Nov. 1 is coming up, and you know what that means. It's the day I can finally carry my concealed weapon legally in this state. Of course, I could have been carrying one all along, After all, how would you know? It's concealed.
There will be many practical uses for packing heat on a daily basis because there are just so many everyday things that come up when you don't have time to traipse home, grab the semi-automatic, and get back to whatever it is that needs the attention of a deadly weapon at that moment. This will make things so much more convenient for everybody.
And good for the environment, too! In fact, the Sierra Club estimates that Americans waste a million gallons of fuel every year driving back home because they forgot their gun.
Here are some practical, everyday examples of how having that handgun right there could make your life easier.
Say you're in the checkout line at the grocery store. You're in a hurry and you have 12 items, so you go to the express line only to find that the person in front of you has 17 items, two over the limit. Well, you just pull out your revolver (the one with the long barrel; you may want to carry more than one firearm for different needs) and start to count by pointing your gun at each item. "Let's see, that's one, two, three...." I can pretty much guarantee that before you say "five" the woman in front of you will have quietly moved to a different line.
Or let's say you and your wife are taking a relaxing stroll in the neighborhood at dusk. The lighting is just right. It's kind of a Cialis moment. Then the streetlights come on, suddenly ruining the mood. No problem. You're at an age when you know what needs to be done and, thanks to your state's new concealed carry law, you've got the means to do it. You gently say, "Let me take care of this, dear." You pull out your .45, aim at the nearest streetlight, and the ambience is restored.
But we'll each have our own stories about how carrying around a loaded firearm has improved our lives. For me it's all about tomatoes and rabbits. For years I've been frustrated by rabbits in our backyard eating my tomatoes just as they get ripe. I have a dog, Calvin, but he's useless in this regard. He doesn't even seem to see the perpetrators. But with concealed carry I'll have my gun at my side at all times. When I see a rabbit get near my tomato bushes, BAM! No more bunny. Moreover, I will have provided for both the vegetarians and carnivores in my family.
Now, I know what you're thinking, and no, I would not use my gun to dispatch Calvin. But I am thinking that firing a few shots over his head might show him who's boss and restore some order in the Cieslewicz household.
Of course, some Americans will choose to use their weapon for the traditional purpose, which is to kill people they don't like. Because some bleeding-heart liberals define this kind of personal freedom as a problem, our bleeding heart of an Attorney General, J.B. Van Hollen, has had the audacity to say that he wants to require all of us to take four hours of training in the proper use of firearms.
When my friends at the National Rifle Association objected, the courageous Van Hollen pointed out that he hadn't actually said that anything needed to be taught during those four hours. We could all sit around and watch American Idol for all he cared, as long as we were there for four hours. The NRA objected that four hours of American Idol was cruel and unusual punishment under some other part of the Bill of Rights that they didn't really care about. And you know what? The NRA was right again.
So now Van Hollen's socialistic rules are in the hands of Gov. Scott Walker, who needs to decide if there will be four hours of training or some lesser number, and whether the viewing of American Idol will be required, or maybe some form of actual training in the safe use of a firearm. Boy, I'm glad I don't have his job, making tough calls like that one. Good, luck, governor!
Is there any sanity when it comes to my God-given right to blow someone away at a moment's notice? Yes! Enter Rep. Evan Wynn of Whitewater. Surprisingly a Republican, Rep. Wynn wants to win one for all of us aspiring heat-packers. Wynn not only believes there should be no training required, but he's also introducing a bill that would relieve us all of the burden of even needing to get a permit to carry. No forms. No bureaucrats. No American Idol. Just strap it on and have at it.
Good luck with your bill, Rep. Wynn, but watch out for opposition from bleeding-heart socialists like J.B. Van Hollen.
As Nov. 1 approaches, my only regret is that the law doesn't take effect the night before. Then we'd all have the excitement of not being sure which of those little ghosts and goblins coming to our doors (or their parents or older siblings) might have a .38 Special tucked under their costumes. It would add to the spookiness of the whole evening. Well, I guess we'll just have to wait until next year.
Dave Cieslewicz is the former mayor of Madison. He blogs at TheDailyPage.com/CitizenDave.