MILWAUKEE, WI — On Friday, Giffords PAC, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, hosted a series of campaign events in Wisconsin to discuss the importance of addressing gun violence with Giffords Senior Advisor and Former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel Powell and nominee for Lieutenant Governor State Rep. Sara Rodriguez.
“Gun violence has disproportionately affected communities of color across Wisconsin and this state’s residents deserve leaders who will put their safety first,” said Giffords Senior Advisor and Former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel Powell. “Over 600 Wisconsinites lose their lives in senseless tragedies each year. One life lost is too many, and the time for stronger gun laws and investments in community violence intervention programs is now. Wisconsin is home to some of the closest races in the country this cycle, and contests up and down the ballot will hinge on the issue of public safety. To make our communities safer we must elect gun safety champions like Tony Evers, Mandela Barnes and Sara Rodriguez. With them leading the way, we can build a better, safer future for all Wisconsinites.”
These events – which included a number of interviews with local media in English and Spanish and a visit to a campaign field office to thank volunteers – highlighted the importance of turning out Hispanic voters on November 8th. Research by Giffords shows that on average, 11 Hispanic people die from gun violence every day. Almost half of all Latino youth in major US cities live less than a mile away from a gun homicide that occurred in the past year. Gun violence in the Hispanic community has also been on the rise, increasing 66% since 2014.
Earlier in the week, Giffords hosted a community conversation focused on the importance of addressing the high rates of violence seen across Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health. Panelists included State Senator LaTonya Johnson, State Representative Deb Andraca, Reggie Moore, the Director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement for the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Comprehensive Injury Center, and Steve Hopkins, the Outreach Supervisor for 414 LIFE.
While Wisconsin has enacted several basic gun safety laws, the state still lacks a number of key policies that would go a long way toward reducing gun violence. For example, Wisconsin does not require background checks for private sales. In 2020, Wisconsin had the 15th-lowest gun death rate in the country and exported crime guns to other states at the 16th-highest rate. With the continued leadership of champions at the local level and the Evers-Rodriguez team serving statewide, these staggering statistics could improve.