With President Donald Trump heading to Kenosha, Wisconsin today, I thought it would be a good time to check in with Tim Schmidt, president and founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, which is headquartered in the state. Schmidt knows Kenosha well, and certainly wasn’t at a loss for words when it comes to his take on the riots, looting, and violence that engulfed the city after the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police officers more than a week ago.
“It’s devastating, and it scares the heck out of me,” he admitted. “I think Trump’s trip is a smart one. You know, Wisconsin is still a battleground state and the majority of folks in Wisconsin, at least the ones who don’t live in the big cities, love Trump and the love what he stands for. They love that he supports the natural-born right to self-defense, and now more than ever, you can tell just by watching the news that it’s pretty important right now when there’s so much looting and rioting that you’ve gotta defend yourself. It’s crazy.”
Schmidt tells me that he believes there is a “sleeping giant” among Americans right now; people who believe in the free market, old-school American values, and want to protect their homes and their families. When it comes to going out to protect a business that’s not yours, or to travel to another town where there’s been unrest or destruction, Schmidt says people need to know exactly what they’re doing before they get themselves into trouble.
“The rules are a lot different nowadays,” Schmidt told me, adding that “unless you’re guarding your own business, I would recommend that you proceed cautiously. And if you do, make sure that you have well established awareness skills, conflict avoidance skills, de-escalation skills, because you don’t want to get caught up in a riot like that where logic goes out the window and it’s nothing but trouble. My ultimate advice would be protect your home, protect your family, protect your loved ones, and make sure that you have your own set of skills that would allow you do that effectively.”
Be sure to check out the whole conversation with Tim Schmidt in the video window above, and stick around afterwards for more news, including a look at the lengthy criminal history of the man suspected of shooting and killing St. Louis police officer Tamarris Bohannon, an armed citizen in Tallahassee who police say was acting in self-defense when he pulled a gun during a fight at a protest over the weekend, and a Charlotte, North Carolina police officer in the right place at the right time to help a homeless woman and her dogs find a home of their own.