On Friday, as little trick-or-treaters in fuzzy animal costumes traipsed downtown to collect candy from local businesses, the Department of Administration (aptly referred to by state employees as DOA) put out a memo with details about the state's new concealed carry law.
"My Fellow State Employees," wrote Secretary Mike Huebsch. ". . . . The adoption of concealed carry represents a change for Wisconsin-- and with any change comes a measure of anxiety."
You can say that again.
Remember those long lines at the doors to the state Capitol building, when everyone had to wait for their fellow citizens to pass through metal detectors? At least we don't need to be patted down anymore--everyone can bring in a gun!
Lots of states--49 to be exact--have concealed carry laws, Huebsch wrote reassuringly. And, anyway, "Wisconsin has a strong hunting culture and sporting heritage. . . . We have no reason to believe that law-abiding citizens who chose to carry concealed will abandon a tradition they have upheld themselves and instilled in their children."
Thank goodness we are such a responsible people. With any luck, next year those little trick-or-treaters will be carrying firearms.
Huebsch promoted good communication among state employees on the matter:
"Please consult your supervisor before you decide to carry concealed at work, so you fully understand the work rules and your obligations and responsibilities."
And a cautionary note to those party-poopers who don't think their co-workers should be packing:
"To those state employees who choose not to carry concealed, I ask that you respect the legal rights of those who do in a lawful and responsible manner."
Maybe respect will go up, now that no one knows if the jerk in the next cubicle is carrying a concealed weapon.
On the other hand, you have to wonder about an administration that doesn't trust public employees to come to the bargaining table to negotiate their own contracts, but has no problem having them come to work armed.
If you liked this article by Ruth Conniff, the political editor of The Progressive, check out her story "On Your Marks . . .The Walker Recall Race Begins in Wisconsin."
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