By Howard Nemerov
May 20, 2008
Recently, a 21-year-old female college student in Madison, Wisconsin was murdered. Reportedly, when she called 911 to report the imminent attack, the operator hung up on her. Madison Police Chief Noble Wray had this to say about the incident:
“It would be accurate to state that there is evidence contained in the call, which should have resulted in a Madison police officer being dispatched,” Wray said at a news conference. “The 911 center did not call back to the telephone number, Madison police were not notified and no officer was sent.”
Dane County Public Safety Communications Director Joseph Norwick said “he was investigating the incident and reviewing whether policies should be changed and employees should be disciplined.” Norwick also stated: “I don’t think there’s anything to apologize for at this time.”
Perhaps Mr. Norwick doesn’t feel apologetic because he knows that government agencies were under no obligation to provide protection to this particular victim? The most recent proof of this was from a Supreme Court case in 2005, when the Court heard a case where Jessica Gonzales had obtained a restraining order against her estranged husband. Nevertheless, he kidnapped her three children and murdered them. The Supreme Court concluded that a restraining order “imposed no duty on police” to protect her children. This was the latest in a series of higher court rulings on the subject, all of which reached the same conclusion.
Wisconsin’s Bias Against Self-Defense
When Wisconsin Governor Doyle vetoed the second recent legislative attempt to pass shall issue, right-to-carry (RTC) in Wisconsin, he stated:
“I am proud to stand with the overwhelming majority of law enforcement throughout Wisconsin who oppose this legislation…”
Other organizations which purportedly care about safety were quick to praise Governor Doyle’s veto. After Doyle’s first veto, the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families issued this statement:
Anne Arnesen, executive director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (WCCF), praised Governor Doyle’s veto today of Senate Bill 214, which would have eliminated Wisconsin’s 130-year-old law prohibiting carrying of concealed weapons.
After the latest RTC veto, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault issued this press release:
For the second time in as many years, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Inc. (WCASA) was relieved to learn that carrying a concealed weapon will remain illegal in Wisconsin.
These statements highlight the belief that firearms only add to violence, and that women and children in particular are the most at risk as a result.What the Numbers Show
During the 1995-1996 time period, 10 states enacted RTC. Through 2006, these states averaged a 23.0% drop in their violent crime rates: decreases of 31.0% in murder, 12.6% in rape, 23.2% in robbery, and a 23.8% drop in aggravated assault. During this same time period, Wisconsin experienced an increase in overall violent crime of 1.0%: 30.2% drop in murder, 12.4% in rape, 4.7% less robbery, and 8.2% more aggravated assault. Wisconsin trailed in all indices compared to the RTC states, especially in robbery (by 18.5%) and aggravated assault (by 32.0%).
While it is difficult to draw too extensive a conclusion from these data, it is nevertheless reasonable to conclude that concealed carry has not contributed to violence in RTC states, and that promoting anti-self-defense laws in Wisconsin has not enhanced public safety. It is also reasonable to avoid jumping to a “guilty until proven innocent” conclusion about new self-defense laws, counter to what was done by organizations claiming to have the best interest of families, women and children at heart.
On the one hand, the governor and “the overwhelming majority of law enforcement throughout Wisconsin” want to limit what you may do to protect yourself from violent criminals in public; on the other hand, Wisconsin bureaucrats accept no responsibility for picking up the slack between what they allow you to do and what the criminal––who doesn’t care about laws––is willing to do.
Write your legislative representatives and ask them: The Supreme Court ruled that the police are not obligated to protect me. Calling 911 is no guarantee that police will respond. What would you have me do to protect myself and my loved ones?
© 2008 Howard Nemerov - All Rights Reserved
1 - Associated Press, Police: Slain Wisconsin Student Apparently Dialed 911; Help Not Sent, Fox News, May 2, 2008. 2 - Associated Press, Police: Slain Wisconsin Student Apparently Dialed 911; Help Not Sent. 3 - Gina Holland, Cops Can't Be Sued for Restraining Orders, Associated Press, Las Vegas Sun, June 27, 2005. 4 - Town of Castle Rock, Colorado, Petitioner v. Jessica Gonzales, No. 04-278, United States Supreme Court, page 8.5 - Governor Doyle Announced Veto of Concealed Carry Bill, Office of the Governor, January 20, 2006.6 - Wisconsin Council on Children and Families Praises Governor Doyle’s Veto to Uphold Wisconsin’s Prohibition on Concealed Weapons, Wisconsin Council on Children & Families, November 18, 2003.7 - Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault Commends Assembly for Upholding Concealed Carry Veto, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Inc. January 31, 2006.
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Howard Nemerov is a “recovering” gun control supporter. He began to research the issue of gun control on his own, and what he found transformed his perspective. Now he writes to help gun owners become better emissaries when talking about gun rights, and to help undecided people understand the underlying principles of the right to self-defense.
Howard is a contributor for the Texas State Rifle Association’s “TSRA Sportsman” and appears frequently on NRA News as an Analyst At Large, talking about gun control and its threat to our way of life and liberty. His new book is “Four Hundred Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working?” Where the emphasis has been on rhetoric and legislation, this book includes extensive data analysis from neutral and even pro-gun-control sources to determine if the rhetoric is true, and if the laws have worked...after Four Hundred Years.