Odd Wisconsin Archive
We read in the press that the legislature is considering allowing citizens to carry guns, as was common in the Old West. One of those western cowboys later settled in Milwaukee. He knew Wild Bill Hickok, Jesse James, and other famous gunslingers, and gave this newspaper interview (and shared his photographs) about what life was like when gun-carrying citizens settled affairs by themselves.
When the U.S. was young it had no army, which is why the Bill of Rights says, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." When Wisconsin was young, guns were needed simply to procure food. Legislators even carried guns back then, and shot each other on occasion.
Firearms of all kinds have been part of Wisconsin life for the last 350 years, and have been used by everyone from priests to criminals. They've been gathered into local collections large and small through which their history and technology can studied. It's not our place here to prejudge the wisdom of the people's elected officials, but we hope that any forthcoming legislation does not lead to more situations such as this in our state.
:: Posted in Odd Lives on October 1, 2005