MADISON – Following the tragic news in Texas yesterday of a school shooting that took the lives of 19 children and two adults, State Treasurer and candidate for U.S. Senate Sarah Godlewski released the following statement:

“The horrific news out of Texas is every parent’s worst nightmare. My heart breaks for the children, their families, teachers, and the entire Uvalde community in the wake of yet another preventable tragedy. 

Many of us will never understand the grief of a parent who has lost a child to gun violence. But in a country where we allow this to happen over and over and over again, it could only be a matter of time before we do.

As the mother of a young son, I know the fear that grips parents when they drop their kids off at school and worry if they’ll come home safe. And I’m outraged that our leaders in Washington don’t have the backbone to take on the gun lobby and pass commonsense gun safety legislation. But I refuse to accept this as the status quo.

Every day, this is a crisis. And every minute that goes by, the tragedies pile up, the body counts rise, and communities across this country are torn apart. When will it be enough?

Our kids should be able to go to school without the fear of being gunned down. And gut wrenchingly, it’s not only the classroom: it’s the supermarket in Buffalo, the church in Charleston, the concert in Las Vegas, the synagogue in Pittsburgh, the club in Orlando — and the temple in Oak Creek, the brewery in Milwaukee, and the health spa in Brookfield. And so many, many, many more.

We know what to do to end the scourge of gun violence in America. We just need to elect leaders who have the courage to act.

But the gun lobby has its grip on Washington Republicans who, at every turn, fail to protect our children and our communities from senseless violence. Thoughts and prayers are hollow words when they come from spineless politicians who don’t have the guts to stand up to the gun lobby’s corrupt influence — even at the expense of public safety and common sense. 

As a kid in Eau Claire, I grew up in a family of hunters. I respect the rights enshrined in our Constitution — but that’s not what this is about. That’s the lie sold to us by politicians who are in the pocket of the big gun cartel. The Founding Fathers would be sickened and mortified by the refusal of the current U.S. government to act to solve this horrific crisis. They would see this for what it is: a staggering failure to protect the lives of our fellow Americans.

We cannot tolerate destructive weapons designed for the battlefield to be so readily available in our domestic, civilian life. We cannot accept the easy acquisition of weapons of mass carnage that are used to shoot up our schools, businesses, and places of worship. That’s not what the framers intended.

If we want to combat this public health crisis and keep weapons of war out of the hands of domestic abusers, criminals, and terrorists, then we need comprehensive background checks, red flag laws, and a ban on high-capacity magazines. These are commonsense solutions supported by the vast majority of Americans — and U.S. Senators. And yet, the will of the people is trampled time and time again by Republicans in Washington, bought and paid for by the gun lobby, who filibuster any meaningful change to our lax gun laws — forcing the rest of us to accept mass shooting deaths as a normal feature of American life. It’s outrageous, and it must end now.

This epidemic is destroying our children’s futures and the hopes of our nation. We cannot let another minute go by without addressing this violence. 

It is incomprehensible that Congress would leave for a two-week holiday while the body count continues to rise out of Texas, and the remains of children and teachers still lay in the morgue. The Senate and House must not adjourn for the Memorial Day recess until they pass gun safety legislation to keep weapons of war out of the hands of those who would harm our children and communities across America.

For the sake of our country, Washington must act.”

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