By: Ashleigh Meyer
In an effort to force action on gun control, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has issued an executive order calling for a special legislative session. The session will convene on November 7 and will address two gun reform measures that Evers has been demanding since he took office: expanded universal background checks and red-flag laws.
The announcement for the special session was made after Evers accused the Republican-controlled legislature of refusing to address the issue. He claims that the public largely supports reform and to ignore their demands is basically telling them to “go to hell.”
The alleged support for gun reform in Wisconsin comes from a poll conducted by Marquette University Law School in August, which shows an overwhelming majority in favor of gun control legislation. The truth, however, is that while most voters who answered the survey support expanded background checks to private gun sales, 43 percent said they believe new gun laws would have no effect at all on the prevention of violent crime, including mass shootings. Only 12 percent believe changes in legislation would have a significant impact. Meanwhile, gun sales nation wide continue to climb, as do concealed carry permit applications.
Lieutenant Governor Barns and the Mayor of Milwaukee have both expressed their support for Evers’ demands for gun reform. Both share the belief that gun control will make the state safer, however, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald stated, "It’s easy to see how today’s action could just be the first attack on the Second Amendment. The Senate will not be part of a drawn-out strategy to infringe on Constitutional rights."
Wisconsin has long been a battleground state and difficult to predict. The 2018 election for governor was a somewhat surprising Democratic victory over two-term Conservative Scott Walker. President Trump, though, surprised many when he won the state during his presidential election. The state remains torn on gun control, and Democrats hope to win Wisconsin to restore their mid-western “Blue Wall.”
It seems, however, that more and more, voters are questioning the efficacy of legislation to prevent gun violence, proving the old adage, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” Don’t believe me? Check out this article explaining the London Mayor’s attempt to enact “knife control” legislation after their homicide rate surpassed that of New York City, despite extensive gun legislation.