Dear Editor,

For years, Wisconsin citizens have fought for a legal means to exercise their right to bear arms as codified in the state constitution, but have been frustrated at every turn by vetoes from Gov. Doyle.

Denied the option of carrying concealed, the second choice has been to carry openly in an exposed holster, which most agree is not ideal. Overzealous police in urban areas have almost universally maintained a policy to arrest those that carry firearms in this manner and charge them with disorderly conduct, in the event that any uninformed or sensitive individual become alarmed at the sight of the firearm.

These charges are regularly thrown out of court and, recently, civil rights lawsuits have been brought against these heavy-handed tactics. Finally last week, an advisory memo from Wisconsin Attorney General Van Hollen was issued that effectively puts an end to this abusive practice by law enforcement, stating that carrying of firearms openly in a holster, barring other circumstances, is not a crime. So, good people of Hudson, do not be surprised if you see one of your neighbors packing heat in a public place.

Be advised that it is a legal practice statewide except for a few specific types of buildings. Most of us would be much happier carrying concealed, but until such time as that becomes a legal option, we will follow the mantra that "a right unexercised is a right lost."

I will do it to make a political statement and possibly stimulate some rights-affirming legislative action, since a concealed-carry permitting process would be easier on all of us.