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ICYMI: “Open letter to Tim Michels and Roger Roth on school safety”

Sep 19, 2022

ICYMI: “Open letter to Tim Michels and Roger Roth on school safety”

“If we can’t trust you to keep us and our classmates safe in what should be the easiest decision anyone can make, then we can’t trust you to do what’s right for our state.”

MADISON, Wis. — In an open letter published in the Cap Times, high school students from around Wisconsin called out radical Republican candidates Tim Michels and Roger Roth for recklessly endangering Wisconsin students and teachers with their opposition to common-sense gun safety measures and support for dangerous legislation allowing guns on school grounds.

The Cap Times: Open letter to Tim Michels and Roger Roth on school safety

[…]

“One of the priorities you lay out in your education plan for Wisconsin is to ‘secure our schools.’ In describing this priority, you mention Uvalde, Texas, and claim you will develop ‘specific prevention and security plans.’ We were disappointed to see the omission of one crucial thing: any mention of gun violence.

“You can’t mention the ‘tragic lessons of Uvalde’ without also recognizing the reason that 19 families sent their children to school in the morning and two teachers reported to work, only for them to never return home. Call it what it was, Mr. Michels: a mass shooting.

“An 18-year-old gunman purchased several guns and entered an elementary school building with sinister intent. The same thing happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, and at Santa Fe High, and at Umpqua Community College, and at Weston High School, and at Waukesha South, and at Northern Illinois University, and at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High, and at Columbine High.

“And this same thing could happen at our high schools.”

[…]

“Mr. Michels, you’ve made it clear where you stand on the subject of commonsense gun safety. In the wake of the Uvalde shooting, you came out in opposition to a bipartisan package of reforms that included background checks on people under 21 purchasing guns. You said you will not support “red flag” laws that are backed by 81% of Wisconsin voters and help to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. You vowed to lift restrictions on firearms in our state.

“Your opposition to commonsense measures comes despite the fact that these reforms might have saved lives and prevented several mass shootings, not to mention reduced the everyday gun violence that plagues Wisconsin.

“Your running mate, state Sen. Roger Roth, is just as extreme. Earlier this year, Republicans in the state Legislature took an alarming step in the wrong direction when they passed a bill that would have allowed for loaded guns on school grounds.

“Roth voted in favor of that bill.

“The thing is, most school shootings are not classified as mass shootings. Each year, dozens of shootings on school grounds are one-off fights between students, accidental discharges of loaded weapons or attacks in which students are simply innocent bystanders. The issue of school safety isn’t simply about preventing mass shootings; it’s about reducing and eliminating these instances entirely to ensure our kids and teachers remain safe in schools.”

[…]

“Thankfully, Gov. Tony Evers vetoed Republicans’ attempt to weaken Wisconsin’s concealed carry regulations and make our schools less safe. Without Evers, guns would be allowed on school grounds today.

“We’re afraid we know the answer to this already. You’ve spent months pandering to extremists in the Republican Party. It would make sense that you would be in lockstep with Roth, your running mate, on exposing kids to guns during school, too.

“It’s very simple, Mr. Michels and Mr. Roth. Why should we trust you to have our best interests at heart on any issue when you would so recklessly endanger us this way? If we can’t trust you to keep us and our classmates safe in what should be the easiest decision anyone can make, then we can’t trust you to do what’s right for our state.”

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