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Thread: New gun control bill will make Wisconsin a safer state. Jennifer LaBorde, of the Advance Titan

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    mailto://atitan@uwosh.edu

    http://www.advancetitan.com/story.aspx?s=6781

    When 32 students were killed at Virginia Tech almost a year ago, many students around the country shared the sadness and fear. While participating in candlelight vigils and declaring that we were all Hokies, students at UW-Oshkosh couldn’t help wondering if the same thing could happen here.

    Finally, almost a year after the Virginia Tech shootings, Wisconsin legislators are reconsidering a bill that will further ensure the same cannot happen at a Wisconsin school.

    The bill, which was proposed right after the Virginia Tech massacre, proposes to expand the list of Wisconsin residents who are prohibited from owning guns.

    The list is part of a national database called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and it is a list of citizens who cannot purchase guns. Each state is responsible for compiling names and information, and each state decides what qualifies a person as being included in this database.

    For Wisconsin, a court-ordered mental health treatment does not prohibit a person from owning guns.

    After the Virginia Tech shootings, many states reconsidered what constituted a disqualification from gun ownership. A Virginia court had declared the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, mentally ill after he was prosecuted for stalking two girls in 2005. However, Cho was still allowed to purchase two guns, which he used to kill 32 students, because he hadn’t been convicted of a felony. It is clear that Cho was not capable of rationally determining the consequences of his actions, and that he should have been prohibited from purchasing guns.

    While no one can say that this would have prevented the terrible events that unfolded at the Virginia University last April, preventative measures weren’t in place.

    Wisconsin legislators also rethought their list of those who should be prohibited from purchasing guns, but did not make any changes. However, with a new promise of federal funding, legislators are reconsidering the bill in hopes to get the funding and improve safety.

    This past December, Congress approved legislation that allocated funding to states that have not compiled information on mentally ill citizens. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a spokesperson for the drafter of the Wisconsin bill, Republican Sen. Alberta Darling, said, “federal funds likely would cover at least the estimated $39,000 cost of implementing the technology needed to forward Wisconsin mental health information to the national database.”

    With the resources available, there are no more excuses. It is time to increase the safety mechanisms through improved background checks.

    The approved bill also provides funding for citizens who wish to petition for the restoration of their gun-ownership rights. These citizens are among more than 80,000 veterans who may have mental illness on their records.

    The Washington Post reported that the National Rifle Association supported the bill because it does not “contain any new restrictions on gun ownership, only measures to improve compliance with restrictions that exist.”

    Currently, Wisconsin is among 17 states that do not give the federal government mental health records on residents who should be barred from owning guns. Wisconsin is behind the curve when it comes to protecting residents from citizens who should not be allowed to purchase guns.

    UW-Oshkosh students might feel safe, and the students at Virginia Tech probably did too. The safety measures at this university, however effective, are undermined because guns are available to citizens who may not be capable of understanding the ideasof consequences and restraint.

    After the shootings at Columbine High School, high schools around the country looked at what they could do to prevent such a terrifying incident. The same thing happened after the Virginia Tech shootings. Universities, including our own, looked at emergency action plans and sent messages to students that indeed, safety measures were in place.

    It is time that our state government follows suit. National legislation is now in place to assist in the transition, and all states must disclose all information, including mental health information, that disqualifies residents from purchasing guns.

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    First it will be mentally ill people. Then it will be anyone who is married to a mentally ill person. Then it will be whoever lives in the house of a mentally ill person. Then it will be whoever frequents a place where a mentally ill person is present.

    Incrementalism is destroying citizen's rights in this country...and many people don't seem to notice or care. But of course I am preaching to the choir here.

    Look at the recent gun ban which McCarthy introduced in congress, incrementalism at its finest. It EXPANDED the 1994 Brady Bill. Its intent was also described as "and for other purposes".
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1022



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    'We' have already divided out age in the other thread...and Down's Syndrome.

    I was acquainted with a 61 y.o. Down's sufferer, about 14 y.o. mentally.

    Incrementalism is just a synonym for compromise of that "which shall not be infringed."

    We as a Gesellschaft-government or as a Gemeinschaft should not put ourselves in the place of tyrants to infringe another's Rights when there are so many eager wannabe-tyrants.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******

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    In the spirit of "Wisconsin legislators are reconsidering a bill that will further ensure the same cannot happen at a Wisconsin school," and because I don't want to start another thread:

    Source: http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/18885369.html

    Child Expelled for Bringing Gun to School
    Story Updated: May 13, 2008

    Cudahy school officials havekicked a 10-year-old boy out of Lincoln Elementary after he brought a loaded gun into a classroom last week.

    A fellow student says the boy threatened to shoot her if she told anyone about the gun, but the girl went to a teacher anyway.

    The gun was confiscated without incident, but state law requires the boy be expelled for bringing a firearm onto school property. The district attorney could still file charges against both the boy and his father.

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    Father won't be charged in boy's gun case
    FRIDAY, May 16, 2008, 4:31 p.m.

    The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office has declined to file charges against the father of a 10-year-old Cudahy boy who brought the man's loaded gun to Lincoln Elementary School in Cudahy last week.

    Cudahy police had recommended to the district attorney's office a misdemeanor charge against the father, 58, of leaving or storing a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a child.

    But, Assistant District Attorney Kent Lovern said today, "All of the evidence in our possession indicates this individual acted responsibly in the safeguarding of his firearm in his residence. There was nothing really to hold him criminally responsible for."

    Cudahy Sgt. Randy Scheel said the boy could still face charges of possession of a firearm in a school zone as well as possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 years old. Prosecutors are set to review the matter next month.

    Police said the father kept his loaded .25-caliber semi automatic handgun in a locked cabinet, but the child found the key and brought the gun to school May 7. He showed it to another student, who reported the weapon to a teacher.

    No one was injured and no threats were made, according to police.

    http://www.cudahynow.com/watch/?watch=28&date=5/16/2008&id=39813

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