Statement of Alderman Cavalier Johnson
I applaud Governor Tony Evers for calling a special legislative session that will compel state lawmakers to discuss measures intended to reduce gun violence.
The Governor is rightly forcing legislators to convene in Madison to deliberate on two bills that have so far been ignored and not scheduled for hearings by GOP leaders. One measure would establish a new red flag law that would allow judges to take guns away from people who are deemed to be a danger, and the other would require a background check on almost every sale of a firearm.
With gun violence taking a toll on nearly every county in Wisconsin, the Governor’s action is welcome and warranted.
In communities across America and indeed in our state, gunshots ring out hourly grazing, maiming, and killing citizens of all ages, colors, and faiths. In rural areas, suicide by gun has cut short the lives of far too many. In cities, the blight that some have referred to as slow motion mass murder has altered countless lives.
But because of inaction, woeful indifference, or a decades long misunderstanding by our elected leaders at the state and federal levels of the need to reform who can access deadly weapons and when, our fellow citizens continue to be mowed down by a barrage of bullets.
In cities across the United States (and Milwaukee is no different), too many youth have learned to be lulled to sleep by the sounds of gunfire. In fact, over the years, too many people and especially too many children have grown so accustomed to the sound of gunfire that they don’t hit the floor and don’t think to call the police.
In a Marquette University Law School poll just last year, 80% of Wisconsin residents favored extending background checks to private gun sales and 56% of those polled favored banning assault-style weapons.
It’s time for state legislators from both sides of the aisle to get together and to publicly discuss important, common sense proposed legislation that can help reduce gun violence.
The special session will make that happen and the people of Milwaukee (and Wisconsin) will be watching.