Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:35 pm
As a business owner in New Berlin, I will do everything in my power to protect my employees and my customers. Just as our founding fathers clarified in the first two issues in our Bill of Rights, to protect individuals’ rights to speech, religion, assembly and armed defense, I will stand up against any legislation to limit these rights.
Rights, unlike legal privileges, are obvious. Rights are not granted, they are assumed.
It is for this reason that I am torn about my support for the Wisconsin legislature’s bill to "allow" carry legislation in Wisconsin. I like it because the 37 states that have implemented carry legislation have seen a reduction in violent crime.
The last thing I want is for violent criminals to come to Wisconsin because they get a notion that we are one of the few remaining unarmed areas. Naturally, when violent criminals have to consider that more folks with enforcement capability are watching them, they are more likely to behave and move along.
I don’t like this new legislation, however, because it seems to limit our U.S. Constitutional protection of an individual’s right to keep and bear arms without a permission slip from the state bureaucracy. Sometimes the need is imminent and deadly. Waiting periods, fees and registration could kill the least fortunate among us.
It seems to me that there need not be special legislation to turn the right to defend one’s self into a privilege any more than an employee of mine need ask if they can carry a handgun in their purse (or briefcase) to work because an ex-lover is stalking them and the police cannot guarantee their safety.
In fact, I have close personal friends, two of whom are female, who were able to defend themselves from personal injury simply by brandishing a handgun. It is simply naive to think that the government can always be there to protect you. If you are not physically strong, or if you have ever felt threatened, it is your right to defend yourself.
Perhaps we should take the practical approach and declare that we are for anything that promotes individual health and safety as long as it does not promote more government force and regulation.
Our founding fathers were very wise. Let me encourage everyone to read the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. Are the libertarians the only ones who understand their value today? (See www.self-gov.org.)
I feel safe at work and at play because I know my constitutional rights. Let’s protect the business community in Wisconsin by sending a clear message to violent criminals: Violent criminals need not apply! We need an armed and educated workforce.
Tim Peterson is president of Sales Automation Support Inc. in New Berlin.
Editor’s note: The above essay was written in response to SBT’s coverage about a bill that would allow Wisconsin residents to conceal and carry weapons. SBT reported that many businesspeople are not in favor of allowing their employees and their customers to carry weapons at work. However, the bill is written in such a way so as to penalize any employer who would restrict weapons in the workplace. If the law is approved, employers who impose such restrictions would not be granted immunity from liability by the state. In other words, employers who would not allow weapons at work would be exposed to unlimited financial liabilities if a shooting occurred on their premises. The author of this essay believes people should be allowed to conceal and carry weapons in the workplace. His opinions do not reflect those of SBT.
Small Business Times October 14, 2005