Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said not much can be done about gun violence, according to WQOW following a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado and added that he has “no idea” how mass shootings could be prevented.
“If someone chooses to break the law, there is very little that we can do besides arrest them after they’ve committed the act,” Vos said.
University of Wisconsin American Politics and Political Theory professor Howard Schweber shared his thoughts on Vos’s statements and their implications for laws in the future.
“It’s kind of an amazing statement,” Schweber said. “Imagine if you extrapolated that; no laws, or anything, have any effects, by the theory.”
Schweber described how Vos’s thinking implies that laws don’t matter, despite the fact that laws are arguably what hold society together.
Schwever said even just looking at the recent shooting in Boulder, this is an incorrect statement.
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“It is absurd to suggest that the ease with which guns will be obtained, the lack of regulation on ownership of guns, the lack of requirements for registration or licensing or training and the lack of the ability of law enforcement to trace guns after they are sold … [does] not have an impact on the frequency and severity of gun violence in the United States,” Schweber said.
Schweber said though it is very difficult for researchers to make specific causal statements, a direct general correlation between these factors and American gun violence is easy to see.
A 2019 poll of Wisconsin citizens showed overwhelming support for expanding background checks on firearms and American’s overall favor of stricter gun control laws including banning semi-automatic rifles and giving a judge the authority to remove a gun from the possession of someone deemed a threat.
“It’s not a coincidence that we are the only country in the world that regularly has mass shootings, and I don’t think the explanation is that Americans are uniquely violent compared to all the people across the entire planet,” Schweber said. “It’s extremely likely there’s some connection between [unregulated firearm markets and gun violence] and frankly bizarre to suggest that there isn’t.”