A few weeks back, Representative Bill Kramer revealed that he brings his loaded Glock to work with him. Unsurprisingly, people here in Waukesha are still talking about it. At every event I attend lately someone invariably brings up the subject. My friend, Marga Krumins, recently addressed the issue and summed up questions and concerns nicely:
Those Scary Wisconsinites
Waukesha, WI, February 10, 2012:
Over the past few days, I’ve been asked what I think about Representative Bill Kramer carrying a Glock semi-automatic handgun onto the State Assembly floor. My first reaction? Are you kidding me? What is he thinking?
Rep. Kramer “said Friday the intense atmosphere of the Wisconsin Capitol made him feel he needed a weapon on the floor.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/03/bill-kramer-gun_n_1253783.html) One might say that an intense atmosphere is the last place into which a gun should be introduced, especially in the hands of a person who has not been trained in law enforcement.
I also have to ask: what is Rep. Kramer so afraid of? Our state’s teachers? Our civil servants? Our bus drivers, snowplow drivers, and health care workers? Our students? We’re Wisconsinites: hard-working, friendly, by and large polite people, who help each other out of snowy ditches. We may disagree, often intensely, but we’re not exactly a dangerous lot. Given his apparent view of us; his fear of us, I have to wonder what in his mind will constitute his being in danger. What will prompt him (so obviously unnerved by the reaction to his own actions on the Assembly floor) to pull out that concealed weapon? A protester pulling a pack of chewing gum from inside his or her jacket?
You do not carry a weapon unless you entertain the possibility that you will use it. That Rep. Kramer is now carrying a weapon, in of all places, our state house, implies that he can envision using it – on one of us. So, whose husband or wife is now at risk? Whose son or daughter attending UW-Madison, protesting between classes? Which civic-minded person from his own district, witnessing Assembly debate after work or after arranging time off from work?
When I’ve been in the Capitol this year, I’ve seen the faces of people that reminded me of those I used to see at auctions while growing up, the teachers that instilled a love of learning and of life in me, of students I walked on campus with, of workers that I’ve been on factory floors with. I saw Wisconsin faces; faces like those I see as I go about my day here in Waukesha County, many of them old and grey. I cannot possibly imagine facing any of them with a weapon. What does Rep. Kramer see?
Marga K. Krumins
State Assembly District 97