Marine concealed carry rescue story re-ignites WI gun debate

WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- A FOX6 exclusive story has reignited the state of Wisconsin's gun debate. A Marine Corps veteran on his way home from work early Tuesday morning, March 12th spotted a woman being beaten on the street -- and with his concealed carry permit and pistol in hand, stopped the attack. Now, the man responsible for the attack has been charged, and the 911 calls in this case have been released.

The woman attacked has some very serious facial injuries and was emotional as she expressed gratitude Charlie Blackmore was there to stop her attacker. However, she did not weigh in on the conversation about Wisconsin's concealed carry law that is now again at the forefront.

Blackmore saw Kenneth Harris beating up a woman early Tuesday morning near 102nd and Lincoln and intervened until police could arrive.

Blackmore spoke exclusively to FOX6 News the day he came to the stranger's rescue. He said Wisconsin's concealed carry law made his efforts possible.

"We do good things. Not all of us are bad or crazy gun nuts. There are good people out there," Blackmore said.

The concealed carry story became the most shared video in the history of FOX6's website. It has tens of thousands of Facebook shares -- helping re-ignite Wisconsin's concealed carry debate.

"Our concern and what we want to express is we hope people view this incident with some degree of caution," Jeri Bonavia with the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort said.

Bonavia says it is easy to find a few cases where a weapon helped. However, she says the problem is: "We know that people with concealed carry permits do stuff that's beneficial, but we know they're involved with things that we would all agree are not socially desirable."

West Allis Republican Joe Sanfelippo is Blackmore's state representative. He supports the relatively new concealed carry law and reached out to Blackmore personally to thank him.

"So when you see the gun in the hands of a good person like Charlie, you know, this is just a prime example of why the debate should be focused on the actual person holding the gun, not gun itself," Sanfelippo said.

Blackmore's take on the whole thing: "I'm a Marine Corps veteran and I would have done it for anybody."

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