Archive – Fighting City Hall

September 24, 2007

So I went to the city hearing on having FFL background checks on private transfers of firearms for the city of Milwaukee on Tuesday.  Fascinating process…even if you do need an ass of steel to last through the proceedings. I did make a short recording of the proceedings (to be edited down and posted later – gimme some time!  I’m new at this “cub reporter” thing!)

I went in not knowing what to expect – it turns out that everybody who went up to the microphone before me made their case much more eloquently than I would have (including those for the bill passing).  I do have new respect for Senator Spencer Coggs, even though we’re going to be ideological opponents from now on.  The meeting was fairly orderly too, everyone giving (for the most part) respect for the views of the other side.  I will confess that I did start some applause – couldn’t help it at the time (someone was making a point I agreed with).

Coggs made a point of asking most of the opponents of the bill (SB 104 in Wisconsin) whether or not they would willingly sell a firearm to a felon, child molester, or teenager.  Of course, everyone who was asked the question said no, they wouldn’t.  I suppose that this was his way of making a point about how this law would be a positive for the community.  He also pointedly asked if there was any way the speaker could think of to make the bill better (it did sound like he was going to get the bill passed one way or another; it was just a matter of the phraseology).  Many people made the same cases that gun owners have through the last century or so; I got the feeling the panel was discounting them, even though they were polite enough to let them speak.

Was the phrase “it’s for the children” brought up?  Yes.

Was the phrase “it’s a good first step” said?  Yes.

Was the NRA present?  Yes – he was quite eloquent in his defense against the bill.  I guess that’s a start in living down the Bill Brown fiasco-<a href=”http://waronguns.blogspot.com/2006/10/nras-rated-citizen-disarmament.html”>http://waronguns.blogspot.com/2006/10/nras-rated-citizen-disarmament.html</a>

Were speakers brought up to appeal to emotions? Yes. Three mothers who lost children in the gunfight that brought about this bill were there to testify. While I grive for their loss, I still believe that this bill is bad news for this community, being, well, a waste of time, seeing as criminals will ignore it anyway.

Was it reiterated that no one on the panel wanted to take away Second Amendment rights? Yes, many times.  I don’t think anyone against the bill believed them though.

I suppose the only contribution I made to the proceedings was that I asked Coggs whether or not a study was to be made in the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties concerning the bill and the “costs or saving that are likely to result” if the bill is enacted.  He made a point of talking about the difference between the words “may” and “shall” in such bills (this bill has the word “may” in it).  “Shall” means it has to be done: “may” means it might be done.  When I asked the board what kind of likelihood it had that the study was to be done, he allowed that there was a good chance that a study would be carried out. I think that’s pretty good, considering that this was the first time I’ve ever attended one of these shindigs.  We’ll see if that actually does happen – and how the Dinosaur Media reports this event.

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