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After a series of deadly mass shootings, should Wisconsin rethink concealed-carry?

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From the pages of In Business magazine.

Welcome to "Political Posturing," featuring opposing views on current issues important to Wisconsin's business community. In this column, Wisconsin Business Alliance Board President Brad Werntz and conservative columnist David Blaska offer their opinions from the left and the right, respectively.

Yes, but we’ll continue to live in a gun-packing fantasy world.

By Brad Werntz

Which shooting are we talking about now? Las Vegas hasn’t been at the top of the news cycle for weeks. In the U.S., there is a mass shooting every day. Since Vegas, there have been at least 60 more. Hopefully, none will have as many casualties, but at this point we don’t know.

Americans are over-achievers, and some take pride in brutality. Somewhere, someone is sketching out the details of the next worst mass shooting in modern history. What’s worse, as a country we’re not yet willing to do anything to stop them.

Institutions amplify the best and worst of the people who founded, manage, or otherwise shape them. In the organizational DNA of our country, on one hand we have the Second Amendment. On the other hand, we have Samuel Colt. It is said that God made man, and Colt made them equal. Although all are considered equal under the Constitution, many men view themselves as being less of a man if they aren’t packing a piece.

Guns have always been a part of my life. I worked at a big-game hunting camp for many years. What’s more, I’ve lived through most reasons why someone might want to carry a concealed weapon: I’ve been held at gun and knifepoint, bears have entered my tent, I’ve had restraining orders against stalkers, we experienced a home-invasion — the list goes on. Not once has there been a time where I would have been better off with a hidden weapon. Instead, I punched a wild bear in the nose and beat the crap out of the home invader.

So I just have to call it as I see it: Legislators who support concealed carry are cowards who live in a dark fantasy world. Their cowardice is both personal and moral, and it contributes to the deaths of almost 100 innocent people a day.

Enough is enough, except when it’s not. Apparently, we’ve not had enough. The killing will continue until we decide to solve it, and more people with more guns is clearly not the answer.

Brad Werntz is a small business owner in Madison.

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