Two decades after the Columbine High School massacre and just weeks after twin mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, there is little to indicate Wisconsin lawmakers will adopt any significant measures in an effort to help stem the American gun violence epidemic.
Rather, the gun debate in Wisconsin that has ramped up after each major American mass shooting over the past two decades typically fizzles out with the response from lawmakers falling along predictably partisan lines. So far, there are few signs pointing to a different outcome.
In Wisconsin, gun-control advocates have called for enhanced measures they say will curb gun violence, only to see their appeals largely dismissed. After this month’s gun tragedies, Democrats want universal background checks and measures requiring firearm surrender for those perceived to be dangerous, but Republican lawmakers and some researchers aren’t convinced such proposals would do anything meaningful to prevent gun homicides.
In the weeks following the the dual massacres in El Paso and Dayton this month, Gov. Tony Evers, fellow Democrats and gun-control advocates called on lawmakers to implement universal background checks and a so-called “red flag” law, or extreme risk protection order, which would require a person perceived to be a threat to surrender his or her firearms. Connecticut in 1999 became the first state to implement red flag laws. Currently, 17 states and the District of Columbia have implemented a version of the measure. […]