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Open Carry Activist Charms Media in Wisconsin
Gun Watch ^ | 4 August, 2014 | Dean Weingarten

Posted on 08/03/2014 7:28:13 PM PDT by marktwain


William Polster has been campaigning to educate people about their rights in Wisconsin for years.   He has been consistently open carrying, often handguns, often both handguns and long guns, handing out pocket constitutions, recording his interactions with people, and enduring considerable criticism from some and obtaining kudos from others.

He is a big guy, probably 6'5, and muscular.   I met him at the Milwaukee turn in event this year, when he accompanied the Cease Fire walk, with an openly carried Glock 20.   The crowd was friendly and gave him some high fives. 

He has had a number of police encounters on these walks over the last two years.  He used them to educate the police.   He is passionate about freedom and constitutional rights.

It seems that his enduring efforts have been working.

On July 25th, he attended a promotional walk that included Wisconsin's first lady, Tonette Walker, on the Sheboygan lakefront.  He carried an AK action style pistol slung on his back, a Glock (probably the same model 20) on his hip and a Ruger LCP.  What happened is interesting.   From the sheboyganpress.com:

Polster has become a recognizable fixture in the region, often showing up at farmers markets, parades and even movie theaters and other public events to make the point that it is legal in Wisconsin to openly carry a properly licensed firearm.
While some people find it troubling, it's not illegal and police are not concerned.
It seems that Polster completely charmed the group.  Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Betsy Alles, said:
"At first people were a little concerned and then very quickly found out that he was very gentlemanly and civil,' she said. "Some of the walkers started to ask him questions, and he answered very kindly. I don't think people were concerned after that. I think it posed a dilemma at first, but everything worked out fine."
 Polster said that people were more interested in the camera that he was wearing.  His political views echo that of many concerned with the degradation of constitutional guarantees.

"I'm a Constitutionalist. I don't really support Republicans per se, but they are more in line with my ideals than Democrats," he said.
The article implied that you need a license to carry firearms openly in Wisconsin. A concealed carry license is not necessary, but many find it useful.   Firearms are not registered or licensed in Wisconsin.  Also contrary to the article, Polster carried his Glock and Ruger with him.  He put the AK pistol in the trunk, having made his point before he joined the walkers.  He was not asked to do so.  It was a sophisticated measure and use of the medium.

Polster, a very big man, is hard to miss.  He openly carries explicitly for political purposes, to educate people about their rights.   As such, his activities are strong, symbolic, political speech, protected by both the first and second amendments of the constitution.

If this hobnobbing with local elites and the first lady are any indication, he is being effective.

 ©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol; opencarry; wi
It was only a few years ago, in 2008, that a man not far from Sheboygan, was arrested for openly carrying a holsterd pistol in his own yard, and charged with disorderly conduct.
1 posted on 08/03/2014 7:28:13 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

“it is legal in Wisconsin to openly carry a properly licensed firearm.”

Really? Do firearms have to be licensed in WI, or is this just a typical dumbass reporter?


2 posted on 08/03/2014 7:34:22 PM PDT by Hugin ("Do yourself a favor--first thing, get a firearm!")
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To: marktwain

Why is he wearing a kilt?

Freedom to do something is grand, but why give the liberals something else to hang their complaints on, i.e.”He is probably not quite right in the head”. One lesson at a time, their heads full of mush can’t take too much.


3 posted on 08/03/2014 7:43:07 PM PDT by wbarmy (I chose to be a sheepdog once I saw what happens to the sheep.)
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To: Hugin

From the article:

The article implied that you need a license to carry firearms openly in Wisconsin. A concealed carry license is not necessary, but many find it useful. Firearms are not registered or licensed in Wisconsin.


4 posted on 08/03/2014 7:55:51 PM PDT by marktwain (The old media must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: wbarmy

Why is he wearing a kilt?

I do not know. It would not have been my choice.


5 posted on 08/03/2014 7:57:12 PM PDT by marktwain (The old media must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: marktwain

Yeah, a lot of ignorant reporters use “licensed” when they mean “legally owned”. I figured that was the case here.


6 posted on 08/03/2014 7:58:14 PM PDT by Hugin ("Do yourself a favor--first thing, get a firearm!")
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To: wbarmy

It’s a Utilikilt. What’s the big deal? I’ve CC’d with my wool kilt on at an Irish festival. I put the pistol in my sporran.


7 posted on 08/03/2014 8:07:13 PM PDT by Azeem (There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo.)
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To: Azeem

LOL i’ll have to look that one up


8 posted on 08/03/2014 8:42:03 PM PDT by kvanbrunt2 (civil law: commanding what is right and prohibiting what is wrong Blackstone Commentaries I p44)
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To: wbarmy

What - liberal haters don’t like the Scots or the Irish?


9 posted on 08/03/2014 9:38:16 PM PDT by kiryandil (making the jests that some FReepers aren't allowed to...)
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To: Azeem

I have nothing against kilts, although the wind would probably bother me greatly. But I do know that in any argument or “discussion” I have had with liberals, they grab onto anything to make their opponent look foolish or out of the mainstream. I hate giving somebody something else to focus on if I possibly can avoid it.


10 posted on 08/04/2014 4:54:29 AM PDT by wbarmy (I chose to be a sheepdog once I saw what happens to the sheep.)
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