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Thread: Editorial (WI): Memo to Sen. Holperin and AG Van Hollen: Thanks for nothing!

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    http://www.lakelandtimes.com/main.as...ArticleID=9139

    2/20/2009 9:26:00 AM
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    Memo to Sen. Holperin and AG Van Hollen: Thanks for nothing





    Gregg Walker
    Publisher

    One would think I would know better by now, but it still amazes me how worthless our public officials can sometimes be.

    No, this isn't a column about Roland Burris but about state Sen. Jim Holperin of Eagle River and attorney general J.B. Van Hollen. The goofiness of these three stooges is close enough, though, as recent controversies over the open carry of guns so well demonstrates in the case of the latter two.

    As this newspaper reports today, Brad Krause of West Allis has been found not guilty after being charged with disorderly conduct for wearing a legal, holstered firearm in his own yard.

    We have reported, too, on the travails of Mark Palan of Highland, who was ousted as a hunter education instructor after suggesting that people didn't have to hand over their firearms to DNR wardens for no good reason.

    Both cases are related to gun rights but they transcend them, too. At their core, they are about the survival of our civil liberties.

    The dynamic tension between government power and individual freedom composes the central narrative of our political history; civil liberties must be protected constantly from encroachment by the natural tendency of government to grow, and to grow absolutely.

    In that war, a keen awareness of the threats to liberty is essential; vigilance is freedom's ally.

    So, why on these questions - on the most recent threats to civil liberty - are two of our most important elected officials, Sen. Holperin and attorney general Van Hollen, so oblivious, almost to the point of unconsciousness?

    Sen. Holperin couldn't fathom this newspaper's "persistence" in reporting these assaults on the constitution. He chastised us for even asking him questions on these matters, like a senator who had to come down from the mountain to tediously tend to the inconsequential concerns of "average people."

    Well, persistence pays off. Yes, this newspaper broke both stories - again - and we doggedly pursued them. By the time of Mr. Krause's hearing Tuesday, we had awakened the mainstream media from its own stupor, if not Sen. Holperin from his. CBS, Fox News, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - they were all there.

    To be sure, Sen. Holperin was irked because he doesn't think the open-carry issue concerns most people, and thus shouldn't be of much concern to the Legislature. But again, the senator is looking down from his mountaintop, so far away he can see the forest but not the trees. He sees so much from his lofty perch that he sees nothing at all.

    Why wouldn't Wisconsin's estimated 1.7 million gun owners be concerned about losing their constitutional right to keep and bear arms? Why wouldn't the state's 5.2 million citizens be concerned about the complete erosion of Bill of Rights' protections?

    Why wouldn't Northwoods' residents worry about being unable to protect their family and pets from bears and wolves while walking in the woods?

    Of course they're concerned, and they are not the only ones. As judge Paul Murphy pointed out Tuesday, the state's highest court has warned the Legislature to get involved in clarifying gun rights, and that is what makes Sen. Holperin's lack of trepidation so striking.

    I repeat the Supreme Court's 2003 words: "The approval of a state constitutional right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation, and any other lawful purpose will present a continuing dilemma for law enforcement until the legislature acts to clarify the law."

    Either Sen. Holperin was ignorant of this judicial prodding, or he didn't care.

    Well, arrogance is one thing, ignorance is another, so let's give the senator the benefit of the doubt. Ignorance can be a creature of isolation. The senator's mountaintop no doubt provides little in the way of dialogue and interaction with other humans, those great incubators of knowledge.

    As of Tuesday, however, yet another judge has implored the Legislature to act, and this time the judge used even more vociferous language, warning that legislative torpor was putting police in peril.

    Now, senator, ignorance can be no excuse. Now, if you don't care to act, we must simply presume that you are anti-gun rights.

    As for J.B. Van Hollen, his refusal to render an opinion on open carry's legality is an egregious negligence of his constitutional responsibilities. It is the attorney general's job to issue legal opinions, one way or another, to help direct the state through the legal mazes of our republican system of government.

    That he refuses to do so is shocking, and judge Murphy admonished him for it.

    What the judge was getting at - and what this newspaper has warned of - is that legislative inaction and the attorney general's political lassitude will lead to ever more court cases, putting both law-abiding citizens and police in legal jeopardy at greater taxpayer expense.

    Not only that, but with police storming private property with drawn weapons, the open-carry legal stalemate constitutes nothing less than a tragedy waiting to happen. When it does, the blood shall drip from the hands of the state legislature and attorney general Van Hollen.

    So sad they don't care, especially when law enforcement officers like Oneida County sheriff Jeff Hoffman and Minocqua police chief Andy Gee get it, as does state Rep, Dan Meyer.

    Yes, Sen. Holperin and attorney general Van Hollen, there are other pressing matters, not least the global economic debacle. Still, the preservation of freedom can never be neglected, no matter what other crises there are.

    Democracy's enemies love the distractions of a crisis. As the old saying goes: Freedom doesn't come like a bird on the wing. You have to work for, fight for it, day and night for it, and every generation's got to win it again.

    It's about time, Mr. Holperin and Mr. Van Hollen, that you enlisted in the most justifiable war of this and of all other times, the war against individual oppression.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Excellent OpEd. For those (as I was) confused by the reference to the Supreme Court in 2003, he was referring to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a case which is discussed a little bit here:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...29190611/pg_11

    TFred


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    I am proud to say that the articles coming out of the lakeland times is from my town, But at the same time we have police officers from the same town and county violating our rights at any chance they get.

    Another member of the forum works for the city the lakeland times is from, and the member reports they have asked a police officer what his reaction would be to a citizen carrying a holstered firearm, and that officers reply was the "he would prone-out the suspect with their face shoved in the snow and forcibly disarm and arrest the subject"

    So, I think it is time for me to go talk with Chief Gee and see what his position is on open-carry, and see if he is willing to talk with his officers to make sure they do not violate any more of our civil rights by arresting and forcefully disarming law abiding citizens.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    How are there any police officers still left with money to pay rent in Wisconsin?

    I guess they have successfully intimidated everyone into not open carrying!

    TFred


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    As I have reported here before, I have heard similar words myself in response to a hypothetical; "How would you respond to an armed homeowner on his property?" "Prone him out and cuff him at gun point. It's a high risk call."



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    Think first. Shoot second.
    [/b]
    I’ve been monitoring this site and few others for Wisconsin news for some time but never gotten off my rear and registered to comment until now. I’m really doing this in my brother’s memory which I’ll explain in a minute so hang with me.

    First thing you need to know is that Sen. Jim Holperin is a pretty good guy for a Democrat though Van Hollen is for sure a RINO. Holperin voted in support of second amendment rights when he was in the Wisconsin Assembly in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. He supports both open carry and concealed carry.

    Which you would know if you had been able to read the full statements of Holperin, Rep. Dan Meyer, the Vilas and Oneida Co. sheriffs, Minocqua chief of police and DNR Conservation Warden supervisor that followed Richard Moore’s Lakeland Times editorial about the Krause case printed in the Feb. 10 newspaper.

    Here’s the question the Lakeland Times asked those guys: “Do you support the legality of open carry in the state of Wisconsin – and if the courts rule that Wisconsin is notan open-carry state and those doing so may be arrested for disorderly conduct – would you support legislation to prohibit such charges and restore the legality of the open carry of firearms?”

    This is what was printed as Holperin’s response: “This issue is not, in my opinion, and leaving aside a couple of court cases, one that is very relevant to Wisconsin citizens or gun owners right now. Therefore I am somewhat perplexed by the Lakeland Times’ persistence in writing about it as if it were a major concern. Nevertheless, I am glad to answer your questions. I do support open carry in Wisconsin, since that clearly seems to be the law. [/b]If court rulings reverse this supposition, I cannot say how I would vote on legislation to overrule the courts and allow open carry. I would need to consult with voters, law enforcement, gun rights organizations, outdoor sports organizations and other groups with a stake in the legislation. Regardless of the position I might take on open carry legislation, I continue to support concealed carry legislation which I believe should be advanced until Wisconsin joins 48 other states which have such a law.”[/b]

    Now you might not like the first couple of sentences, but hear me out. No legislator worth his weight in bullets who has gun owners best interests in mind should respond with a blanket yes or no to a hypothetical like this. That’s abig "if"– here are a few more. What if there are liberal politicians out there looking for a couple of disorderly cases that get the 2A community’s shorts in a knot so they can use them as an excuse to put their own agendas into a bad bill? What if the bill actually opens a can of worms and ends up taking more rights away? Rep. Meyer likes to say “Be careful what you wish for.” Has anybody asked Wisconsin NRA if they even want to see an open carry bill introduced?

    I’ve been following the discussion since Moore’s articles were first posted here. Go to
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum57/20429-1.htmlwhere Cobbersmom got it right on January 10.Go to http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum57/19480-14.html and look for Lammie’s comments on January 31: “What we don't have is equal recognition in law enforcement that open carry islawful. Besides laws tell you what you can't do not what you can do. We certainly don't want to suggest we need an open carry law. To do so would give the anti-gun legislature the opportunity to invoke a whole bunch of firearm restrictions on us beyond those we already have.”

    Here'ssomething else to think about. Moore’s Feb. 10 editorial was never posted to the Lakeland Times website. Then ten days later the Walker editorial takes Holperin’s comments out of context and makes him sound likea one man assault on civil rightswithout anybody who is following this discussion on line being able to see what the senator originally wrote. Why is that?

    Wake up friends and look past the hype! I can understand why former hunter education instructor Mark Palin is pissed at the DNR and think the stupid West Allis cops who took the call in the Krause case over-reacted and need more training. The judge in that case ruled correctly and Krause got his gun back. It’s good to let the judges and cops and politicians know we’re paying attention, but we also got to avoid letting hot heads push us into going off half cocked. Thinking about Sen. Holperin’s comments, I want to know are there any more recent OC disorderly conduct cases in Wisconsin besides Krause? If so let’s hear about them before accepting that assaults on OC are really “blossoming” like Moore writes.

    Sorry this is getting pretty long, but here’s the story about my brother. When Richard Moore ran as a Democrat for Assembly in 1998 against the incumbent Joe Handrick (now Minocqua Town Chairman), Handrick was endorsed by the NRA. Back then Moore was the liberal sweetheart of the wacko environmentalists he now beats up in his editorials. They threw him under the bus when he lost badly to Handrick and you’d think he would have learned his lesson. But Moore came back for more in 2000 when Handrick copped out leaving an open seat, though the second campaign only lasted a couple of months before he gave up. My late brother liked to tell the story of Moore coming to a union meeting where he thought at first they were buying what he had to sell, though the AFSCME guys all thought it was pretty funny that this liberal pencil pusher with some kind of a southern accent was trying to pass himself off as a working man from northern Wisconsin. Finally somebody asked for his position on gun control and Moore came on like Bill Clinton, all about background checks and licensing, and didn’t seem to understand why he totally lost the room. The big faker was deer in the headlights clueless on 2A then. A couple weeks later, after Congressman Dave Obey (a NRA “A”) endorsed the conservative bar owner running as the other Democrat, Moore dropped out saying he had family trouble. But my brother and his buddies always thought they were the ones who took “Dick” Moore down. If he was still around he’d have a good laugh over Moore now being treated as some kind of hero on the OC websites.

    Word on the street in Minocqua is Richard Moore also writes Lakeland Times publisher Gregg Walker’s opinions, like the one posted at the start of this thread. Regular readers laugh about Moore wearing two hats and feeding his “crazier” side when he’s ghost writing, and how he’s found religion on 2A rights because he’s working for Walker and needs to eat. They both want to sell newspapers and Moore wants to sell copies of his book that’s a collection of anti-DNR and anti-environmental wacko columns printed in Walker’s paper. Maybe Walker gets a cut of that too.

    OK, I’m done now and will depend on othersto share what I wrote to other sites where the Moore/Walker articles have been posted. If you don’t agree, have at it and I’ll enjoy the discussion. But don’t say my brother and I didn’t try to warn you!

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    safetyon wrote:
    Wake up friends and look past the hype! I can understand why former hunter education instructor Mark Palin is pissed at the DNR and think the stupid West Allis cops who took the call in the Krause case over-reacted and need more training. The judge in that case ruled correctly and Krause got his gun back. It’s good to let the judges and cops and politicians know we’re paying attention, but we also got to avoid letting hot heads push us into going off half cocked. Thinking about Sen. Holperin’s comments, I want to know are there any more recent OC disorderly conduct cases in Wisconsin besides Krause? If so let’s hear about them before accepting that assaults on OC are really “blossoming” like Moore writes.
    Has this been confirmed? This is the first report I've read that said he got the gun back.

    TFred

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    Perhaps the salient observation at this point is that Moore and Walker sign their names. If they've been duplicitous then some publicly accessible citations URLs are appropriate.

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    I would have sworn that I saw that somewhere in print, but was on several sites this morning. Just tried to find a link for you and can't locate it. Must have misread one of the Milwaukee papers. Hope it's really so. Sorry! My bad.

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    safetyon wrote:
    I would have sworn that I saw that somewhere in print, but was on several sites this morning. Just tried to find a link for you and can't locate it. Must have misread one of the Milwaukee papers. Hope it's really so. Sorry! My bad.
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum57/21989.html

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    The fact still remains that the A-G has not made it a point to tell the states many different law enforcement communities that Open-Carry is legal!

    All he has to do is issue something/anythingthat tells the states many police departments to quit violating citizens civil rights by arresting them for legal actions in this state. and if they still arrest people opne carrying that they are opening themsleves up to lawsuits for violating the citizens rights under both the federal and state constitutions!

    How hard would it be to accomplish? distate a letter for immediate distribution, or even hold a press conference so those of us that open-carry are not in fear of being arrested or shot for behaving in a legal matter! if this was done, Bard would'nt have been arrested and his gun conficated, or if they still would have arrested him, it would not have gone this far!

    yup, Moore can be goofy, but he has done more for our cause than any other media outlet in the state! and I commend him for that! He is forcing the A-G to make a statement!



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    safetyon wrote:
    I would have sworn that I saw that somewhere in print, but was on several sites this morning. Just tried to find a link for you and can't locate it. Must have misread one of the Milwaukee papers. Hope it's really so. Sorry! My bad.
    Wasn't trying to be picky, just wondering if I had missed the report.

    TFred

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    Hey, can't give you URL to Feb. 10 stuff because the Lakeland Times didn't put it on their website for some dumb reason as I said. Wish I could. But I did go looking for more on Holperin and found this.

    http://www.holperinsenate.com/press/gunrights.pdf Campaign release in support of gun rights.

    http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/090113_WHRC_pols.pdf Spoke at recent WHRC meeting.

    http://www.opencarry.org/pdf/WI_Doyle.pdf Was the Secretary of Tourism and with Gov. Doyle at the meeting whenDoyle said"If you want to carry a gun in Wisconsin wear it on your hip."

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    If and when he receives his property back, un-harmed (no scratches or marks) then everything else would mute, I think.

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    The following is a response to safetyon sent to me by Gregg Walker who is the Publisher of The Lakeland Times.

    --------------------------------

    Setting The Record Straight
    by Gregg Walker

    This is a response to Safetyon. I want to make sure all of you who blog on opencarry.org have the facts when it comes to The Lakeland Times newspaper and Mr. Moore's articles.

    First off, we were the first news outlet in the state to carry the Brad Krause story – not because we're an advocate for open carry, but because we did a story on hunter education instructor Mark Palan, who was removed as an instructor for teaching his students that you don't have to turn your gun over to a DNR warden just because they ask for it.When Mr. Moore began investigating the facts, he discovered a letter and article written by DNR Hunter Education administrator Tim Lawhern telling hunter education instructors and studentsthat if anyone in law enforcement asks for your gun, you have to turn it over. Whenever law enforcemnt sees an open gun, he asserted, the police will draw their own guns.That led Mr. Moore to the Brad Krause case,and we began reporting on open-carry issues, primarily because several people and readers of our newspaper carry a weapon on themwhen the go on walks and in general for protection. We thought it was our journalistic responsibility to report this unfolding story.

    Those stories and our opinionsspeak for themselves. Safetyon doesn't have a clue, and if he thinks our question of Mr. Holperin was hypothetical, it proves he is nothing more than uninformed or a Holperin lackey. Our question did nothing more than restate what the courts have been asking the Legislature to do for years. We didn't just ask Mr. Holperin; we asked both our sheriffs, the chief of police for Minocqua and DNR warden Tom Wrasse. None of them had a problem with the question. All of them said open carry was legal unless a person's actions warranted another response – all of them said that except Holperin and Wrasse. Wrasse was vague but wasn't nearly as arrogant as Holperin and I responded with an opinion piece chastising both Holperin and attorney general J.B. Van Hollen – only after the decision in the Krause case. Why?Because the judge was saying the same thing this newspaper was reporting, and asking the same question we asked Mr. Holperin, namely, why doesn't the Legislature or the AG clarify the law to make sure open carry is not ticketed for disorderly conduct.

    Safetyon – who, by the way, hides behind a phony nickname and only joined after my editorial – shows what he is.He goes on to say that there is some conspiracy because we didn't put Mr. Moore's editorial on our website and then ran mine, and that somehow shows that we were up to no good or trying to hype up the issue of open carry. Our website is a free site for the newspaper and only some of the stories go on the site; the full publication is not on the web. We have more than 10,000 subscribers to this newspaper and well over 20,000 readers; they come first and they get the print edition. If you read our paper you would see there is no conspiracy: Mr. Moore's editorial was in and so was mine, a few days later. It wasn't posted, but it is now. If you take Safetyon on his word, then we would have printed 10,000 copies of The Lakeland Times with a blank page where Mr. Moore's editorial should have been. In other words, if you subscribe to The Lakeland Times, everything appears as it should be.

    Then Safetyon goes after Mr. Moore's book and who is profiting from the book. Let me say that Mr. Moore is not getting rich from the sale of his book and in his seven years of investigating the DNR and writing for this newspaper, I have never had to print one retraction – not one –on his reporting. Mr. Moore is not "goofy"; he is one of the finest journalists writing in the state of Wisconsin and we're lucky to have him. Unlike safetyon Mr. Moore's foundation is one of integrity and principle. Safetyon uses his brother's memory to drive home inuendos related to Mr. Moore when he ran 11 years ago for the Assembly. Mr. Moore did not run on a pro-gun or anti-gun platform, as I remember, and I know he wasn't pro-gun in 1998. But that is completely irrelevant to Mr. Moore's factual reporting of stories for this newspaper.

    Then Safetyon goes on to say Mr. Moore is a ghost writer for his opinions under my name. Those are my opinions and if Mr. Holperin wants to come to the newspaper I will be more than happy to call him off his mountain to answer my questions. If he won't, I don't have a problem going to his office or telling our readers what I think of him. By the way, our newspaper sales didn't go up writing open carry articles, so sorry to burst your bubble Safetyon. Mr. Moore's book How the DNR stole Wisconsin is selling just fine without the aid of this newspaper. Mr. Moore is doing radio and book signings across the state – he doesn't need my help. In fact Mr. Holperin himself purchased two signed copies for himself. Would you like to see the the cancelled check, Safetyon? Or why don't you show some guts and quit being a coward and write a letter to the editor and sign your name to it. You sure don't see Mr. Moore or myself hiding behind a phony nickname; our necks are out there a mile for both open carry and the constitution. Next time try the truth and the facts, instead of attacking with nothing loaded in the gun. You didn't show one fact in your assault on Mr. Moore or myself, just hearsay and the same B.S. we hear from people like yourself who don't like journalists calling a spade a spade. Just so we're all on the same page, I would bet Safetyon is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing on gun rights. He brags about how great Sen. Holperin is, but Holperin didn't get the NRA endorsement. His opponent, Tom Tiffany, did , and Safetyon doesn't mention the numerous pro-gun editorials I have written in the past 16 years or the fact that my editorial is critical of the AG, who is a Republican. In fact, in October I wrote an opinion blasting now President Obama's votes on gun rights. Apparently Safetyon conveniently left all that out.

    It is safe to assume what Safetyon is and what he stands for.

    Sincerely,


    Gregg Walker
    Publisher
    The Lakeland Times
    http://www.lakelandtimes.com

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    Thanks Mr. Walker and Mr. Pierce.

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    Pleasego to http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...jump_to=386438for my reply to Mr. Walker.

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