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August 6, 2019                                                                                                           Rep. Chris Taylor, 608-266-5342

Rep. Taylor Demands Republican Leaders Act or Get Out
Common sense gun safety measures make our children, families, and communities safer 

MADISON — Today, more details continue to emerge about the two weekend mass shootings that left at least 31 people dead. 

It appears the Texas shooter posted an anti-immigrant treatise, mimicking some of the inflammatory language President Trump has used to describe immigrants. The FBI recently warned that the majority of domestic terrorism they are investigating is being perpetrated by white supremacists. Last year, 39 of the 50 killings by domestic extremists in the United States were committed by white nationalists, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

And here at home, this week is the 7th anniversary of the hate massacre at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, where 6 people were murdered.

Republicans in the Wisconsin State Legislature have blocked common-sense gun safety measures that research shows can save lives and reduce access to firearms for those who are likely to harm themselves or others.  According to a social media report, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos opposes an important policy called “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” that would allow a family member or law enforcement officer to petition a court to remove firearms from an individual who will likely harm himself or others. 

In response, Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) issued the following statement: 

“These politicians continue to be in the death grip of the NRA. Despite the carnage of children being murdered, parents dying trying to protect their babies, domestic terrorists who are filled with racial hatred stoked by the highest level of our government and individuals who easily acquire military style weapons of war, all we hear is more of the same. 

This President must lead on reducing these incidents of mass horror by embracing common sense gun safety measures, while condemning racism and white supremacy. This President must cease his hateful speech. This President must cease denigrating individuals of color and debasing immigrants, who he and his administration have treated as less than human. Unless this President is proud that white nationalists think he is one of them, he must substantially change his behavior and start leading rather than dividing in the most dangerous ways possible. His words, and his acts, matter.

Democracies around the world have individuals with mental health issues and violent video games. Yet we are the only developed country in the world experiencing this epidemic of gun violence.

What these politicians are really saying is not that they can’t act, but that they won’t act. My question to those policy makers is ‘Why are you in public office?’

Democrats have policies ready to go that can make a difference in making it harder for domestic terrorists and others wishing to harm themselves or others to get firearms. But Republican politicians in our state have even blocked a comprehensive universal background check bill that would close loopholes that allow individuals to access guns without a background check. This policy isn’t enough, but even this small step has been thwarted by politicians who refuse to meaningfully act.

And yesterday, Robin Vos indicated that he has no intention of disrupting the status quo by supporting a bill allowing a court, after finding evidence that an individual is likely to commit violence, to remove a weapon. Similar policies have been passed by Republicans in other states, including Florida. Even President Trump has expressed some support of this type of legislation.

Robin Vos is morally and ethically incapable of leading the Assembly, and he should resign as leader. He has prioritized consolidating his own power and his wealthy elite donors over advancing policies to protect the safety of our children and our communities. He is no leader.

Ultimately, we must work for needed change in 2020. The people need to take back their government.

The people must rise up, never give up, speak up, and act out against hatred and bigotry, the resulting violence, and against leaders who block common-sense gun safety laws that make our children, our families, and our communities safer. Politicians who ignore the people must go.”