Statement of Alderman Chevy Johnson
Last month, Governor Tony Evers scheduled a special session for the Legislature to take action on two bills relative to guns. This is important because in urban areas of our state, access to guns has resulted in too much bloodshed on the streets (and in rural areas), where suicide by gun has erased too many lives. After the Marquette University Law School poll showed that 80 percent of Wisconsin residents are in favor of action on guns like background checks for all sales and a red flag law that would allow for a cool down period if someone is expected to use a firearm in order to harm themselves or others, many were hopeful that the leaders in the Legislature would act accordingly.
Just as soon as the special session began one week ago today, it was gaveled out of session without even addressing the issue at hand — even though residents of this state are dying because this state’s legislative leadership has decided to dig in their heels. With 80 percent of voters in Wisconsin backing these sorts of policies and a reaction like this from our leaders in Madison, it’s difficult to say that the interests of the people are being served. In my opinion, this response from Madison wasn’t only disappointing, it was expected. I didn’t expect this response simply because of my personal, philosophical, or political differences with the majority in the Capitol.
I expected this response because their previous actions indicated that they would behave precisely as they did.
In August, someone trespassed on my property and fired shots, one of which struck my personal vehicle. In that time I held a press conference on guns with no response from the leadership in Madison. I published an op-ed in local Milwaukee media with no response from leadership in Madison. I published and op-ed in a Madison area media outlet with no response from leadership in Madison. I sent letters directly to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos with no response from leadership in Madison.
A clear and vast majority of people in Wisconsin want common sense gun reform to be taken up by the Legislature. The issue isn’t even close but, the failure of legislative leadership to act indicates a failure of democratic control. This is why I’m calling for non-partisan redistricting because what we’re seeing now is willful and disregards the will of voters in Wisconsin.
A reminder that voters in Milwaukee will be able to weigh in on the non-partisan redistricting issue as there is a ballot referendum on April 7, 2020 (Spring General Election).