As nation grapples with mass shootings, Wisconsinites give mixed reactions to Biden’s gun control plan

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 9:52 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - On the heels of mass shootings, the White House announced a plan to curb gun violence, and Wisconsinites have mixed reactions.

“I agree that mass shooting’s an issue. That’s probably the biggest thing that I can agree with. It’s an issue. Mass shootings are an issue,” Thomas Leager, the executive director of Wisconsin Gun Owners Inc., said. “But we differ, we diverge when it comes to enforcement.”

President Joe Biden is taking executive actions, directing the U.S. Dept. of Justice, for example, to try to limit “ghost guns.” Biden also wants tighter restrictions on stabilizing braces and more funding for programs aimed at reducing gun violence.

The President said Thursday, he’s not out to take away constitutional rights. “They’re phony arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake from what we’re talking about, but no amendment, no amendment to the Constitution is absolute,” he said.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul called Biden’s plans “common sense.”

“Ultimately this is a problem that can’t just be addressed with executive orders. We need legislation that’s going to address some of these issues,” Kaul said.

According to a White House statement, Biden is also pushing Congress to pass legislation that would reduce gun violence. A national “red flag” law, for example, would allow family or law enforcement officials to temporarily block people from getting firearms if they pose danger to themselves or others.”

“It’s the same kind of measures we’ve been advocating for here in Wisconsin, so I was glad to see them,” Kaul said.

Meanwhile, opponents of the President’s gun control proposal say they don’t want more government control. Leager said, “It just seems like it’s going to go down this hill, where if you regulate this, you’ve got to regulate that, you’ve got to regulate that.”

Rob Kovach, with the Wisconsin Firearm Owners Association, said he believes these measures won’t prevent attacks.

“The more complicated the laws get, the more difficult it is for people to follow,” Kovach said. “The criminals don’t care about them anyway, so they have it easy.”

Thursday afternoon, at least one gunman opened fire inside a Texas warehouse, killing one person and sending four others to the hospital. A state trooper was also shot while pursuing the possible suspect.

Less than 24 hours prior to the Texas shooting, another five people, including two children, were killed in South Carolina. The suspected shooter, a former NFL player, opened fire inside a home then turned the gun on himself.

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