Because of Senator Ron Johnson’s abhorrent “NO” vote to a simple background check bill for those purchasing guns at a gun show or from private residents, Johnson once again proved to be one of the most radical and predictable senators in the history of Wisconsin.
The law as it stands now, requires all Americans to pass a background check through the National Instant Background Check (NICS) to prevent felons and those with severe mental illness to own a firearm. However, currently there are loopholes for gun shows and private sales. The last known data shows that 40 percent of the guns purchased in this country are done in these ways.
According to a Marquette poll in March, 81 percent of Wisconsinites supported “background checks for people who buy guns at gun shows or from private residents in Wisconsin.” Also, 54 percent of Wisconsinites favor banning assault-style weapons.
Knowing this, Senator Ron Johnson heartlessly decided to ignore this data, to ignore his constituents, and worse, to ignore Wisconsin families that lost loved ones due to gun violence, like Wisconsin’s own Amardeep Kaleka, whose father, Satwant, was murdered in the mass shooting in Oak Creek on August 5, 2012, in the Sikh temple he helped found.
Amardeep and Pardeep Kaleka’s videos demanding for a plan.
Disgusted by Senator Ron Johnson’s vote, I was determined to join a protest scheduled at his Milwaukee office on Saturday.
At the event, I had a chance to talk to one of the organizers, Paul Geenen from Organizing for Action.
While discussing Obama’s press conference right after the measure was struck down, Geenan stated, “Yes, he was very upset. We’re all upset. That’s why we are here today, because we want to tell Senator Ron Johnson ‘shame on you’ for voting against the universal background checks that over 90 percent of Americans support”.
Geenen stated that he believes Ron Johnson voted this way because of the “incredible power of the NRA”.
“We’re here to prove that we’re not going away and that we too have power.” Geenen stated. “We may not have the same financial reserves as the NRA, but we can make up with it in other ways.”
Now that this bill was defeated, Geenen explains that the next step is looking towards the 2014 upcoming elections for the State and the Senate.
But what can we do now? Well, it sounds cliché, but it truly is contacting your representatives about the issue of gun violence. If you have the time to complain and argue on Facebook, than you have the time to call your representative or email them or at the very least, post a comment on their Facebook page.
Because as Paul Geenen stated, “We’ve got moment. We’ve got motivation. This issue is not dead. We’re going to keep pounding away at it.”
That we will.
Below is Senator Ron Johnson's contact information.
Washington, DC 20510
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Fax: (414) 276-7284
Listen to my full interview with Organizing for Action's Paul Geenen.>
Photos of the event.
Video of President Obama's press conference, which includes an introduction by the father of a Sandy Hook victim.
Read the bill for yourself here: Universal Background Check Bill