Domestic abuse against men is not usually a hot-button topic in the media. But one Wisconsin man doubled down on his gun-toting commitment to bring the issue to the Governor’s desk. Here is the full story.
Shirtless Gun-Toting Man in the Capitol Building
One afternoon in early October, a shirtless man showed up at the Wisconsin Capitol building demanding to speak with Governor Tony Evers.
That bare-chested tactic turned out to be a mistake, as it revealed that Joshua Pleasnick was carrying a holstered handgun.
While concealed carry is legal in Wisconsin, it’s forbidden to carry a firearm in the Capitol. That offense got Pleasnick hauled off to jail, where his gun was confiscated.
Worse yet, Pleasnick also lost his companion in the incident.
Man on a Mission
Pleasnick had shown up at the Capitol with his dog on a leash, and the cops sent the pooch to the City of Madison Animal Control when Pleasnick ended up in jail.
But that wasn’t the end of the line for Pleasnick, who was on a mission and would not be denied.
So, after posting his own bail, Pleasnick went home and planned out a new angle of approach.
That night, he headed back to the Capitol building for an appearance that was even more alarming than the first.
This time, Pleasnick carried with him an assault rifle and again demanded to see the Governor.
He wasn’t leaving until the two had discussed domestic violence against men, he announced.
The ruckus – and the AK-47 – drew the attention of Capitol police, who engaged in a dialogue with Pleasnick before searching his body and belongings.
In Pleasnick’s backpack, they found a collapsible police baton. That represented another arms violation, as he did not have the proper concealed carry permit.
Eventually, around midnight, police again took Pleasnick into custody. But this time, they sent him for a psychiatric evaluation based on his threatening and “concerning” behavior.
Law Enforcement Praised
While the Governor’s office declined to comment on the story in the immediate aftermath, Governor Evers himself was more forthcoming about the situation.
The next morning, Democrat Evers told the media that he was doing fine and had suffered no ill effects from the incident. He also confirmed that Pleasnick’s repeated attempts would likely lead to a review of security operations near the Capitol.
“I’m sure they’re looking at that as we speak,” Evers said, referencing police and his staff. But he was quick to applaud the overall excellent work of law enforcement in the area.
“… that’s why we have good people in the police departments, in the Capitol police and the state patrol. They’re doing their great work,” the Governor said.
Not the First Time
Evers may have seemed fairly chipper and unconcerned about the October incident, but it comes on the heels of several more pointed security scares surrounding the Governor.
Back in June, a Wisconsin man was sentenced to a year-long prison stay for writing threatening emails and social media posts targeted at Evers.
And a man who shot and killed a Wisconsin judge in 2022 had included Evers on a hit list that also featured several other prominent politicians.
In a state that has leaned Democrat in most recent national elections but with a strong core of rural Trump supporters, it seems that this kind of “attention” is something Evers is getting used to.
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