Council Asks State, Feds to Address Gun Violence

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MTT News's picture
Cameron Bren

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Common Council approved a resolution Oct. 1 imploring state and federal governments to take emergency action to address gun violence. The resolution was sent to all of Middleton’s respective legislators along with a letter from police chief Chuck Foulke, which calls for change which could have prevented the attempted mass shooting at WTS Paradigm in Middleton a little over a year ago. 

The resolution adopted by the council calls for legislation creating a red flag law or “extreme risk protective order,” universal background checks, a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines and reinstitution of a 48 hour waiting period to purchase firearms.

The resolution points to Gov. Tony Evers’ challenge to the legislature to take up such proposals. 

Local attorney Tripp Stroud contacted the common council about creating the resolution as something that can be done to urge lawmakers to address gun violence. He spoke during the public comment period in support.

“Americans are 25 times more likely to die from gun violence than in any other civilized country,” Stroud said. “Firearms are the second leading cause of death for kids and teens. Gun violence is out of control in this country.”

Stroud noted the day marked the two-year anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting and just past the one year anniversary of a near tragic shooting in Middleton.

“We should be standing here today saying Americans are 25 times more likely to graduate from college, to vote, to start a family, to open a business, and today with the resolution that the council is taking up I look forward to seeing many other political leaders take the same action and speak up for everyday citizens who are affected by this issue,” Stroud said.

Alder Susan West said she supports the resolution because she does not want to normalize gun violence. 

“This is not the norm I grew up expecting to have to live with,” West said. 

West recalled in 2007 a horrendous massacre in her hometown of Blacksburg, VA at Virginia Tech. She said recently her son witnessed armed robbery at a gas station. 

Alder Robert Burke said the resolution may not do much in terms of change but he hopes it pressures those in power.

“I hope if enough people at the city level send resolutions like this up maybe that will help give state and federal politicians the support they need to do what’s right here,” Burke said. “I know we are just a municipality, I don’t know that this fixes the problem but hopefully it is a drop combined with a lot of other drops to make a flood.”

 In Foulke’s letter, which also appeared in the Times-Tribuneon Sept. 19, he wrote that the active shooter at Paradigm last year, “forever affected the lives of Paradigm employees, their families, friends, our community and first responders.”

Foulke points to the loopholes in the laws that allowed the shooter to purchase weapons that they legally would not have been able to.

“The shooter in this case was not allowed to legally purchase or possess a firearm, but obtained numerous firearms through a loophole in our laws,” Foulke stated. “He ordered gun parts over the internet and manufactured his own firearms, a method referred to as building ghost guns.”

He said he supports closing the loopholes, universal background checks, red-flag laws, banning assault rifles and high capacity magazines and reinstating the 48 hour eating period.

“When I became a police officer 38 years ago, I swore an oath to protect the Constitution and protect the members of my community,” Foulke wrote. “I believe that closing gun law loopholes and enacting common sense gun laws on a federal and state level support those responsibilities that I take so seriously.”

Foulke said those that challenge these proposals should realize that the status quo is doing nothing.

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