The governor of Wisconsin has decided for no particular reason whatsoever to waste state resources by calling for a special legislative session on gun control. The state’s Republicans have essentially directed him to go and pound sand. As well they should. They might have to show up, but it’s going to look just like what happened in Virginia when that state’s governor tried this nonsense.
However, a couple of days ago, another state’s governor had something to say about the potential for doing the same thing, only this time in Minnesota.
Gov. Tim Walz said Monday he will not call Minnesota lawmakers into a special session over gun control because the refusal of Republican senators to consider the issue would make it futile.
“At this point in time, I don’t think calling a special session would move us any further along,” Walz told reporters gathered in his state Capitol reception room. “But it’s our intent to continue to ask to come together around this.”
In making his decision, Walz took the opposite strategy from fellow first-term Democratic Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin. Evers on Monday said he was calling lawmakers in his state into a special session to consider two bills that would impose tougher gun restrictions.
Evers faces double the legislative opposition as Walz: Republicans control both chambers in Wisconsin, and only the Senate in Minnesota.
Which really just goes to prove that Walz is infinitely smarter than Evers.
Make no mistake, I don’t think Walz is secretly pro-gun or anything. I simply think he has enough sense to recognize that without the legislature already willing to pass gun control, calling a special session doesn’t do anything except piss off the legislators who already oppose you on the issue. That would happen anyway, of course, but if you can actually get gun control, it might be worth it.
When pro-gun lawmakers control even one chamber, though, what you’ve got is nothing more than a recipe for disaster.
At least in Wisconsin, they can adjourn almost immediately.
In Minnesota, there would be enough contention that it’s unlikely anything would get done, including adjourning so as to put an end to the ridiculousness.
Walz made the right call, though, because no good comes out of these special sessions.
What Evers is probably trying to do is to generate outrage against Republicans. He and most of the Democratic Party are so absolutely convinced that gun control is a winning issue that they really want to use this as a wedge to separate GOP candidates from the voters.
The thing Walz may have stumbled onto is that it won’t work. Even those who support gun control aren’t likely to vote for a candidate strictly because of anti-gun views. It’s not a good issue to try and leverage into Democratic control. By Walz refusing to go down that road, he positions himself as a far more reasonable governor. That makes it far more likely he can push through other measures on things that voters feel much more passionately about.