Monday, February 8, 2016

Will Madison's first homicide of 2016 change minds on gun laws in Wisconsin?

Murder on Madison's east side the sad result of repealing state's 48-hour gun wait law

A young man, enraged after his romantic advances were turned down and who was subsequently fired for his continued harassment of his co-worker, was able to buy a gun and kill a young woman within a single day.

Madison’s first homicide of the year exemplifies how the removal of the previous 48-hour waiting period law to purchase a firearm was a mistake. The “cooling off” period could have allowed Caroline Nosal’s assailant to consider other options, including finding help for himself.

Instead, the man who murdered Nosal described his efforts to get a gun in three simple words: “It was easy.”

Nosal’s story is a tragic one, and shouldn’t be so easily overlooked by our state legislators. The man who murdered her (I won’t dignify him by including his name) took advantage of the law allowing citizens to purchase firearms without waiting for more than a click of the mouse before doing so.

Let’s remember that State Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) was a huge proponent of removing the 48-hour waiting period. His justification rested on the idea that those who wanted to defend themselves wouldn’t be able to do so if they had to wait.

In April of last year Wanggaard wrote:
For every gun violence story that [can be] cited as a reason for this antiquated law, I could write an equally emotional story showing that a firearm saved a life or that the waiting period cost someone his or her life.
When I called Wanggaard’s office to ask for those stories, they could only supply one, even when pressed for more. And that story didn’t have anything to do with the 48-hour waiting period either. The family of Bonnie Elmasri disputes the accounts that Wanggaard and other lawmakers have made regarding her death, and regularly shuns them for using her as a ploy to dismantle reasonable gun laws.

But now we have a legitimate, true story of how a young woman’s life was taken, a direct result of the new “insta-gun” purchase legislation that was passed last year.

We have also seen that removing waiting periods can lead to hikes in violent crime and suicide. South Dakota saw a 70 percent jump in violent crime just four years after it repealed its own 48-hour waiting period to buy guns, for example.

And violent crime has jumped significantly in our own state following passage of laws meant to deregulate gun ownership -- since concealed carry was signed in 2011, violent crime has gone up by 22 percent in the state, and murder is up 20 percent.

This happened despite Gov. Scott Walker’s promise that the state would be safer after he signed concealed carry into law

In light of this recent incident, and with overwhelming evidence contradicting both anecdotal and statistical arguments that conservatives have made, will Republicans in Wisconsin finally admit that they made a mistake in deregulating the state’s gun laws since they took office?

Or should we expect more of the same? Will they simply ignore these truths, and ponder more ways to make Wisconsin more like the wild west?

Let’s hope voters will wise up to this as well. We need more common sense gun laws, and for that to happen it will require legislators with rational minds writing reasonable legislation.

No comments:

Post a Comment