Bob Gannon apologizes for gesture, but stands by his racially charged remarks
Why was Gannon so mad? He apparently couldn’t stand the criticism he was getting from lawmakers regarding his recent racially inflammatory comments.
Gannon, R-Slinger, made the gesture and stormed off the Assembly floor during an emotional debate with Milwaukee lawmakers over comments Gannon recently made about crime in black neighborhoods of Milwaukee. He apologized for the gesture, but not for his remarks.Gannon later made an apology (in the classic “sorry-not-sorry” sense of the word) regretting extending his middle finger towards his esteemed colleague but not holding back on his senseless rhetoric.
Gannon said Milwaukee's mayor, police chief and district attorney are failing to keep the city's citizens safe. He argued that the city's criminal activity is spilling into his district, which neighbors Milwaukee.Many constituents don’t share Gannon’s grim outlook of Milwaukee. They want to find ways to help the area’s violent trends because they understand that it’s not an us-vs-them issue. While Gannon tries to spin the blame solely on Milwaukee, he neglects to recognize that the city is part of the state of Wisconsin, too.
"Put your focus where it belongs and stop worrying about me," Gannon said, addressing Milwaukee Democrats. "Your drugs, your crime knows no border."
Gannon is also wrong to say that crime is only a Milwaukee problem. It’s true that Milwaukee is dealing with a growth of violence that needs to be addressed, but an increase in crime is happening throughout Wisconsin.
After the East Towne Mall shooting that took place around Christmastime last month, Gannon suggested that Wisconsin citizens should arm up since there isn’t a Wisconsin death penalty law, and in that way we can “clean our society of scumbags” without a judge or jury.
Gannon suggests that concealed carry helps deter criminal activities as well. “A gang banger in the mall with a gun is going to think twice if there could be a law abiding CCW holder standing behind them fully prepared to shoot center mass,” he wrote.
But that assertion is not holding up to facts. Though Gov. Scott Walker also promised that concealed carry would make “Wisconsin safer for all responsible, law abiding citizens,” that hasn’t been the case since it was implemented almost five years ago. Violent crime rates in Wisconsin have jumped by 22 percent from 2011 to 2014, and murder rates in the state went up by 20 percent also.
And it’s not just in Milwaukee. Though most murders do happen in our state’s largest city, in non-metropolitan counties throughout Wisconsin the violent crime rate has gone up by 11.6 percent since 2011, according to FBI crime statistics. The murder rates in these counties have also spiked, increasing by more than 28.9 percent.
Those trends within the non-metropolitan counties in Wisconsin don’t reflect what’s going on across the rest of the nation. In fact, violent crime went down slightly across America’s non-metro counties (down 3.5 percent), as did the murder rate (down 3.2 percent).
Concealed carry was passed with the promise that it would make us safer. There’s no statistical evidence to suggest we’re less safe because of concealed carry, but the law enacted in 2011 has definitely failed to keep crime down in the state.
Yet Gun proponents like Rep. Bob Gannon or Gov. Scott Walker will continue to falsely believe concealed carry worked. When they’re told otherwise, or called out for falsely tying race into the matter, they’ll apparently throw out all measures of decorum to defend their views.
Bob Gannon should be ashamed for his actions in the Assembly. And he should educate himself on how his pro-gun arguments are lacking in factual evidence.