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Gun Control Laws Not Coming To Wisconsin

September 19, 2019

A wide swath of Wisconsin supports the efforts of Governor Tony Evers when it comes to gun legislation.  One of the most common-sense, and easily constructed proposals, is the one he backed concerning red-flag legislation.  Who could possibly be offended by it, or wish it not to pass?

The proposal would allow judges to take guns away from people who are deemed to be a danger.  The idea is based on the soundest logic and provides for strict procedures so as not to infringe on a person’s rights.

Under the bill, designed by State Senator Lena Taylor and State Representative Melissa Sargent, police officers, family members and household members could seek court action to removes a person’s guns.  How often do we read a newspaper account following a shooting where a family member or friend knew the shooter was troubled but also had weapons?  So why would anyone wish to curtail a legal process regarding guns in possession by a person with mental or emotional issues which might be used for violence?

The judge, if the evidence merited action, would be allowed to temporarily take away the guns and call for a hearing that would be scheduled on the issue within two weeks.  A judge would then determine whether the guns should be returned or kept away from the person.

The public is solidly behind the reasonable and pragmatic steps which are being crafted in the legislature to limit the number of gun shootings and deaths.  In addition to the red-flag bill is the equally necessary and very popular measure to require background checks.  A Marquette University Law School poll this month found 81% of registered voters supported red-flag legislation. The same poll showed 80% backed universal background checks.

But there are no signs that either proposal will be championed in any way by the Republican-controlled legislature.  The people have spoken time and again about their concerns over the horrific violence caused by guns but find total indifference by the very ones needed at this time to make a positive change in the assembly and state senate. After all the stern words over the years from the pro-gun lobby that it is people who kill, and not a gun, it now seems that rhetoric has reached its shelf life.  And we have to ask ourselves why?  Why will the GOP not seek remedies by preventing those with mental health issues from having a gun?

The GOP legislature, which is being controlled by the National Rifle Association, will never allow for reasonable gun control bills to see the light of day.   The legislative process was designed to work for the common good and ‘the people back home’.   That is not happening and there is nothing that can be done about it other than defeating incumbents and then focusing on redistricting reform.  I am not holding my breath, nor should you.

Gun violence will not be dealt with in a meaningful way in our state.  There is no sadder sentence I can write on this blog about our dysfunctional political system.

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