Gun Control Advocates Mobilize On 6-Month Anniversary Of Newtown Shooting

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On the six-month anniversary of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., gun control advocates are pushing for new background check legislation.

Gun control advocates say it’s important to keep Sandy Hook fresh in the public mind if significant gun control laws are going to have any chance of passage. Jeri Bonavia of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort says while strict background check laws have failed to pass in either Washington, D.C. or Madison, keeping the public debate going is essential.

“The number of people who have become involved and have become really deeply aware of the situation in this country and in this state with regards to gun violence has increased enormously – and that can only be helpful going forward.”

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In Milwaukee so far this year there have been fewer gun homicides than from the same time last year. But the total ticked up by one this morning, when police reported a 28-year-old man shot to death on the city’s north side.

Mayor Tom Barrett says background checks can prevent many such deaths by making it harder for dangerous people to buy guns.

“It’s up to the American people to push our policy makers in the nation’s capital in our state capital to make sure that illegal guns do not penetrate the public.”

That’s what a small flash mob of gun control advocates was doing this morning in Milwaukee in front of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s office. They lay down in chalk outlines on the sidewalk, representing gun victims. Milwaukee resident Paul Geenen says a meeting with the senator last month failed to convince Johnson to vote for background checks.

“We’re trying to find another way to communicate with him that there is strong support for universal background checks, and he made a mistake when he voted against the bill.”

Supporters of a bill that failed to pass the U.S. Senate say they are five votes short of what they need to try again to pass it.

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