Constitutional Carry – Barometer of Change

Constitutional Carry – Barometer of Change
By Corey Graff, Executive Director

Wisconsin Gun Owners
Wisconsin Gun Owners

Wisconsin –-( Barack Obama ran his presidential campaign on the promise of change.

But the only change he had to offer was from the big government socialism of neoconservative republicans, to the big government socialism of democrats.

And that’s hardly change to write home about. However, let me tell you a story about real change.

One maxim steering good political strategy is that the extremes determine the middle. Emboldened by our knowledge of this, we founded WGO (now almost eight years ago) and launched onto the scene with both barrels blazing.

We showed up at the State Capital and immediately earned the ire of the institutional gun lobby as we proceeded to lobby for Vermontstyle concealed carry — a notion thought frankly to be “too extreme.”

The kicker is, we were doing this while a vote was going down on a really bad permit-to-carry bill. We got lots of angry looks. We were off to a dandy start.

The cold welcome continued. We’d meet with legislators and discuss what was obviously a foreign concept to them — this notion of how in places like Vermont, the government actually does not step on its citizens’ inalienable right to bear arms. It was like trying to describe life on an alien planet — a place where people are free to carry their private property without government permission slip. More than one elected official exclaimed, “That’ll never happen in Wisconsin!” Others pounded their fists on the table and turned red.

I’m talking about the reaction we got from republicans — can you imagine the treatment from democrats?

Contempt and Ignorance of the Issues
Every election cycle, WGO surveys candidates for the legislature with a series of tough questions that go beneath the usual surface-level inquiry like, “Do you support concealed carry?” The first year the survey deployed, we asked specifically about Vermont-style concealed carry.

That is, does the candidate support citizens going armed without a permit, background check, and mandatory training? Six legislators answered yes. Many scribbled notes on the survey indicating they’d never heard of “Vermont-style carry.”

How could that be, we wondered? Had the establishment gun lobby completely failed to educate them on this foundational issue? We were making friends left and right.

As Providence Turns the Tide
Eight years of effort isn’t a drop in the bucket in the big scheme of things. But look at the events that coalesced from 1865 through 1870 in the War Between the States — merely five years — events that brought about massive philosophical changes to the political landscape.

Wisconsin’s ban on carrying concealed weapons came on the heels of that conflict amidst a catastrophic sea change in political power. That the CCW ban happened in 1871 was no coincidence — it didn’t appear out of thin air. Where does that leave us today? After being fleeced by globalists and centralized bankers, and with our financial backs against the wall in a crumbling economy, the political winds of change are blowing in anew, with fresh attitudes about freedom.

Our first efforts to introduce the concept of Constitutional Carry fell on deaf ears, but today our progun message seems welcomed — and legislation is being discussed. Wyoming has just become the fourth state to restore this right.

Wisconsin is next. And that, as they say, is change you can believe in.

WGO works for grassroots gun owners, not politicians. While many gun lobbies fight for “reasonable gun control,” WGO sets a higher standard: Defining the terrain of pro-gun political battle. Sure, many groups claim they’re “pro-gun” — all the while they provide cover for anti-gun deals cut by politicians — but only WGO truly informs gun owners, remaining committed to a 100% pro-gun position. We oppose all gun control — regardless of the political party — and work tirelessly to restore the Second Amendment. Visit