Finding Liberal Second Amendment Supporters in Deep Blue Madison, Wisconsin

I have been busy helping pick up the pieces after the death of a friend of 48 years. For the last few days, I ate breakfast at a McDonalds in Middleton, Wisconsin, part of the far-left liberal environs centered around Dane County and the college town of Madison. My friend had lived most of his life in Madison and Middleton. He was a lifelong Second Amendment supporter, lifetime master pistol shooter, and a mentor.

At McDonalds, I struck up conversation with a gentleman who I suspected to be a liberal. We had a connection because he was searching for information on friends who had recently died in Australia. I had recently been there and have investigative experience.

I told him I’m a writer and he asked what I wrote. I described Gun Watch and his demeanor softened a little. He described himself as a liberal gun owner.

The next day, he introduced his wife. They both had Wisconsin concealed carry permits. He showed a video of using Tannerite to recreationally blow up targets in northern Wisconsin. He introduced me to another member of his McDonalds breakfast group who was a retired Navy Captain.

Even in deep blue Madison (77 square miles surrounded by reality), there are significant numbers of Second Amendment supporters. Many of them keep their heads down because they believe they are surrounded by anti-Second Amendment leftists.

What they do in the polling booth may be different than what they admit to in public. They may be part of the group of invisible Trump voters who helped put him over the top in Wisconsin and other upper midwest states.

Was my new-found acquaintance one of them? It’s hard to say. He sounded as though he had an open mind. He is bright. He is informed. Could he have voted against Hillary for gun rights reasons?

It was obvious to both of us that he didn’t want his picture associated with this article. I said I expected he didn’t want his picture taken. He said I was exactly correct. He took mine, instead.

Second Amendment supporters in deep blue areas fear becoming known publicly. Social justice warriors often wish them harm. These people may support Second Amendment candidates. Other Second Amendment supporters should encourage them to, at minimum, vote to protect the Bill of Rights. All of them.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    I agree, these people should be encouraged rather than get the drubbings they get here.

    1. avatar Hasaf says:

      Thanks, mentons of gun owners that happen to disagree with the Republican party on economic issues tends to go negative fast. I appreciate that the first post was positive and reflects a welcoming spirit.

    2. avatar Scoutino says:

      There is only one major political party in U. S. that made gun control one of main pillars of their platform. If you are member of that party, you are part of the problem. If you vote for candidates who are members of that party, you are part of the problem. It doesn’t matter what you believe, it only matters what The Party wants. And Party wants us disarmed.

      Progressives made damn sure the ‘pro-gun rights Democrat’ is an oxymoron.

      1. avatar Alexander says:

        You are absolutely correct. Even if these so-called moderate Leftists have any vestiges of independent thought left somewhere (in hiding), they will do and vote as the Party says. Because the Party unity is most important to a Leftist; and the Party is always right.

        1. avatar Gator says:

          Correct. Screw the Democrats.

    3. avatar Bloving says:

      There are too many issues and too many positions to have on any of them across a broad spectrum of perspectives – and no single party fully represents MY wishes on everything…
      That is why I simplify things by asking a simple question: do you, Candidate, support the absolute right of a citizen to Keep and Bear upon their person in public a firearm for whatever legal reason they wish?
      Whichever candidate most correctly answers that question (or perhaps the least incorrectly) gets my vote. It just so happens that candidate has never to this day been a Democrat.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Support for the individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment is a very reliable proxy for support of all the other individual and civil rights most of us care about.

        By the same token, any politician who supports restrictions of Second Amendment rights is likely to view the rest of the Constitution as a dead letter, too.

        Today’s Democrats comprise the only political party in American history (as far as I know) to actively campaign for the removal of an existing civil right.

        1. avatar Denny says:

          They R The Same Scum Bags Who Took God & The Pledge of Allegance, And The 10 Commandments Off Federal Property! Time 4 The ( Boys )in DC 2 Act Like MEN! Borrow or Rent Some BALLS!!

  2. avatar David N says:

    What I found confusing when I lived in the red part of Texas were all the people who were avid firearms owners but would vote straight Democrat. I asked a few of them why they would vote for people who were dedicated to taking their firearms…what I got was “my granddaddy voted Democrat, my daddy voted democrat, so I vote Democrat. SMH

    1. avatar Denny says:

      Stupid is as Stupid Does !

    2. avatar Robert says:

      No, this is true, people are overall cowardly sheep. With the choice of trump or clinton, only slightly over 1% voted third party.

  3. avatar doesky2 says:

    Dennis Prager is two columns ahead of you.

    Conservatives in America – Like Marranos in Medieval Spain
    Marranos was the name given to Jews in medieval Spain, especially in the fifteenth century during the Spanish Inquisition, who secretly maintained their Judaism while living as Catholics in public.
    http://www.dennisprager.com/conservatives-in-america-like-marranos-in-medieval-spain/

    Fear of the Left: The Most Powerful Force in America Today
    http://www.dennisprager.com/fear-of-the-left-the-most-powerful-force-in-america-today/

  4. avatar Moltar says:

    WE should support them. Problem is in certain states the battle is long over and the best we can do is make a strategic withdrawal while wishing them the best of luck. California will likely never turn back into the firearms friendly state it once was, same with New York and New Jersey. I wish we could afford to help them fight the good fight there more passionately but with the local legislatures and cops already against us there’s little we can do especially with the fed courts in the area being just as antigun (if not more so) as the local courts.

    1. avatar JW says:

      National reciprocity would go a long way to help IMHO

  5. avatar Rocketman says:

    It’s a hell of a thing that in 2018 America some people are afraid to speak up for their personal beliefs because craven, misinformed bigots might come after them and do violence. I’m more convinced than ever that the only logical, rational answer is to dissolve the United States and split the country into different groups that can form their own nations based on their beliefs. If those idiots want to live under communism then let them. Just don’t drag the rest of us into their sick fantasies.

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      A hell of a thing indeed.

      Of course, at least some of those folks who are afraid to speak lest they be assaulted for their beliefs, are located in places where it is all but impossible to obtain permission to carry the implements to defend themselves.

      That’s what you call irony.

  6. avatar Bearacuda says:

    Stoughton, WI resident here! Madison area gun owners do exist. 🙂

  7. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

    I know gun owners all over the bay area. Including Berkeley. Our ranges are choked with people of all races and beliefs.

    Guns bring sensible people together.

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    Hmmm…Madison is where I first smelled pot circa 1970(at a weightlifting meet). If you don’t vote pro-gun I don’t give rat’s azz if you have guns. I’ll save my sympathy…

  9. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Originally discarded this article as uninteresting. But the note kept nagging.

    The entire of a “liberal” being a 2A supporter seems like a giant oxymoron, making any person claiming to be a “liberal 2A supporter” suspicious.

    The primary purpose of the second amendment is defense against attack by tyrannical government (along with defense against other states, and personal defense – of which precious little is discussed in “The Federalist Papers”). By definition, “liberals” look to tyrannical government as the source of all good benefits, happiness and security. This is anathema to the idea that people to should look to themselves for those same ideals.

    “Liberals” are unalterably opposed to self-reliance, and a sense of personal responsibility. The second amendment presumes individuals are most responsible for themselves. “Liberals” believe they alone know how to “do good”, and use government to force others to comply with whatever liberals announce as “doing good”. Liberals are not about letting people decide for themselves that which is “doing good”.

    Thus it is that respect for the second amendment coming from Liberals is anti-matter to Liberals. Therefore, any Liberal purporting to be “pro-gun” should be viewed with alarm, and be associated with Jeff Cooper’s dictum about being polite when meeting people.

    1. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

      Wrong. Your entire argument is based on baseless personal assumptions.

    2. avatar Benny Hinn Laden says:

      This is a straight up dumb argument.

      You make broad and self serving definitions and assertions for the purpose of supporting your arguments.

      May Jesus forgive your stupidity.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        With which statement(s) do you, in detail, disagree?

    3. avatar Scoutino says:

      Sam gets it. Being Liberal and pro gun rights at the same time must make your head explode. Completely opposite values don’t mix.

      1. avatar Gator says:

        Sam definitely gets it.

  10. avatar Marty says:

    Unfortunately, I know of at least two persons, one an avid shooter and hunter, the other just a simple gun owner. Both of them are hard core liberals. They both voted for killery. They both knew killery was an avid anti gunner. The avid shooter thought it was more important he get government health care than to be able to keep his gun rights. The other couldn’t tell me why he was a killery supporter, other than he was and always will be a demoncrap. And he admitted she was a crook. Liberalism really is a mental disorder.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      This has been my experience — pro-gun leftists don’t vote based on their pro-gun sentiments.

  11. avatar GS650G says:

    Gun owners who vote for those moron socialist progressives should not be surprised when it all goes south on them.

  12. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Some of us didn’t vote for Ms. Clinton, and did vote for Trump, because guns.

    Some of us voted because we thought Trump was the lesser of two evils overall.

  13. avatar skiff says:

    They’re closet gun owners. I know a few. If their don’t stand up for their rights and make good arguments to their reps and senators then someday they will say, “hey, what happened”? Liberal gun owners? Give me a break.

  14. avatar ironicatbest says:

    48 year friendship. That’s got to be tough. Peace out to you Dean

  15. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Dean, sorry for your loss and your friends families’ loss.
    I have some good friends in Barneveld, west of Madison. They are conservative gun owners.

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    You can be a liberal and support 2A. Traditional liberals believe in individual rights. But today’s Democrats aren’t liberals, they’re “progressives,” socialists and Marxists. You can’t vote Democrat and claim to be pro-gun.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Liberal”, when generally used in this forum, takes on the contemporary meaning, not the meaning of the word in 1775.

      It does seem, indeed, that today’s “liberals” are becoming more comfortable with the “progressive label”. Gotta say, they do have really funny commercials.

  17. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Dean, that is a very hard thing to watch, I’ve seen it as well. It’s something nobody with heart cannot be moved by…

  18. avatar Troubled Soul says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend Dean.
    I wish you, your family, and your friends family well.

  19. avatar Gun Owning American says:

    Not to get off topic here, but is the old guy breakfast club at McDonald’s a national phenomenon?

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Yup.
      Saw it at Decatur Indiana.
      Saw it at Versailles Indiana.
      Saw it at North Vernon Indiana.
      SSDL.

  20. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

    Dean, I’m sorry for your loss. It sounds like your friend had a life well lived.

  21. avatar Gralnok says:

    Just tossing my two cents in.
    I believe in forgiveness of mistakes. Everyone makes them, even in the voting booth. I myself made a big one. I’m going to admit, I didn’t vote for Trump. However, I couldn’t vote for Hillary either. That left me with Jill Stein. Yes, I voted for the Green Party candidate. I thought (at the time) the Green Party had a real chance. Neither candidate seemed good to me, plus Jill Stein seemed neutral on guns.

    Now I realize that was a horrible mistake. If I knew then that Jill would be sympathetic to the North Korean government, how Trump would be a blowhard, but a good leader, I would have voted Trump.

    I’m also fairly certain that Jill would have sided with Hillary against gun rights. Alas, what’s done is done, and while I am still interested in preserving the environment, gun rights take precedence over everything. Plus, I really am disappointed with the Green Party as a whole.

    So yeah, I screwed up. I’m willing to learn from my mistakes, however, and am glad Trump, not Jill Stein is president.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      I thought (at the time) the Green Party had a real chance.

      You cannot be serious. Voting for the Green Party as a protest vote is one thing (a stupid thing, because the GP is straight-up Communist), but thinking they had a chance is just delusional.

      1. avatar Gralnok says:

        I never said it was a smart decision. 😋

    2. avatar Swobard says:

      Gralnok- Tough admission to make in this crowd!

      What’s especially interesting to me is how Trump managed to secure your (grudging) support. I wonder how many other non-Trump voters have made the same transition.

      1. avatar Gralnok says:

        Trump managed to get things done. Plus he got the endorsement of Milo Yiannopolous. I’m also pretty sure I screwed up Milo’s last name, but whatever. He made more sense, he was a radical departure from the status quo. In the long run, he’s made people take notice of the United States, he’s kept jobs, he’s getting a wall built to clamp down on illegal immigration, I like a man of action. Words are easy and cheap, but actions speak louder.

  22. avatar Mike Hawkizard says:

    Ah yes, the infamous “pro-gun Democrat”.

    These guys must be the most masochistic group ever, because they love to support people that’ll screw them (and all other POTG) as soon as they get power.

    Without fail they’ll vote for the candidates that want to strip them of their rights, but will refuse to consider voting for anyone else because they don’t have a (D) after their names, then piss and moan about it like they had no clue.
    They’re as useless as FUDDs.

  23. avatar Shire-man says:

    There were Jewish Nazi’s too. Usually normal folks in denial, useful idiots to the establishment, persons of great wealth and means who benefitted from selling their brethren out or normals folk with aspirations of wealth and power who thought going along would put them in a favorable position.

    Jokes on them in the end.

  24. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Other Second Amendment supporters should encourage them to, at minimum, vote to protect the Bill of Rights. All of them.
    Sort of the problem with most of the Progtards is that they selectively pick rights that they like and ban rights they do not like.
    I have seen this with the far right Moral Majority Types as well.
    I think Ayn Rand had a diatribe about this picking and choosing of rights only leads to the government taking all of them away.
    But, no, I do not give gun owning Liberals a free pass.

  25. avatar Gun Owning American says:

    Sorry for your loss.

  26. avatar DaveR says:

    “Second Amendment supporters in deep blue areas fear becoming known publicly. Social justice warriors often wish them harm. ”

    Funnily enough, the same can be said for anyone claiming to be at all a “liberal” gun owner posting here.

    No. For the most part the blowhards on both sides define the tenor of the “debate”… the right is just as bad as the left in this regard

  27. avatar samuraichatter says:

    I talk with the devil from time to time. Not daily but somewhere between once a month and once a week. To be fair I do not know if he is “The Devil” but he is “the devil I know”. We had a conversation about politics (religion too). It came up that he did not vote for Hillary. I asked him “why” and he just shot me a look and said, “seriously”. He knew he was “throwing his vote away” as he lives in California (surprise). He did not care because he knew Hillary would lose. I asked him if he had some preternatural insight before the election. He simply stated, “No” and that “I didn’t need any special knowledge for that. Democrats suck at counting and that’s why they usually lose close elections”.

  28. avatar johninmadison says:

    As a Madison resident, this made me smile. We people of the gun here tend to somehow find each other, at McDonalds or elsewhere. At work a new hire may approach and start the conversation with something like, “So…. John says you shoot?” often with trepidation, not certain whether they will be met with open 2A arms, or if John just set them up for a liberal scolding and report to HR…lol. I suspect that may be true of every city where people are simply confused, or close minded. How any city can be so incredibly pro-union yet call the NRA (a group of dues paying members with common interests and joint representative) a terrorist organization is beyond me. Many of us do have liberal thoughts on some topics, conservative on others, nothing wrong with that. But, then again I am still naive enough to support every amendment, not just the convenient ones.

  29. avatar FB says:

    Unfortunately it’s about the large numbers.
    There are far too many democrat liberals that are antigun than democrat progun supporters to make a difference.

  30. avatar KCK says:

    Went to the University of Wis (7 years) worked IT for the state for over 25 , carried concealed in my state office building for the last 5 years of my career there.
    Co-workers would have been shocked except for the one that sold me his xD 40

  31. avatar Corey says:

    Lifelong WI resident, live in Sauk County, work in Middleton and Madison for many years.

    Lots of gun owners in Madison and the immediate surrounding area. However, they are very quiet about their ownership. Ive heard first hand from a few people that they are extremely quiet about who they let know that they own or even carry due to the attitude in Madison. They will be judged if they are found out by friends and family. Pretty sad, that the party of inclusiveness really isnt…

  32. avatar bryan1980 says:

    Most of the pro-Demorat gun owners around here are probably members of a labor union. They live their lives as conservatives, but vote however the union tells them to. I’ve been around lots of union electricians, and people who work at the GM plant, Lockheed, or AT&T who are firearms enthusiasts. A lot of them I’ve spoken with don’t like where their union dues ultimately end up, but they don’t rock the boat, lest they lose their job.

  33. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Republicans will Buck their party all the time. They’ll stay home and not vote. But they will always come out and support guns. That’s not the case with the Democrats. They might be pro-gun but they’re also mind numb robots and they’ll do whatever they’re told, vote however they’re told to vote, and that’s just a sad fact.

    Donald Trump did change that Dynamic and a lot of Democrats did vote for him. But after Donald Trump is gone the future is not bright for the Democrats within their own party.

  34. avatar Sy says:

    I find it both frightening and sad that anyone believes that left-leaning folks didn’t come to their own conclusions to get to where they are politically. I’ve always been a moderate on guns, I’ve become more of a second amendment advocate as I’ve had more exposure to the shooting sports and have actually held, and fired many different types of firearms.

    I am also a politically left leaning individual who supports the other 26 amendments as well. Being a politically left leaning gun owner isn’t the oxymoron a lot of people think it is. Hunting, defending oneself and self reliance are not partisan qualities. I did myself a favor and engaged with more conservative gun owners and started with our shared love of firearms, even if we disagreed at least we had that in common, and I was fine starting from there. There are reasons I am who I am and reasons they are who they are, I’d much rather get to know them and who they are and how they feel than lump them into one broad category. I wish some others here can do the same in the case of gun owning lefties.

    1. avatar Hasaf says:

      I used to be pretty far to the right. I was in High School, a very formative time for political attitudes, during the Reagan Presidency. I liked his style, at the time I was not aware of the lasting harm his policies would bring. Then came Bush, I have to say his Executive action banning new Class III firearms really annoyed me.

      In the Clinton years I was a member of the Limbaugh listening right. I read his and Gingrich’s books. I am still on the Heritage Foundation mailing list (which is great, I still like to hear their spin on the news, even if it is nonsense). I worked in the local Republican party office, and worked the phones on election day for G W Bush.

      Then it happened, you all know what it was. As we were gearing up for war I was concerned, no one seemed to have a clear idea of what victory would look like. . . If you don’t even know what your destination looks like how will you ever know how to get there, or even know if you have arrived.

      Then I started paying attention. The massive tax cut was simply the wrong policy. When a nation goes to war is not the time for tax cuts. I then started really looking at the entire premise of Supply Side Economics. It didn’t help that I was beginning to teach history and Economics. I started looking closely.

      Many people forget that Reagan prefaced his famous statement “Government is not the solution, it is the problem,” by saying, “in this current economic crisis.” Stagflation was a very unique incident brought about by external pricing shocks to the system. It is nearly the only case where supply side can work. Even Reagan saw that the supply side approach could not continue indefinitely, deficits did matter. However, the right took Supply Side as a universal panacea.

      I already mentioned the war. To make it clear, I was not in Iraq or Afghanistan. I went to Jordan and Saudi. However, what I didn’t see was crowds of crazy people who wanted to kill us. I saw people.

      Even here in the US I see people. I teach at a Title I school, that means poverty. As an investigator I saw poverty that you would not associate with the US. Yes, I have seen poverty in Bolivia, the ME, and even in China and Vietnam (no, I am not a Vietnam war era vet, Vietnam was an independent motorcycle tour with my daughter). I am not going to get into comparative poverty except to say, do you really want to live in a country where people work all day, really struggle, and still live like that with little hope of change . . . is that the America we really want?

      I think that somewhere you can see a person who no longer “fits” in the American Conservative movement. I really do not see many moves to the left in my life. I see the Right as having moved from where I am comfortable standing…

      All that being said, I am a strong proponent of the 2nd amendment and gun owners rights. I frequently do speak to people that lean a bit to the left and the realization that people they know are pro gun owners rights does have a positive impact.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Hunting, defending oneself and self reliance are not partisan qualities.”

      They are qualities of self-sufficiency, which is anathema to “liberals”, leftists, socialists, Democrats, and other big government aficionados. Such people believe, at the core, government is the giver of rights and benefits, the only legitimate means of obtaining justice, the rightful central figure in the lives of citizens (or should I say, “residents”?). Self-sufficiency, personal responsibility, a belief that people can manage their own lives, acquired skills beyond the minimum necessary to apply for government benefits are not welcomed in true “liberal” spheres.

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