Strong public support? Legislature's response is, 'Who cares?'
WISCONSIN IS ABOUT to get a clear view of how extreme the power structure remains in the state legislature.
Democrat Gov. Tony Evers has called the legislature into special session on Nov. 7 - that's his right; all governors have done it - to consider two gun control measures. Specifically, Evers wants the legislature to take up a state universal background check plan along with what's known as a "red flag" proposal, which would allow a judge to seize an individual's firearms for up to a year if the judge believes the person poses a threat.
In response, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a candidate for Congress in 2020, said he will gavel the Senate into session - he's required to do at least that much - and then the majority immediately will adjourn without allowing any debate or votes.
FITZGERALD RIPPED EVERS, dismissing the Democrat's plan as just "playing politics."
And refusing to allow any discussion or vote is not playing politics?
Here's why the majority stance is extremist:
• According to the Marquette Poll, considered Wisconsin's gold standard, more than 80% of respondents support both universal background checks and the so-called "red flag" proposal.
• According to a national PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll reported as recently as Sept. 10, 83% of Americans back universal background checks and 72% support "red flag" laws.
• Support for other gun measures as registered in the PBS poll: increase mental health funding, 89%; require license to buy a gun, 72%; ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, 61%; ban semi-automatic weapons, 57%; create mandatory assault weapon buyback, 45%; and allow school teachers to carry guns, 37%.
AS MIGHT BE EXPECTED, certain gun control measures have high public support while more extreme proposals - like mandatory buyback programs - are much less appealing to Americans.
That mirrors where the U.S. Supreme Court has come down - citizens have a Second Amendment right to "keep and bear arms" but that right does not preclude the state adopting sensible regulations. Hence, the Second Amendment's other key phrase, "well-regulated ..."
When measures supported by more than 4 of 5 Americans are non-starters - not even worthy of debate - the system has failed. The people are not sovereign. The partisans don't care what you think.