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In a brilliant bit of Second Amendment promotion, members of Wisconsin Carry went door to door in a rough area of Milwaukee, offering free training required to obtain a Wisconsin concealed carry license. The south side of town doesn’t have the reputation due to its high crime rate. The city has 10 percent of the state’s residents and 60 percent of Wisconsin’s murders . . .


Wisconsin Carry has been providing free classes so people can obtain the Wisconsin permit since 2009. The Wisconsin shall-issue concealed carry law went into effect in November of 2011. The Badger State exceeded 200,000 permit holders in September of 2013.


Sonia, a mother of two on Milwaukee’s south side, doesn’t want guns in her house. 

But with a pair of convicted sex offenders nearby who have just been granted allowance to leave their home unsupervised, Sonia has begun to think about some form of protection, perhaps pepper spray or a Taser. 

When gun rights activists fanned out in her neighborhood Saturday afternoon, handing out fliers promoting free classes for training on carrying firearms, Sonia was one of the first to sign up — since Wisconsin residents need similar training to legally carry a Taser.

Scholar John Lott has found that the demographic group that benefits the most from concealed carry permits is urban minority women. As an instructor, I have found that women are very receptive to self-protection when they obtain serious information on the subject, rather than emotional appeals.
It’s legal to openly carry in Wisconsin, though that right had to be fought for and defended in court before the Wisconsin legislature finally corrected police abuses with a specific declaration that open carry does not constitute “disorderly conduct”.
While the comments at the article highlights numerous anti-Second Amendment individuals fearful of allowing ordinary citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights, Sonia, who does not want a gun in her house, did not have a problem with approaching the pair of open carriers who were handing out fliers:

“Are you from Wisconsin Carry?” Sonia asked, running out of her house on a chilly afternoon. She had heard the group would be in her neighborhood and wanted a copy of the group’s flier, which advertises the next free training session for carrying a weapon. 

Sonia went back inside her house and immediately registered for the free class, to be held April 19.

Another program designed to address the defensive needs of inner city dwellers, the Armed Citizen Project, is planning to distribute free shotguns and training in nearby Indiana. Due to efforts like these, the number of women gun owners is growing rapidly. I suspect that as Sonia becomes educated, she will join that cohort.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

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  1. the Armed Citizen Project, is planning to distribute free shotguns and training in nearby Indiana.

    I bet Shannon is all atwitter.

  2. As honorable as their intent may be, when people come unannounced to my door and attempt to solicit me, my radar goes off somewhere between ‘obnoxious’ and ‘potential home invasion’. Seeing guns would tend to push the needle closer to the latter mark.

    • agreed, I support open carry, but if a strange person approaches my door with a visible firearm, I’m going to defcon 1.

    • i suppose it’s all about the approach. if they look professional, well-kept, maintain a reasonable distance after knocking the door/ringing the doorbell, etc. i’m sure i’d be less hesitant.
      this may sound (deliciously?) sexist, but i think that may be one reason for co-ed propagation. having a lady-friend as a part of your duo might help diffuse a sense of peace and – dare i say it? – nonviolence.

    • To each his own, I suppose. Although, people routinely describe in-person solicitation, telemarketers, and junk mail as annoyances. Yet, entities continue to employ these methods, presumably because they’re effective. In this instance, the woman had heard about the program in advance. So some legwork or other notice may have already been provided such that it wasn’t completely out of the blue.

      This subject matter being firearms, though, puts the effort in a category by itself. Still, with pre-printed t-shirts and a pleasant young woman among the visitors, there’s enough there to put a lot of people at ease and open to opening the door. Or not. Not everything succeeds the first time.

    • “Are you from Wisconsin Carry?” Sonia asked, running out of her house on a chilly afternoon. She had heard the group would be in her neighborhood and wanted a copy of the group’s flier . . .”

      She knew they were coming, Vhyrus. They didn’t “come unannounced.”

      • If you’re going to attempt to tell me that every single house that they went to knew in advance who they were and that they were expected, I am going to have to call shenanigans.

        • “Every single house” doesn’t know what planet we’re on, but the event was known to many of the people. I’m sure that the one’s who didn’t, didn’t cooperate.

      • Also, it didn’t appear to be just this one couple, but “fanned out in the neighborhood…”

        Seems an unlikely MO for burglars or home invaders.

        And if a group of burglars/home invaders HAS “fanned out” in your neighborhood it’s way too late to be worrying about firearms classes.

    • I’m pretty sure the “WisconsinCarry.Inc” banner printed across their T-shirts in inch-high letters probably gives a clue to who they are.

    • Does that include democrat politicians running for office?

      How exactly do you think the admirable objectives of this group might be accomplished. Face to face “marketing” (or OUTREACH) is the only method that would achieve anything. All the .gov paid for TV ads (as Obumacare) would accomplish NOTHING if you could even get them on the air. Running radio ads during Limbaugh? Newspaper ad in USA Today?

      This is exactly what is needed in Southside of Chicago. WIth partial “Scholarships” for the BS “training” required by the Peoples Republic of Lincoln (an rental firearms).

      +100 for these guys.

      • I don’t carry a gun around the house so if a stranger wants to talk to me they shouldn’t be open carrying on my property.

      • “Exactly what is needed on the South side of Chicago” is usually measured in megatons. But a repeat of October 1871 would probably get the job done, too.

    • One wonders how many people were alienated upon seeing armed people at their door. Poo-poo it all you want, but not everyone likes to have strangers openly carrying guns come to their door unannounced (and don’t give me that BS about everyone knowing they were coming). This is especially true of people who aren’t dyed-in-the-wool open carry proponents.

      Even forgetting about the alienation, I wonder how many more people would have been receptive to the message and opened the door had it not been coming from someone on their front-porch better armed than they are. I know I wouldn’t open the door…

      • One wonders how many people were alienated upon seeing armed people at their door.

        Somehow, the thought of you being concerned about alienating anyone seems patently absurd.

        • LOL A person that profoundly scared at the proximity of guns must be absolutely mortified at the sight of paved roads.

      • How exactly would you like them to announce themselves. Drive up and down the street with a bullhorn telling people not to be afraid of the people coming to the door and who they are. Maybe they should try to find their phone numbers and call them first. They could send them something in the mail a few days before hand I guess, they are already offering free classes whats a few more dollars out of their pockets.

        Generally people looking to do bad things do not carry their guns on their hip. The fact they come to the door open carrying and holding pamphlets would ease my mind a little, I still would be wary but I would have no problem talking to them. No one gets in my home though, they can talk from the front porch.

    • Paranoid much…??? Do you really think criminal are going to actively approach your domicile while openly carrying…??? Use a little common sense…

  3. I don’t know Wisconsin, or Indiana, but if anybody starts handing out free shotguns in north St. Louis, I’m pretty sure they’re not going to stay in the hands of the ladies for very long.

      • Perhaps, but you’ll have to negotiate the sale with the afore-said lady’s potentially unsavory male pal, in a somewhat insalubrious neighborhood, at an inconveniently late hour, at the entrance to a disturbingly dark alley.

        Have fun.

  4. While I laud the group’s goals, I really have to question the situational awareness of a resident who opens the door to someone who (a) they don’t know and (b) is carrying a weapon.

    I hope to live in a society where that would be the norm, or at least about as worthy of comment as whether the person was wearing a ball cap … But right now, that’s not us.

    • “question the situational awareness of a resident who opens the door to someone who (a) they don’t know and (b) is carrying a weapon”
      That is one reason they need to take the class.
      Also, make sure the folks signing up for the class are registered to vote and remind them to vote.

    • The neighborhood knew they were coming. And Sonia, the specific person interviewed, ran out of her house to solicit them.

      • The one anecdote of a person running out to meet them is belied by the quote “”Clark and 16 members of his organization visited the neighborhood, knocking on doors and passing out fliers.”

        The passing out fliers makes sense… knocking on doors makes it clear not everyone was running out to meet them.

    • Call me racist (I don’t really care either way) but…
      It’s a white guy, with a clean cut beard and an OBNOXIOUSLY BRIGHT ORANGE SHIRT (which I’m assuming says ‘Wisconsin Carry, Inc on it like the woman’s shirt) passing out flyers with a woman (also in a WCI shirt) open carrying in an area mostly populated with “urban minority women.” It’d be pretty hard to make the leap to him doing home invasions. Frankly most people probably don’t even see the gun what with that “I am the SUN!” shirt.

      I’d say about the only thing they’re doing wrong is him leaving his shades on when talking to people.

      • Absolutely agree. It’s all about common sense (real common sense, not a slick marketing campaign) and situational awareness. I would assume that many of these residents have more face-to-face interactions with potential criminals than suburban dwellers ever will, so they would naturally have a higher level of street smarts and can sort out intentions better than practically anyone out there. I would also, naturally, assume that WCI are intelligent and thoughtful enough to understand the potential risks and carefully plan their presentation.

    • May I point out that an undercover cop is also someone who (a) they don’t know and (b) is carrying a weapon.

      • And opening your door because someone says they’re an undercover cop is also a bad idea.

  5. F’ the debate. Keep up the good work. For the nay-sayers here, what have you done to help women you don’t even know learn to defend themselves?

  6. The JSOnline website comments are closely monitored during business hours by Democrat agitators.

    The first post in any article is done within seconds of the article going live, and is virulently leftist.

    This only holds true between about 9:30am and 4:30 pm. Union hours, you know.

  7. As an evil old white man married to a beautiful black woman I say great. Then again I would NEVER open my door to anyone with a gun on his hip. Unless he could positively identify himself as a COP.

  8. I think what they are doing is fantastic.

    I highly recommend that the trainers invest two minutes encouraging trainees to lobby and/or vote for candidates who support their inalienable right to defend themselves. Present it as a “pay it forward” opportunity.

    As for the door-to-door marketing, it looks they have it right. They are dressed nicely. They are out in broad daylight. They have a man and a woman. And they managed to somehow get the word out ahead of time.

    I would love to see this happen in every major city in the U.S.A.

  9. I thought acting like an inanimate object can kill on its own was ridiculous.

    How is giving guns to people who live in a high crime area a good thing? You got 2 mainstream ideas on urban crime: bad culture or income inequality.

    Is a gun going to fix a culture? Is a free gun going lessen income inequality?

    • Given bad culture and/or income inequality, the majority of the people in these neighbourhoods are decent people. One big problem is that they do not trust the justice system or the police.

      Helping them to be legally armed (the women go through a background check) and to know their rights is a big step toward integration in the larger society.

      Only a tiny percentage of people, even in bad neighbourhoods, are violent criminals.

      David Kennedy has written extensively about this. He is Ivy League, Harvard, and hardly a “conservative”, but he is honest. Trusting honest people in these neighbourhoods is a decent stab at turning the culture around.

    • Short answer, Yes. Long answer goes something like this: In 1785 Thomas Jefferson wrote to his fifteen-year-old nephew, Peter Carr, regarding what he considered the best form of exercise: “…I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.” When someone has a gun they think and if they think with a gun in their hand they may come to the conclusion that if I can protect myself and my loved ones then maybe I can better provide for them as well. YMMV.



  10. The bride and I spent yesterday shopping in Wisconsin. No silly Gun Free Zone signs.
    In one clothing store, the salesperson, a young women, held a shirt up against my mid-section in order to check the size. She obviously felt my gun. No issue. Nothing said, not even a wink or nod.
    We then stopped at a Farm & Fleet. Again, no signs and no fuss when my jacket pulled back to reveal all.
    Obviously I was carrying legally, but was impressed by the casual (appropriate) attitude by the folks we encountered.

      • More like being realistic. No matter how well you conceal carry there will come a time when you will be found out. It will happen. No reason for people to freak out over it.

  11. Yeah in all honesty I’d be extremely distrustful of people walking up to my door with weapons and without any form of any ID. at least with the po po you can typically see their police during the day time

  12. Consider all the promotion that concealed carry, open carry, and active support for the second amendment got from the coverage of this event.

    The coverage at jsonline was even a bit positive.

    I do not see the downsides.

  13. These “urban” women AIN’T voting Republican. Or if you prefer pro gun. Or 2A. “Obama doesn’t want to take your guns away”. Once again from an evil old white man married to a beautiful black woman.

    • Things always change over time. It’s a process and quite possibly a process that eventually puts corrupt inner-city Dem hacks on notice that disarming Americans will no longer be tolerated.

  14. The Wisconsin event was a great activity for the pro-2A community.

    Wisconsin Carry does a lot of good work. The free classes are not just for this neighborhood; they go on regularly around the state.

    I read some of the comments here, and I wonder if we’re all actually in favor of the 2nd amendment.

    Then I read that a guy with a pistol on his hip better not come on [my] porch (or words to that effect), and I don’t have to wonder any longer.

    • “Then I read that a guy with a pistol on his hip better not come on [my] porch (or words to that effect), and I don’t have to wonder any longer.”


      There is an awful lot of hand wrining in this thread over a gun in a holster…

      The MERE PRESENCE of the gun is OH SO FRIGHTENING, OMG!!!111!!!

  15. As the open carry community often points out, bad guys don’t open carry.

    I doubt most sheeple noticed the gun until it would have been to late, had they been a BG. I, for one, tend to trust people that open carry a gun more than the ones that open carry a clipboard.

    Finally the PC tactical sequence of events:
    – person knocks, asses the three S’s
    – check peepholes, asses the three S’s
    – open your front door, asses the three S’s
    – talk through locked security door
    *three S’s = is this a stupid person doing stupid things in a stupid place.

    This works for good guys, bad guys, and police (well, the ones that knock at least).

  16. If some guy open carrying was walking up my property to my front door, with hat and dark sunglasses no less, I would moving very quickly to my own gun and telling my wife and kids to go to the back of the house. I support open carry and I will open carry when hiking out in the mountains. But anyone who does it in suburbia, or goes door-to-door like this is actually setting us all back in our fight to protect our 2A rights and gives incredible fuel to gun haters. Some already think we’re sociopaths for loving guns. If you pull these stunts you prove them right.

  17. Wow. Did this thread bring out all the trolls? This is a Truth about guns site which advocates CONSTITUTIONAL carry. I guess if you feel threatened get your active shooter card out and go hide under the table while screaming and throwing things in the general direction of the door or something. For the rest of us I will answer the door and find out what the deal is. I know this is a mixed group, but it seems like there are way too many paranoids or something. Wisconsin Carry is trying to promote open carry. How can someone see that guns aren’t scary unless you show them. Shame on those who will not open your door. If you feel that scared keep your rifle/shotgun with you at the low ready, and man up!
    Wisconsin Carry, good on you keep up the good work. Maybe with some education and some exposure to the other side we will make some Pro-2A voters or at least open some eyes to the fact that guns used and carried properly by responsible citizens is not a bad thing.

  18. Man, I wish I can get free training. But in all seriousness, I’m seriously considering getting my license this summer. Too bad there really isn’t anywhere you can carry, especially in Madison. Hell, they even have the “No Gun” signs at bus stops. Main reason why I don’t carry is I’m a student so campus is weapons free, a ton of stores don’t allow guns, so if I do end up carrying. I’m doing it against their set rules and I don’t like going around for trouble. Granted they won’t see it, but don’t want to take any chances.

  19. @M.J.
    Finally one comment that made since. I guess everyone else on this thread only supports concealed carry. I constantly read posts on this site about avoiding businesses that don’t allow carrying on their property. Then people freak out at the thought of someone coming to their door with a holstered firearm. I really don’t understand. I guess now everyone knows what it’s like having strangers come into their restaurant or store carrying a firearm and why they post no gun signs. If someone can better explain what is going on here, please do. I’m honestly confused.

    • “Finally one comment that made since. I guess everyone else on this thread only supports concealed carry. ”

      MJ said it quite well, but is not the only one to say it.

      “Everyone else” does not ONLY support concealed carry.

      I’m a bit stunned at some of the responses here to a hand gun in a holster.

  20. If I’m not mistaken, people’s negative reactions to this (mine included) have nothing to do with not supporting open carry. I think it has everything to do with coming up on a stranger’s private property and then knocking on the door that would give you access to the home if the door is opened. If I were to see someone out on the street open carrying I’d think “that’s fine, make your statement”. It’s different when you are making that statement at my door when my wife and little kids are inside. My state allows open carry and I have never seen someone open carrying, ever. The vast majority of people don’t know it is legal and would be alarmed to see someone on the street open carrying. You magnify that alarm 10X by coming on their property and approaching their house. You can say “It’s my right, who cares if people ignorant of the law are alarmed.”, and many hear feel that way. We POTG are losing our public relations campaign badly because of, well, it seems that half of us are antisocial and love guns because we hate people. When you show such disregard for the average citizen feelings, then you are part of that latter half. These alarmed people vote, and if they didn’t before you just might have inspired them to vote in favor of new gun control laws.
    Wouldn’t it be better to find a non-threatening way to get the word out about open carry? Shouting “It’s my right!” does nothing to wins the hearts and minds of voters. They have to be intellectually convinced that the 2A is worth defending, but before they can be convinced of that we need to show them that we are good respectful people that can be trusted with rights most voters don’t exercise. Please remember that people that don’t own guns feel like they lose nothing but gain a margin of safety when they vote in favor of gun control legislation.

    • “It’s different when you are making that statement at my door when my wife and little kids are inside. ”

      There’s the issue, right there. It’s NOT different.

      You are doing the SAME THING the anti’s do – anthropomorphizing the gun itself as some sort of symbol of evil intent.

      This is really just “I support the 2A, but…” in a different set of dress-up clothes.

      “I support Open Carry, but not on MY front porch.”

      Yeah, it’s your front porch and all, but I ask you to just think about what you really responding to here.

      In other words, the presence of the gun itself, in a holster, is only one (relatively small) part of the threat assessment package.

      Truthfully, I am more worried about the guns I don’t see when someone approaches my house…the exact same argument pro-CC only dudes make about why they believe CC is the one true way.

      That is, they often say some variation of “I want the element of surprise.”

  21. Once again, good people are trying to advance the cause, and there are those that having nothing good to say about it, and it’s to those I say FA-Q…

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