Gov. Should Compensate Crime Victims, Says Gun Rights Group By Monisha Bansal CNSNews.com Staff Writer December 29, 2006 (CNSNews.com) - Wisconsin's Democratic governor should reimburse victims of recent armed robberies in the state because its citizens are not permitted to carry concealed weapons and protect themselves when confronted by criminals, a gun rights group said. It's "time for politicians to pay the price for their decisions," said Joe Waldron, executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), pointing to Gov. Jim Doyle's opposition to concealed carry laws. Both Doyle and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), who supports the governor's stance, should "open their wallets," Waldron told Cybercast News Service. "If they personally feel so strongly that citizens should not be allowed to defend themselves, then they should bear the costs of that disarming of the citizens." The gun rights group's communications director, Dave Workman, said state lawmakers had twice tried "to adopt a concealed carry statute which would be legal under their constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and both times Gov. Doyle has vetoed the legislation with the full support of Mayor Barrett." Workman argued that concealed carry laws have the effect bringing down violent crime rates "because the bad guys never know if their next intended victim might be able to fight back." "There is a certain deterrent factor involved here," he said. On the other hand, "when you highly publicize the fact that you have vetoed legislation to prevent honest citizens from arming themselves, what you essentially do is tell the criminals you are creating a risk-free environment for the guys to do whatever they want," he told Cybercast News Service. "What that indicates to us is that neither of these gentlemen believes very strongly in the right of self defense," Workman added. "So if they're going to allow their citizens to be robbed, somebody should be held responsible financially for their losses." Peter Hamm, communications director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, called the proposal "stupid." "It think it's only fair if Wisconsin decides to do that, that all the gun owners in Wisconsin who have ever had an accident involving their firearm should reimburse the health-care system for the costs of the gun violence that results from accidents," he quipped. "I'm making fun of their proposal because I think it's a really, really stupid idea," Hamm told Cybercast News Service. "There are laws on the books that restrain people from carrying concealed firearms because the public policy benefits outweigh the possible costs of the extremely rare times when having a concealed weapon prevents somebody from being injured," he said. "Concealed weapons more likely cause more injuries than they prevent." Waldron cited two recent robberies in the state, one in which a man was robbed by two armed men claiming to be undercover police officers. "When armed outlaws are not afraid to impersonate police officers and can simply stop someone at gunpoint on a public street to take their money, you know the philosophy that created this mess is morally bankrupt to its core," he said. In the other robbery, two young men drew handguns on two clerks at a Radio Shack store. Surveillance camera footage of the crime showed the hooded pair, apparently teens, repeatedly pointing their weapons at the employees' heads and bodies and stealing cash from the register, as well as cash and a cell phone from one of the clerks.