Thirty-four have died in Wisconsin from mass shootings since 2004. Meteor. Brookfield. Delevan. Crandon. Oak Creek. And Brookfield again. Communities scarred, lives lost, survivors inconsolable.
Our national epidemic of gun violence added 26 innocent souls in Newtown. That 20 children could be gunned down in a shattering instant at the hands of one madman, is inconceivable in a nation governed by laws and reason.
And as our nation mourns this latest unspeakable mass gun violence and a call for action roars nationwide to stop these far-too-common acts of mass random violence, the silence has been deafening from those charged with running the state of Wisconsin.
As President Obama has said, laws alone won’t eliminate evil. But we can, and must, hold our elected officials accountable and demand action making it harder for evil people to get the weapons of mass murder used in the recent, unfathomable acts of violence perpetrated on worshippers in a temple, mothers at the spa, holiday shoppers in a mall and children and their teachers in their grade school.
It’s been nearly a decade since at the insistence of the gun lobby the federal assault weapons ban was allowed to expire.
Despite repeated instances of mass gun violence in our state, loopholes remain open that allow guns to be bought and sold without a background check.
Hidden weapons were legalized here in parks and shopping malls. Minimal training requirements for carrying a hidden weapon, proposed by law enforcement, were watered down because the Governor and the Republican-controlled state legislature buckled to pressure from the National Rifle Association.
Imagine if the Republicans in charge of state government took massive gun violence as seriously as they do the handful of instances of voting impropriety. Our leaders stand as impotent order takers, surrendering our neighborhoods to the NRA in the midst of 34 mass shootings since 2004, while enacting endless attacks on the right to vote in the wake of less than two dozen improper votes cast out of 14 million over the same period.
Imagine if the safety of our communities and sanctity of life were as pressing a concern to these same elected officials as rigging our elections to serve their partisan political goals.
And as we hug our children just a little tighter tonight as we thank the God or higher power to whom we pray that our lives have been spared from the horrors of mass gun violence, imagine if together we simply did not tolerate inaction by all our leaders to stop gun violence.