Alexandria shooting spurs renewed debate over gun control - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Alexandria shooting spurs renewed debate over gun control

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker says it is up to community groups to raise the alarm about gun violence, because legislators have largely given up trying to restrict firearms.

Police investigators in Alexandria, Virginia say James Hodgkinson used an SKS semi-automatic rifle to carry out the shootings of Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) and three others at a baseball field there Wednesday.

That is the same gun used to kill five police officers in Dallas last year.

"More guns in the United States has not translated into people being safer or feeling safer," said Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison).

Rep. Berceau helped launch the Wisconsin Gun Safety Coalition in April, saying it is now up to citizens to call for tougher gun laws.

"We have over 30 community groups in Wisconsin alone - and this is happening nationwide - who have decided that legislators are never going to stand up against the NRA or stand up against gun manufacturers," said Rep. Berceau.

But a lobbyist for second-amendment rights told 27 News standing up to gun manufacturers isn't the answer to stopping gun violence.

"Even if we did want to ban that type of weapon, I'm confident he (Hodgkinson) would have picked a different one and probably one that was even more powerful," said Nik Clark, president of Wisconsin Carry.

Clark believes infringing on people's constitutional rights isn't the answer - getting your own gun is.

"Even many Democrats have figured out that the only person you can count on for your own self-defense is yourself," said Clark. "You have to be your own bodyguard."

Rep. Berceau said more guns will only result in more deaths.

"We have had more gun deaths in the last five years under concealed-carry in Wisconsin than we had before concealed-carry," said Rep. Berceau. "So, more guns has not resulted in a safer country and safer people."

Nik Clark and Rep. Berceau also debated state legislation being considered that would eliminate the permit and training requirements for carrying a concealed firearm in Wisconsin.

You can see their entire debate on Capital City Sunday at 9:00 a.m. on WKOW 27.

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