Contact: Representative Melissa Sargent, 608.266.0960 Representative Chris Taylor, 608.266.5342
MADISON – State Representatives Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), Terese Berceau (D-Madison), and Chris Taylor (D-Madison) held a press conference this morning to announce LRB-4451, an official Assembly Resolution condemning the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas and the gun violence public health crisis.
“A ‘tragedy’ is what you call a misfortunate, isolated event over which you had little to no control,” said Sargent. “When a mass shooting is happening 9 out of every 10 days in our country, mass shootings stop being ‘tragedies’ and they start becoming ‘atrocities.’ That’s what it’s called when you know it’s happening, and you know it’s preventable, but you don’t do anything to stop it.”
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a mass shooting on Sunday in Las Vegas where a gunman shot down into a concert crowd of 22,000, killing nearly 60 people and injuring more than 520, making it the worst mass shooting in modern United States history. Sargent, Berceau, and Taylor also called on their colleagues to act on legislation currently before the Wisconsin State Legislature, namely AB 65, a bill authored by Berceau requiring universal background checks for all firearm purchases in Wisconsin, and AB 47, a bill authored by Taylor requiring a 48-hour waiting period for new handgun purchases.
“Elected officials keep acting as though there’s nothing we can do,” Taylor added. “There is plenty we can do. We have bills that are sitting in committees that could be given public hearings, passed, and could help reduce gun violence in Wisconsin. We can do something about the gun violence epidemic right now—today, even—we’re just waiting on Republicans to decide they want to do something about it.”
LRB-4451 denounces the mass shooting in Las Vegas, condemns gun violence, and calls safe, responsible gun ownership and use a matter of public interest and good public policy. It also reminds elected officials of their duty to constituents and people over special interests and campaign donors.
“The Wisconsin State Capitol persists in being the only place in Wisconsin where people don’t exercise common sense about gun violence,” commented Berceau. “The NRA is a powerful motivator, but as legislators, we have a duty to the people in our districts and the people of Wisconsin, not special interests and campaign donors, and it’s time legislators are reminded of that fact.”
LRB-4451 is being circulated for co-sponsorship along with a letter to President Donald Trump and Congressional leadership demanding action to address gun violence at the federal level. The letter is expected to be circulated nationally to state legislators across the country. The period for co-sponsorship ends on October 13, 2017.