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199th mass shooting

199th Mass Shooting

With the 199th mass shooting this year happening yesterday in Allen, Texas – we are asking: should the American public be confronted with images of gun violence?

We also review what gun control measures the GOP took out of Evers’s budget last week.

Check out this episode on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Should the Public Be Confronted with Photos of Gun Violence?

Gruesome images of the victims were shared widely on Twitter following the shooting, renewing the debate over whether media companies should show Americans the visceral impacts of gun violence on human bodies. News publishers have typically avoided showing graphic images but have made exceptions in some cases (for example, by publishing the photo of a girl suffering from a napalm attack during the Vietnam War).

On Saturday, a gunman fatally shot eight people, including children, and injured seven others, at an outlet mall in the Dallas suburb of Allen before he was killed by a nearby police officer responding to an unrelated call. Authorities have identified the attacker as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia.

The gunman used an AR-15-style rifle in the attack and was wearing tactical gear.  What motivated Garcia to open fire on innocent people shopping on a Saturday afternoon isn’t yet known, but police are investigating his connections to white supremacist ideology. According to law enforcement, Garcia had consumed and posted white supremacist and neo-Nazi content online.

The Texas Man Shooting Is America’s 199th Mass Shooting This Year

The Gun Violence Archive, an independent research and data collection organization, defines a mass shooting as an event where at least four people were shot or injured, outside of the gunman. More than 14,500 people have also died from gun violence this year alone.

Explore a database of mass killings—defined as at least four deaths, excluding the offender, regardless of the type of attack—since 2006 here.

Gun Control Wisconsin

An overwhelming majority of American voters favor a wide variety of gun control measures and over half worry that they could be victims of gun violence, according to a Fox News poll out at the end of April:

  1. 87% of voters surveyed said they support requiring criminal background checks for all gun buyers.
  2. 77% support requiring a 30-day waiting period for all gun purchases.
  3. Vast majorities also support raising the legal age to buy guns to 21 (81%) and requiring mental health checks for all gun purchasers (80%).
  4. 80% of voters say police should be allowed to take guns away from people considered a danger to themselves or others.
  5. 61% of voters support banning assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons.
  6. Just over half of voters surveyed (51%) said that they worry that they or their loved ones could be victims of gun violence.

Wisconsin is no different in its support for more gun control. And Gov. Evers again proposed a series of gun control and safety measures in his 2023-25 biennial budget.

And last week, the joint finance committee revoked just about all of them – despite large majorities of Wisconsin residents who support measures such as universal background checks and red flag laws.

Here are some other items marked for removal by Republicans:

  • Universal background checks
    • A Marquette University Law School Poll in June 2022 found that 79% of Wisconsin residents favor background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows — two notorious loopholes for transferring firearms without background checks. 
  • Extreme risk protection orders – or red flag laws
    • Extreme risk protection orders operate similarly to domestic violence protection orders, which are legal in all 50 states. Domestic violence orders relating to the removal of firearms have been associated with a 12% reduction in intimate partner homicide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
    • In June 2022, polling by Marquette Law School found that 81% of Wisconsin voters favored a law allowing police to take guns away from people a judge found to be dangerous to themselves or others.
  • Tax exemptions for gun locks and safes
    • In an effort to encourage safe gun storage, Evers’ budget proposes making gun safes, barrel locks, and trigger locks tax-exempt.
    • Wanggaard called the idea something that “may have merit” but argued it should be separate legislation.

Wisconsin Teachers Of The Year

Wisconsin selects five (5) Teachers of the Year (TOY) annually to represent Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, and Special Services. Through an interview process, one of the five is selected to represent Wisconsin in the CCSSO National Teacher of the Year program. DPI considers all five of its TOYs as Teacher of the Year and does not give special designation to the one chosen to represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year program

So far, a New Berlin computer science teacher, Saghar Homayounpour, has been selected along with Claudia Heller de Messer, an English as Second Language teacher at Milwaukee Parkside School in Milwaukee Public Schools; and Rachel Kumferman, a school social worker at McKinley Elementary School in the Wauwatosa School District. The other two Wisconsin Teacher of the Year award winners have not yet been announced.

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