know lots of other states have these laws. I know that gun toting supporters are absolutely panicked about protecting themselves from the roving bands of young black guys threatening us every day.
But somehow we have to find a way to keep these nuts from deciding how we are going to live. And we should not be fostering this fear. We should never give in to irrational fear.
Tis a humane state we live in, one of the few that has a ban on capital punishment, for example.
If Walker loses the recall election and we somehow get a Democratic legislature to work with the new governor, I have a legislative program for him.
First thing is repeal the ban on collective bargaining.
And the second thing is to repeal these horribly stupid laws encouraging guns and the crazy use of them.
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.