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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
School shootings have become hypersensitive due to increasing numbers in America and hate crimes abroad. 

School shootings have become hypersensitive due to increasing numbers in America and hate crimes abroad. 

As nation reels from Parkland tragedy, the state debates its own gun laws

As the nation grieves for the victims of another deadly school shooting, state lawmakers around the country are taking a step back and examining their own legislative safeguards against similar tragedies.

Last Wednesday, 17 students were shot and killed with an AR-15 rifle by a 19-year-old former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

The shooter, while expelled from the school, had no criminal record, purchased the rifle legally and participated in an NRA-sponsored air-rifle competition.

Nothing in Florida’s legal system could have stopped the purchase of the weapon or ammunition used in the murders.

With similar statutes in regards to age requirements, some state legislators fear that nothing would stop a similar tragedy from happening here in Wisconsin.

"What we saw in Broward County, Florida Wednesday was an act of domestic terrorism against our children and our teachers,” said Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state Rep. Dana Wachs of Eau Claire in a statement. “And now that more details of the shooting are coming out — that the terrorist used a legally purchased assault rifle to gun down children and teachers in their classrooms — we are forced to listen to the gutless responses of career politicians who can't offer up anything more than their thoughts and prayers.”

Both states allow those 18 and older from purchasing rifles from licensed dealers, while you must be 21 to own a handgun.

Wisconsin is actually more lenient in many areas, with no waiting period for firearm purchases to Florida’s three-day pause, and no restrictions at all on the open carry of handguns.

Wachs and other gun-control advocates favor a series of regulations to tackle the issue; he proposes a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines, mandatory background checks and a two day waiting period for all firearm purchases, and restrictions on the more informal sales done at gun shows.

State Republicans, who have successfully stripped the state of most broad regulations existing prior to the legislative majority they won in 2010, fear that further regulation could hinder the ability of average citizens to exercise their rights.

“I don’t think that means you then roll that conversation into taking away citizens’ rights - taking away a law-abiding citizen’s rights,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told Tom Katz on Indiana radio station WIBC. “Obviously this conversation typically goes there. Right now, I think we need to take a breath and collect the facts.”

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