Tuesday, December 18, 2012--5:20p.m.
MADISON--By now we've all seen them: the haunting images from last Friday's school shooting in Connecticut. And the last few days the discussion has turned to the topic of gun control.
We asked the state's attorney general to weigh-in on the gun control debate. "The tragedy in Connecticut nobody's going to say that that's a good thing, obviously that's a horrible tragedy," said J.B. Van Hollen, the Wisconsin attorney general.
He said we should look at any and all measures to protect the innocent--but also said the courts have been clear: "Individuals do have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms and it's a balancing act that our policy makers are going to have to continue to participate in," he said.
He said Wisconsin has seen an increase in those applying for the ability to buy handguns--in light of the state's concealed carry law.
But in recent months the state's also felt the agony of two tragic shootings. "The shootings that we've had in Wisconsin recently, none of which are a result of the fact that we have concealed carry," he said.
"It's really impossible to determine how many crimes perhaps were prevented because we have concealed carry. You know, we like to think that maybe there would have been a shooting that would have occured but for the fact that the shooter wasn't aware of whether somebody would be there to protect themselves or not."
We also talked about some of the biggest headline-grabbing court cases, like voter I.D. "I participated, my office participated in the passage of this law which we still firmly believe is constitutional," he said. "Disagree with the analysis of the courts thus far, looking forward to the Supreme Court of the State of Wisconsin ultimately ruling on the validity of this law."
He also expects Act ten to be found constitutional and upheld.
And with talk that someday Governor Walker may make the jump to the national stage, we wanted to know if Van Hollen would consider running for the state's top job. "If by chance a position opened, some other position down the road that myself, my family and others around me believe would be something that I should consider doing, I'll certainly contemplate it," he said. "But to say I aspire or have ambition to a different office certainly wouldn't be true."