By Steve Schuster
On March 20, 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Dan Kelly posted to Facebook that he has been formally endorsed by the National Rifle Assocation (NRA), despite previously blogging about gun right restrictions.
“ENDORSED! Thanks NRA – National Rifle Association of America, I will always uphold the United States and Wisconsin constitutions, as well as the rights they protect,” Kelly wrote in Monday’s Facebook post.
Until today, Kelly has been very adamant about not discussing his personal views on issues that might come before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. When asked about collective bargaining and abortion, Kelly has repeatedly declined to state an opinion and has deferred to the legislature. Kelly previously said that his personal opinion is not relevant to the work of the court. However, on Monday, that shifted with the Second Amendment and gun control, immediately following his endorsement by the NRA.
On the issue of guns and the Second Amendment, Kelly had been critical of both sides of the gun control debate in his deleted blog post ‘Our Curiously Disjointed Gun Debate.’
“Neither side is eager to engage the other on what this constitutional provision actually means,” Kelly wrote.
“The Second Amendment is not … about hunting nor personal defense,” Kelly wrote noting that it’s really about having a well-regulated militia.
“If pro-gun activists invoked the primary meaning of the Second Amendment, they wouldn’t be talking about hunting or self-defense. They would be talking about State-based militias worth enough combined firepower to resist our federal miliary, if necessary,” he added.
Kelly continues his criticism of the “pro-gun crowd.”
“The pro-gun crowd tends to ignore the primary justification for the Second Amendment, and focuses instead of its derivative benefits. That is to say, the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear firearms so that you can participate in a well-regulated militia … If you can’t defend the necessity for a militia, then the Second Amendment doesn’t count for very much in your argument,” Kelly added.
“Should the government limit the capacity of a magazine? Should it outlaw scary looking guns? The answer will differ depending on whether we are talking about participating in a militia, or instead self-defense and hunting. … If you’re instead talking about hunting or self-defense, you won’t likely need the machine gun you’ve had your eyes on.”
Also on Monday, the largest gun safety advocacy group in the nation launched a $500,000 ad campaign targeting Kelly.
John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety said that Kelly makes it “easier for criminals to get their hands on guns — both of which are terrible for the health and safety of Wisconsinites.”
“With the U.S. Supreme Court having opened the door to the arguments of gun rights extremists, it’s more important than ever for us to elect state judges who respect the right to take common-sense steps to prevent gun violence,” Feinblatt added.
Click here to view more of Kelly’s deleted blog.