About two months ago, the case of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse gripped the nation as he fought in court for his right to self-defense.
Now, the Wisconsin Assembly has passed a measure lowering the concealed carry age from 21 to 18, making it easier for people like Rittenhouse to defend themselves in the future.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the majority-GOP lower chamber passed the measure on Thursday. Other measures passed in the Assembly would allow concealed carriers to bring guns onto school campuses and permit anyone with a concealed carry permit from another state to carry a weapon in Wisconsin, The Associated Press reported.
Democrats in the state have predictably spoken out against the bills, and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is not likely to sign them into law.
Nonetheless, Republican state Rep. Shae Sortwell, who sponsored one of the bills, made compelling arguments for their passage.
“If you’re old enough to fight for your country, [if] you’re old enough to sign contracts, if you’re old enough to decide who the president of the United States is, we think you’re old enough to be responsible with your rights and to be able to protect yourself,” Sortwell said.
Sortwell did not even mention that 18-year-olds are also eligible to be drafted into the military, where they would presumably be using a variety of weapons to defend the country.
If 18-year-olds are capable of that, they are certainly capable of defending themselves with firearms.
Democrats also took aim at the provision allowing concealed carriers from other states to bring their guns into Wisconsin.
“Today we vote on bills that will bring guns to our school grounds, a bill that will allow high school seniors to carry concealed weapons and a bill permitting people from out of state who would normally fail a criminal background check to carry guns in Wisconsin,” Rep. Deb Andraca said. “As a parent, as a teacher and as a citizen, this is terrifying,”
Andraca provided no evidence to back her claim that the people bringing guns from out of state “would normally fail a criminal background check.”
According to the AP, Wisconsin currently only allows people with concealed carry licenses from states that require background checks to carry their guns in Wisconsin. Under the new proposal, people with licenses from any state could bring their guns to Wisconsin, even if their states do not require background checks.
Just because a state does not require a background check to get a concealed carry license does not mean the applicant would automatically have failed the check if it were required. This line of reasoning makes no sense.
In addition, Sortwell explained that this adjustment was meant to reduce the amount of red tape preventing legal gun owners from carrying firearms in Wisconsin, which has nothing to do with allowing criminals more access to guns.
“Our Second Amendment rights, those are just critically important to everybody across Wisconsin,” Sortwell said. “[We want to] make sure that every adult American, whether they are visiting Wisconsin, whether they are living in Wisconsin, has the same rights under the law.”
Rittenhouse’s case was a classic example of the importance of gun rights for law-abiding citizens. A good guy with a gun stopped a criminal from attacking him, and that is exactly what the Second Amendment is supposed to protect.
Wisconsin Democrats are simply recycling the same tired tactic of blaming firearms themselves for violence instead of holding criminals accountable.
Even if these bills do not pass, Republicans are sending a much-needed signal of support for the Second Amendment.
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