While Cam wrote about how the Wisconsin legislature didn’t rise to the anti-gun bait Democrats laid for them, it should be noted that they weren’t just goofing off, either. Instead, the managed to pass a handful of bills, just not the gun control Governor Tony Evers was hoping for.
Instead, they focused on suicide prevention.
The bills all passed with broad, bipartisan support.
Still, Democrats argued the measures passed Thursday aren’t as effective as gun control measures they refused to debate, including a “red flag” bill that would allow judges to confiscate guns from people determined to be a threat to themselves or others.
One of them would create a grant program to pay gun shop owners to store guns voluntarily turned over by gun owners.
Another creates a new suicide prevention program within the state Department of Health Services that would hand out about $250,000 in suicide prevention grants a year
Still another of the bills would require any school or university that issues an ID card to include phone numbers for suicide prevention and crisis hotlines.
In other words, they’re looking to address the root of the problem.
Suicide counts for roughly two-thirds of all so-called “gun violence” fatalities, so addressing those is an important move to help reduce the total number of firearm-relate fatalities in the state.
While anti-gun lawmakers are upset about the lack of a red flag law, it’s important to note that red flag laws aren’t nearly as effective as some have tried to make them out to be. In fact, as Cam wrote last week, suicides are going up in states with red flag laws. While the number of suicides using a firearm may decrease, that doesn’t actually mean suicides are really being addressed, as the numbers clearly show.
However, these new measures address suicides, not guns, which means they’re focused on the overall problem and not just one method that people use. The end result is that if these measures are effective, they’ll stop suicides as a whole whereas red flag laws merely shuffle suicidal people off to find other means to take their own life.
That’s a big win for everyone.
Plus, it has the added benefit of not infringing on the Second Amendment rights of ordinary Americans. The only people these bills seek to “disarm” are those who recognize they’re a danger to themselves and wish to temporarily give up their firearms voluntarily. Gun stores will be able to hold onto those guns for them, helping keep their customers safe during troubling times.
Again, that’s a win. This is voluntary, so it’s not an infringement on anyone’s rights. That’s an important distinction.
Look, I think the game Evers is playing is colossally stupid, but I also think legislation like this is a great move. Not only is it good for people, but it also makes it hard for Democrats to pretend Republicans aren’t taking the problem of gun violence seriously. That may well have hurt Republicans in Virginia, but isn’t likely to be an issue in Wisconsin.