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The thing about polite society is that you can’t go around shooting people. Americans do it all the time, of course, but as a general rule, it’s a habit we should try to tamp down. Which is why Wisconsin State Representative Bob Gannon is getting a touch of criticism for his novel proposal that people with concealed carry licenses should feel free to shoot any “scumbags” they come across.

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According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Gannon, a Republican from Slinger, made the suggestion in the wake of a mall shooting on Saturday; a 19-year-old man was hit in the leg during a fight involving “at least ten” people. His injuries were not life-threatening, but clearly firing a gun in the middle of a crowded shopping mall is not a great form of conflict resolution.

Gannon’s solution, naturally, is more people with more guns, firing them more often. He’s lamenting Wisconsin’s gun-free zone law, which prevents people from carrying firearms in schools and malls. (Wisconsin’s gun laws aren’t particularly strict; concealed carry and open carry are both legal for licensed gun owners, and Castle Doctrine allows you to shoot an intruder in self-defense at home, at your places of business, and in your car.)

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Not good enough, Gannon says. From the Journal:

Gannon said allowing citizens with permits to carry concealed weapons into areas like shopping malls would enhance the public’s safety.

“Wisconsin does not have a death penalty law, but with significant practice and careful aim, law-abiding citizens can help clean our society of these scumbags,” Gannon said. “Criminals no longer have any fear of our courts or our prisons, so it’s time that the citizens of this fine state stand up and fight back.”

Just in case that wasn’t clear, he’s talking about extrajudicial killin’ of “gang bangers:”

Gannon said a “gang banger in the mall with a gun is going to think twice if there could be a law abiding (concealed carry weapon) holder standing behind them fully prepared to shoot center mass, as this is how you’re trained to eliminate the threat these creeps pose to you, your family, and all law-abiding citizens unwillingly dragged into their public crime spree.”

Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, said she was “appalled” by Gannon’s statement, characterizing his comments as a call “for a vigilante uprising.”

Gannon made a bit of a media tour this week to encourage people to shoot the center mass of other people they don’t like the look of:

Anyway, this is a great plan that no one’s ever suggested before.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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Screengrab via YouTube/Wisconsin Assembly Republicans. Big Time Small-Time Dicks logo by staff male Bobby Finger.