RightWisconsin links brewery shooting to Walker recall

By: - March 2, 2020 2:45 pm
Protestors fill the Capitol Square in 2011 with signs pushing to recall Gov. Scott Walker

Recall Walker protests by Carol Mitchell Nov. 2011 via flickr >CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The mass shooting at the Molson Coors brewery last week was the 45th mass shooting already in 2020, according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), which has tallied two more mass shootings since the Milwaukee tragedy. 

The number of deaths due to gun violence so far this year, according to GVA, is 6,559. The total mass shootings in the United States in 2019 was 417, the first time it has exceeded 400 since the group began tracking them in 2014. 

Politicians, largely Democrats, pushed for stricter gun safety laws in the wake of the mass shooting, calling it a public health crisis. Wisconsin representatives pointed to a special session on gun safety that was called by Gov. Tony Evers in late 2019, and gaveled out within seconds by Republican leaders Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

 “We talk about not politicizing a tragedy,” said Rep. David Crowley (D-Milwaukee), “but the tragedy is political. The tragedy is that this continues to happen, and we at the federal, state and local levels continue to allow it to happen. Our city, these families, their friends and co-workers, are all grieving. But to talk about not politicizing a tragedy is to cheapen and normalize these horrific events.”

As shown above, Democrats expressed reticence at potentially politicizing a tragedy, but explained they felt a push to stop future violence necessitated it. But over at RightWisconsin, a right-wing opinion site based in Waukesha, editor James Wigderson scolded Democrats for doing so — and then took politicization of the tragedy to a whole new level.

Wigderson opined that he discovered evidence that should silence Democratic legislators’ talk about gun safety, which he believes blames Republicans for incidents like the recent mass shooting. 

His press release offered the following rebuttal to the argument that addressing gun violence incidents necessitates such measures as background checks or red flag laws: 

“RightWisconsin, using the IVerifyTheRecall Database and public reports, has identified the Molson Coors shooter as a signer of a [2011] petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker. Since the shooter has now been identified as a likely Democrat, will Democratic elected officials and their media allies stop trying to blame Republicans for the murders?” Wigderson asks. “Now that RightWisconsin has identified the shooter as a likely Democrat, perhaps Democrats and their media allies will be a little more cautious in promoting their partisan agenda.”


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Melanie Conklin
Melanie Conklin

Melanie Conklin was the Wisconsin Examiner's founding Deputy Editor, serving from its launch July 1, 2019, until Feb. 1, 2022. She is proud to be a native of the state of Wisconsin, which gave humankind the typewriter, progressivism and deep-fried cheese curds. Her several decades in journalism include political beats and columns at Isthmus newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal and other publications. When not an ink-stained wretch, she served time inside state, local and federal government in communications before returning to journalism at the Examiner. It’s what she’s loved ever since getting her master’s degree in journalism from the UW-Madison. Her family includes one husband, two kids, four dogs and five (or more) chinchillas.