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I just received the following email from Wisconsin Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer [above] re: Danny’s previously posted story Bill Kramer: New CCL Holder, Politician

I did not want to affect the comment flow, but I wanted to let you know that I did not out myself.  The AP called me knowing that I, and one other legislator by name, was carrying in the Capitol.  By taking the interview, I hoped that I could get, at least, part of my side into the story and try to keep other legislators from being named . . .

I stressed in every interview that the key is “concealed”, and that I was less than happy being named.  I am not ashamed to carry.  I am not scared in the Capitol.  I am not shouting from the mountain top that I am carrying, either.

Bill Kramer
Speaker Pro Tem

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  1. When I read the first article on Kramer, I wondered why a guy in an apparently hostile situation was doing what amounted to painting targets on himself and sending out “e-vites” to those who might wish to harm him. Effectively advising his enemies to “Strike first (without warning) and Strike to disable”. I thought he was either incredibly brave or incredibly foolhardy. Looks like he was being somewhat brave and ended-up being foolhardy. There is still a lot to be said for the good ol’ “element of surprise” whether in defense or attack.

    • Why is it considered inherently foolhardy to let it be known you are armed? I recognize the value in the element of surprise, and I know the deterrent value for the society in concealed carry is the uncertainty whether any given individual is armed. However, for an individual, particularly one faced with a specific threat, the deterrent value may be greater in removing doubt. Are there trade-offs in this strategy? Certainly, as there are in any strategy. Each individual should determine for themselves how they wish to proceed. And perhaps the rest of us should quit trying to substitute our judgment for theirs.

      As far as painting targets and sending out e-vites…police and military forces open carry as a matter of procedure. They are as guilty as Speaker Kramer of painting target on themselves. However, other considerations dictate their actions, as they did in Speaker Kramer’s situation. Do these situations change your tactical position? Yes, and it’s worth noting. But people seem to be moving beyond noting the tactical challenges to criticisms founded on their personal preferences.


      • He got duped by AP, and, as an experienced Politician, he should know better. I did mean to infer he was foolhardy for failing to STFU and talking to AP. I guess that is “inherently foolhardy” come to think of it.

        “But people seem to be moving beyond noting the tactical challenges to criticisms founded on their personal preferences.” I don’t see this as a problem in a discussion venue. Maybe you could expand your point a bit more.

        • My point is wondering what the legitimate criticism is. What, beyond the personal preference to maintain your silence, dictates calling someone’s actions foolhardy (recklessly bold or rash, according to a Google search)? He’s responded to a confrontation by the press, not only as a permit-holder but as a politician. His response dictates certain adjustments to his tactics as a permit holder. It reflects certain adjustments to his tactics as a politician.

          As a public figure, this response is rightfully open to criticism. As a supporter of his rights, I’d like to see those criticisms reflect legitimate concerns, not personal preferences. I don’t say they don’t exist, I simply ask that they be enumerated clearly so that discussion can move forward clearly.


          • If you read the original post “Bill Kramer: New CCL Holder, Politician” by Dan Zimmerman and the article he cites from the Chicago Tribune, then read Mr. Kramer’s e-mail (above) to Robert Farago, it is pretty clear that Kramer consented to speak to AP when they confronted him, but thought somehow he was going to “…get, at least, part of my (Kramer’s) side into the story and try to keep other legislators from being named . . .”. He goes on to say “I stressed in every interview that the key is “concealed”, and that I was less than happy being named. I am not ashamed to carry. I am not scared in the Capitol. I am not shouting from the mountain top that I am carrying, either.”. I presume AP may have found-out about his CCL as a matter of Public Record, but nowhere is it specified in either original post how AP initially came by the information.

            He apparently thought he could get the press to represent his situation in a sympathetic way, given the hostile atmosphere with the Wisconsin public. However, he now seems to regard what was reported as less than desirable to his interests. So, he tried to have it both ways and got burned. Perhaps that wasn’t “foolhardy” (bold and rash). Perhaps it was just plain, ordinary foolish for an experienced Politician (who cannot have gotten to where he is without some previous experience with the treachery of the news media).

            Given Kramer’s express regrets about his CCL being announced to the Public, and concern for other Legislators being named, I still think in this specific case he should not have spoken to AP because he is not fully committed to his CCL being Public knowledge. He’s still trying to have it two ways – appealing to gun owners on one hand (“I am not ashamed to carry.”) and keeping it “hush-hush” on the other for those of the Public that may not approve (“I am not shouting from the mountain top that I am carrying, either.”).

            I would also maintain that part of his “state of regret” over this situation is that he recognizes at some level that he did paint targets on himself and send “e-vites” to anyone wishing to harm him to adopt their tactics accordingly. He has no obligation to do so, as do LEO’s and the Military, as you correctly pointed-out.

            My specific criticism, therefore, is that Mr. Kramer is straddling the fence of having a CCL for self-defense, but doesn’t really want to risk disapproval of those in the Public that do not support Second Amendment Rights. I think it is a legitimate criticism because his is not an honest position.

            I cannot enumerate it more clearly than that.

            • Okay, based on your specific criticism I misread your first comment as opposed to someone outing themselves about cc.

              In this comment it becomes clear your criticism lies primarily with his political misstep and subsequent regrets.

              With that I have no particular argument.


              • Okay, Thanks! My first post was too brief to make my point clear and I apologize for that. I learned from your comments.
                Hopefully, Speaker Kramer will read Nick Leghorn’s post:
                “Wisconsin goes Gun Crazy Following New CCW Law” and be more comfortable with how things turned-out for him.

      • Theres a big difference between open carrying an M16, an M249 SAW, etc, etc, and conceal carrying a GLOCK 26.

        And i’m certain military profesonials are more competent with firearms in general than youre average politician is.

        • What is that difference, exactly? More directly, what makes it significant to the argument?

          And on what information do you base your assessment that military professionals are more competent with firearms than the average politician?

          I’m not trying to be facetious, by the way. I merely want specifics with which to deal, rather than vague assertions.


  2. Let it be a warning to all gun owners that anytime a large media outlet posts a story about firearms,it will always be slanted to the extremist perspective .The initial call from the reporter asking for ‘your side’ of the story may appear reasonable,but a gun owner better believe whatever he shares will be used against him in the final article.

    • I’ll posit that this goes for anyone who expresses a point of view not in line with “mainstream” elitist orthodoxy, right or left.

    • Apparently that also is true for TTAG.

      news: “State rep says he conceal carries.”
      TTAG: “omg you’re not actually supposed to admit you exercise your 2nd Amendment rights! Put that thing away before someone sees it!”

  3. I know for a fact that there are many Legislators carrying in state capitals throughout the US. This is a good thing. It allows them the security to vote their conscience without fear of intimidation. The union’s strength is based on intimidation of Legislators, businesses, and people who cross a picket line.

    I’m an OC’er so in essence I advertise that I’m armed everywhere I go. Its a great deterrent to bad people. Having been outed, I’ll be surprised if Speaker Kramer has issues from the thugs. Thugs and criminals pay attention to details that impact their physical well-being.

    This outing by the press, is the same BS that they do when they print the list of licensees in the newspaper. Shame we can list the personal details of the media. I’d bet they wouldn’t like it one bit.

  4. My conceal license is my business, and I keep it that way. In Kansas publishing names of CCHL holders is illegal.

    The way it should be, no outing.

  5. My answer to questions as to whether I’m armed (other than to a LEO in most situations):
    Thanks for asking. I don’t discuss my armed-or-not status. Next question.

  6. In response to the doubtless many posts which will appear here regarding “Union Thugs” etc., please consider the alternative. We’ll all just have to beg the overlords for scraps. Union members have fought and died for basic worker rights that we all take for granted, in the face of overwhelming force from actual thugs – Pinkertons, etc. – which we would now call “private security contractors.” These struggles were often violent and ugly, and state power was always on the side of the bosses. Unions are one of the last remaining counterbalances to absolute corporate control of this country. Over the last 40 years, worker productivity has steadily increased, the income of the top 1% has skyrocketed and real wages for workers have remained flat or declined. This is the core message of the Occupy movement.

    I’m not saying unions are perfect and virtuous, I’m saying that they’re neccessary. As for thuggery and intimidation, consider the militarized riot cops that appear in force at any sort of left-wing protest. If that ain’t intimidation, I don’t know what is.

    • I agree. This is a point I have made at this site before. Not all the problems are caused by Unions. Every contract in America has two sides. As stated above unions are not perfect. But a nation controlled by “Too big to fail” corporation that can fire you because had on the wrong color tie is wrong too. If you do not it matters? Most credit cards contract come with arbitration clauses. Clauses that allow them and only them choose the arbitration company, forbid you to sue over the outcome. An outcome that is almost always in favor of the company. Thinks about this the next time you buy a car or a house. What would the nation look like if the corporations have all the power and there was no counterbalancing governmental or Union body.

      And just to forestall some replies I have no problem with entrepreneurship and am in the process of starting my own company. But I want a level field.

    • In California the Unions have taken over. They use their dues for getting their politicians elected who then negotiate their new contracts and pass bills that enable unions to collect more dues and have preferential treatment over non unions….How is that not a conflict of interest? In Cali the Unions are worse than Wall St and Big Oil put together. They have been allowed to go to far by the greed of the politicians they support.

      • You make my point for me. For better or worse, money runs politics. If all the unions in California evaporated tomorrow, where would the union-backed pols turn for donations and support? Personally, I tend to side with unions and working people in most disputes, you may not. That doesn’t mean I want all corporations to disappear. I want a balance on unchecked power on either side. As for unions being worse than Wall Street and Big Oil put together, they wish they could be, but they don’t have anywhere near the money.

    • Well sorry but unions were only needed for a very short time before worker rights laws were created. For example in Europe the unions prevented companies from purchasing or investing in technology that would make the workers more productive & thus worth paying more. They did it for one reason you need 20 people to do the job that one person with a forklift could do. (Numbers are not exact but should convey the idea.)

      Worker safety also went up in spite of the unions. It is the growing wealth that led to safer conditions, not the union thugs forcing the companies to be safer. You need to stop listening to lying union members about what they have accomplished.

      That just brought to mind several people that lie all the time that are frequently union members. Teachers & Police.

  7. I for one am glad to see a legislator step up and say that conceal carry is okay… As long as he backs up his action by ensuring that laws allow us common folk to be able to do the same.

  8. A bigger issue is why he feels threatened enough to carry in the Capitol. Nice, civilized, mature opponents he has in Madison. He probably doesn’t trust the police to do their jobs, and that’s a shame.

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