Across our communities, gun violence takes different forms. It’s an issue that links the rural, urban, and suburban areas of our state. What they share in common is the fear and trauma that sets in after every devasting event.
As a mother with children in both middle and high school, I know the dread parents feel in the pit of their stomachs every time there is a school shooting. Our children have the right to feel safe in their classrooms and in their homes.
Like so many of you, I am angered by the inaction of Wisconsin's leaders and their refusal to take common sense steps to protect our schools, our children and our communities.
In 2019, Governor Evers called a special session of the legislature to address gun violence in Wisconsin. Republicans gaveled out in less than 1 minute. And since that time, Wisconsin's children and communities have paid the price for their inaction.
Right now, in Wisconsin, guns are the leading cause of death in children and teens. Take a moment to think about that.
I'm a scientist and a public health professional. So, I follow the numbers and the facts to define and solve problems. And the CDC numbers on gun violence in Wisconsin are staggering:
- 70% of female intimate partner homicide victims in Wisconsin are killed with a gun
- Between 2011 and 2020, the rate of gun deaths in Wisconsin increased 59%, compared to 33% nationwide, and
- The rate of gun homicides in Wisconsin increased 189%, compared to 70% nationally
The numbers also point us to a solution. Look, we know what works. We know what we need to do to reduce gun violence in our homes, in our schools and in our communities. We just need leaders with the political will and courage to act.
In Wisconsin, safe, responsible gun ownership is the standard. I reject the false choice that we either have to care about the Second Amendment or care about our kids’ safety.
Sportsmen and other responsible gun owners in Wisconsin – from all backgrounds and across the political spectrum – agree that responsible gun ownership is consistent with common sense gun safety reforms. Reforms that the majority of Wisconsinites and Americans support and are calling for in this moment.
We cannot continue to be complacent about gun violence. We are all being called to act NOW.
In the state Assembly, I introduced and co-sponsored legislation to address gun violence and fund intervention programs that would make our communities safer.
As Lieutenant Governor I will never stop fighting for common sense gun reforms including background checks, closing the loophole to keep guns out of the hands of people who have committed domestic abuse, safe storage laws, and keeping ghost guns off the streets.
There's so much at stake here. We cannot let this moment pass...again. Will you help me continue advocating for common sense gun safety reforms that save lives in Wisconsin? I cannot do this alone.