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As I See It

Remove guns from the hands of the potentially dangerous



It is perhaps the greatest fear among gun-rights advocates: That the government will come and take away your guns. But a proposal to do just that seems to be gaining traction in the Wisconsin Legislature, even among some republican lawmakers. State Rep. Melissa Sargent has proposed a pair of gun control bills what would temporarily remove firearms from those who may be inclined to use them to harm themselves or others. It is called the Red Flag Bill and would allow family members or police to ask the courts to be able to remove the guns from someone’s possession. It would be similar to a restraining order, with a judge to hold a hearing to decide if a person with ill intent is a danger and should be allowed to possess their weapons. In a number of school shootings, we have seen evidence that family members, or friends, or school administrators, knew the person who went on to kill others was potentially dangerous. Yet still they were allowed access to guns. Beyond the high profile school shootings, this bill could help those who are considering suicide. Two thirds of gun deaths in Wisconsin are self-inflicted. This bill could make it harder for those inclined to kill themselves to have access to a weapon. The more time it takes for a suicidal person to access a gun, the more likely they are to live. Removing legally possessed weapons from people may be the worst fear of some, but making potentially dangerous people prove they deserve to have them has the potential to save lives.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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