MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, in addition to a statement shared last night, today released a video message to Wisconsinites regarding the tragic mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas at Robb Elementary School.
The governor’s video message is available here and without captions here.
Yesterday, our state and nation watched in horror as yet another nightmare came true for the parents, families, and loved ones of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
19 kids. Two teachers.
Yesterday, Uvalde joined a tragic and despicably long list of communities that have been shattered by gun violence—in Buffalo, Laguna Woods, in Milwaukee, and dozens of other communities just this year alone.
‘Heartbroken’ does not cover it—not for the lives taken, not for the families ripped apart and forever changed, not for communities that have had to work to respond, to console, and heal.
So, today, I’m speaking to you not as an elected official, but as a dad of three kids and a grandfather of nine. I’m speaking to you today as a former teacher. I’m speaking to you today as an American.
Because today, we’re not talking about politics. We’re not thinking about politics.
Today, I’m thinking about all the kids who watched the news and woke up scared to go to school—a place that should be a sanctuary where they should always feel safe.
I’m thinking of the parents and loved ones who cried in their cars, dropping their kids off at school this morning, praying they’d be home for dinner.
I’m thinking today of all the educators, school staff, and administrators who went to work afraid but still showed up to support our kids and console their fears and grief while trying to quell their own.
I’m thinking of all the people who’ve survived gun violence and were promised “never again” only to watch these tragedies happen over and over.
Enough has been enough for too damn long.
We cannot accept that gun violence just happens. We cannot accept that kids might go to school and never come home. Our families are living in fear. Our kids are learning in fear.
In this state, we cannot accept policies and rhetoric that will make this problem worse while commonsense measures supported by an overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites go nowhere.
Just last month, the Legislature sent me a bill that would’ve allowed certain people to possess loaded guns on school grounds—a bill that would be law today if I hadn’t vetoed it.
We’ve called the Legislature into special session on universal background checks, and we’ve called for extreme risk protection orders to allow loved ones and law enforcement to ask for firearms to be removed from individuals who are a danger to themselves or others—two ideas frankly that 80 percent of Wisconsinites, including a majority of gun owners, they support it.
I still refuse to believe that when our kids are murdered in their desk at school that there is any party line that’s not worth crossing, that there is any price too high to pay, that there is any cross we shouldn’t be willing to bear to make sure it never happens to any other kid again.
I know we can find common ground—here in Wisconsin and out in D.C.—we have to, and we must.
And so, to my Republican colleagues, I want to be clear today: I will work with any Republican who wants to find common ground, who wants to make progress on gun safety, who wants to pass legislation a majority of Wisconsinites will support. I’m ready. And I have been ready.
If we can prevent one more kid from watching their friends be maimed with their own eyes, if we can prevent one more parent from having their soul ripped out from them by learning they will never see their kid laugh or cry or play again, if we can prevent one more person from being viciously gunned down while buying groceries, worshiping the god they believe in, or doing everyday things like a person should be able to do without fear of whether they’re going to make it home or not, then it’ll be worth it.
The people of Wisconsin and the folks across the country have found common ground on this issue. Elected officials in this state must join them there. Let’s work together and do the right thing.
Enough has been enough for too damn long already.
To the people of Uvalde and the entire state of Texas, Wisconsin mourns with you. Our hearts are with you. We are praying for you—for healing, for comfort, and for a future without merciless gun violence in our schools, on our streets, and in our communities.
An online version of this release is available here.