Journal Times editorial: Evers should choose words carefully regarding gun control
Our Perspective

Journal Times editorial: Evers should choose words carefully regarding gun control

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Gov. Tony Evers is a Democrat. It isn’t a stretch to call him a liberal, so when he makes a liberal proposal, that’s no more of a surprise than when Gov. Scott Walker would make a conservative proposal.

But Gov. Evers’ recent response to a question from a reporter took us aback.

On Sept. 19, Evers and other Democrats introduced a so-called “red flag” bill that would require people perceived as threats to surrender their firearms, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

During the governor’s news conference that day, a reporter asked Evers if he would support a mandatory buyback program.

Evers first said he’s focused on red-flag and universal background check legislation, but when pressed, said he’s open to the idea of mandatory buybacks.

“I’d consider it, but my focus is on these two bills,” Evers said.

Seriously, Governor?

The Second Amendment would like a word or two in rebuttal.

Comments such as this this give legitimacy to the idea that government agents would actually show up at your door to take away your guns.

We don’t believe that will be the case. But we can see where someone who takes seriously his right to bear arms would be alarmed at Evers’ response to the question.

Evers’ openness to mandatory buybacks drew a quick response from state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, who in a joint news release called it “unacceptable.”

There’s common ground to be found when it comes to taking steps toward preventing the kinds of mass shootings we saw in a 24-hour period in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio over the summer. As we wrote here in the wake of that awful weekend, polling indicates that there is widespread support for certain forms of gun control, even among Republicans and gun owners.

But one idea that is certain to go nowhere, and possibly harm the governor’s cause rather than help it, is mandatory buybacks.

If Gov. Evers did not mean to suggest that he would seriously consider it, he should say so.

Because being open to the idea of mandatory buybacks makes it difficult for law-abiding gun owners to believe that the governor will act in their interests.

One idea that is certain to go nowhere, and possibly harm the governor’s cause rather than help it, is mandatory buybacks.

One idea that is certain to go nowhere, and possibly harm the governor’s cause rather than help it, is mandatory buybacks.

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