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It’s a truism that if a politician’s lips are moving s/he’s lying. And truisms are only truisms because they’re usually, you know, true. So what to make of Bill Kramer’s claim to the AP, as reported by, that he carries a concealed Glock 26 on the Wisconsin Assembly floor from time to time? Just going on gut feel, this is probably one of those rare instances of something true passing the lips of an elected official. Not smart, mind you, but true. . .

Kramer’s the Speaker Pro Tem of the Assembly. And as a Republican, he’s one of those targeted for harassment by Badger Staters who aren’t happy with a number of new laws Governor Scott Walker and his legislative friends have enacted.

He said he feels he needs the weapon given the toxic atmosphere at the state Capitol, and he’s not the only lawmaker packing in the chamber.

“Have you been in the Capitol lately?” Kramer said. “The saying is you don’t need a gun until you need it. I hope I go to my grave having never fired at anything but a paper target.”

Bands of protesters still angry over Republican Gov. Scott Walker‘s contentious collective bargaining law have spent the past year harassing GOP legislators.

According to Kramer, he received concealed carry permit #16,657, for which we offer our hearty congrats. Under legislative rules enacted along with the state’s new law, it’s legal for both Assemblymen and Senators to carry on their respective floors. The Assembly allows those in the gallery to pack as well, while the Senate has disappointingly seen fit to disarm its observers. And things have been, well, interesting in the Capitol recently.

One (protestor) threw a beer on state Rep. Robin Vos, R-Burlington, co-chairman of the Legislature’s powerful finance committee, in a Madison bar in September. Last week, protesters heckled Walker from the Assembly’s overhead galleries as the governor delivered his state-of-the-state address in the chamber. The next night during debate on a divisive mining permit bill, Kramer ordered the galleries cleared after agitators hung a banner over a railing and hurled profanities at lawmakers.

But Speaker Kramer seems to need some time to get used to this whole concealed carry thing. For instance, he’ll do well to learn that one of the more important aspects of a carry permit is that modifier, ‘concealed’. As in, why the hell would he tell someone – especially a reporter – that he’s carrying? Never mind ratting out others (thankfully, not by name) who may be packing, too.

Then again, it would be helpful to remember who and what Speaker Kramer is. Given his occupation, it’s probably too much to hope that he’d learn to STFU about his heat-packing practices. Or anything else, for that matter.

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  1. I really don’t understand the mind set here. The man is prominent and explains how he is exercising his right to bear arms and you complain.

    One of the challenges freedom lovers face is getting the awareness of the need to be armed accepted. More prominent people should say they have a license. Don’t many of the authors here do exactly the same thing?

    There is an underlying squeamishness about firearms at this blog that is fascinating like a train wreck.

  2. DZ,

    STFU is a good rule, but all rules have their exceptions. Some need to be the champions for our cause and as such need to make public the fact that they lawfully carry. I don’t want people to know I’m carrying but Kramer is a champion.

  3. Well, were I in his position, I’d run it up the flagpole too. Were you the unhinged sort, who would you rather harass? Someone who isn’t carrying a gun, someone who might be, or someone who is?

  4. The MSM tries to paint 2A advocates as bitter-end gun-clingers, to be alinskyated as wierdos and slope-brows. The more that people in public and leadership postitions “come out of the closet” the harder this will become.

    This one politician has contributed a lot to making Bloomberg’s “big-game” commercial a total waste of money.

    • I try to fight Yahoo in the comments section of their anti-gun rants as much as possible.
      Good for Kramer!

  5. Dan, since the man is the Speaker, I think it is good (for gun support) that he openly admitted to cc and mentioned other politicos do it too. Kramer does look like a local Trader Joes Crew member that sometime demos the food.

  6. I’m with Kramer on this one. He’s letting the union thugs know he’s not going to be screwed with, Those people are nuts up there watching the Berkley of the midwest turn slowly in a Republican state. I’m surprised they didn’t have more problems when they sat in the capital.

    • Union thugs? Are these all members of unions, or just the ones who actually beat-up people. I am not a union member, but I get weary of always seeing that modifying noun-noun combination.

  7. Yes, he should keep it a secret like it should be because what he is doing is shameful.

    Why does this blog sound like anti drivel from time to time?

  8. Mr. Zimmerman, I’m afraid you’ve failed to make your case, here.

    I’m not aware of any law in any state that requires you to remain silent about the general notion that you have a concealed carry permit, or that you carry where legally permitted, are you? More importantly, does Wisconsin have such a legal provision? Now, I know specific in the moment comments such as “I’ve got a gun, don’t mess with me” can fall afoul of the law. That wouldn’t be smart. The Speaker has made a general observation, not a specific threat.

    In the absence of a legal objection, what’s your complaint? That concealed means concealed? How has he flashed or brandished his firearm? When has he ignored that “more important aspect…that modifier, ‘concealed’” while discussing it? It’s a concealed carry permit, not a secret carry permit.

    As others have noted, this is significant not in that it gives you an opportunity to speciously mock a politician, but that a public figure and political representative has shown his support for the 2nd amendment and concealed carry. Not by vague talking points and hollow affirmations, but by declaring himself a member of the concealed carry community. It could be argued that this is one of the significant roles of a political representative, to make a public stand for his beliefs and influence the political culture as well as the political process.

    It’s also been noted, and I’ll second it here, there is often a thread of discomfort with guns in the public eye here at TTAG. A feeling that it is distasteful to exercise your rights in a way that might make the uninformed uncomfortable, that anything that draws criticism from the professional anti-rights crowd should be considered irresponsible, and the notion that anything that doesn’t meet a writer’s lofty sense of decorum should be decried. The truth, about these issues and guns, is that the uninformed are made uncomfortable by all sorts of things because they’ve never been exposed (and if we cower from their fear, they will never be exposed), criticism from the professional anti-rights crowd will occur regardless of what we do and we should treat it as the drivel it is (it is, after all, their job to criticize), and that an individual’s sense of decorum should inform no one but himself (else it becomes elitist discrimination, and has no place in our heterogeneous community).


  9. What the heck kind of article is this? There’s a friggin’ state rep who admits he carries, and that’s supposed to be a bad thing?

    Wisconsin ain’t lame-o Massachusetts or other commie states where “pro-gun” people have little problem with their permit-needed, capacity-limited, state-card-needed-to-even-buy-a-gun, ridiculous gun laws, or where the 2nd Amendment is great as long as you can’t see it.

    WI now has concealed carry, but before that it already basically had constitutional open carry except in a car. This article reads more like something that would be on an anti-gun blog. All it needs is a little different title like “omg he’s got a gun omg”

  10. “Given his occupation, it’s probably too much to hope that he’d learn to STFU about his heat-packing practices. Or anything else, for that matter.”

    Jesus. Way to help the cause.

    – – – –

    Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for doing your part and more to normalize the idea that many of us non-crazy, non-violent citizens see good and valid reasons for keeping a weapon available for our use, while hoping never to feel a need to use it.

    Thanks for standing up in public to say “this is what I believe to be true.”

    Thanks for being willing to be a point man in our ongoing effort to overcome fear and bias and ignorance, even though your willingness brings you criticism.

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