More victims of gun violence are speaking out in favor of President Obama's proposed restrictions on firearms and ammunition. But some prominent state politicians don't care for the Obama proposals, or aren't saying much.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is part of a group of U.S. mayors that support the president's plan. The mayors are encouraging others to speak up too. At a news conference in Milwaukee, several people joined Barrett, including Pradeep Kaleka, whose father was killed in the Sikh temple shootings last August in Oak Creek. Kaleka says President Obama has given him renewed optimism, “Not only in my elected officials, but also in my country. For the first time, we're taking on some discussions we should have taken on a long, long time ago.”
But Rep. Paul Ryan, who represents the district including the Oak Creek temple, is not happy with the president's plan for universal background checks for gun buyers and more limits on assault rifles and ammunition magazine. In a written statement, Ryan says that when it comes to an assault weapons ban, he has concerns with recycling the failed policies of the past — or simply tightening laws that are ineffective. Ryan says there are also deeper questions about the reality of evil.
Other Republicans in the Wisconsin congressional delegation are also criticizing the Obama plan or simply not commenting. Meanwhile, Democratic state Representative Jon Richards of Milwaukee says he plans to introduce a Wisconsin bill mandating background checks, “So if for some reason efforts fall apart in Washington, we can take that up in Madison.”
But in Madison, gun supporters seem to control the capitol.