Every year, more than 30,000 people are killed with guns in this country. From mass shootings like the massacres in Aurora, CO and Newtown, CT to the tragedies that occur every day in our streets and homes, gun violence takes a toll on all of us.
Americans have had enough, and the voices of ordinary citizens--the voices of reason--are growing ever louder, providing a strong push back to the gun lobby's dangerous "any gun, anyone, anywhere" agenda.
We are joining together to reclaim our safety, town-by-town and state-by-state. No longer can public figures spew violent rhetoric with impunity, especially when it threatens our loved ones, our communities and our values.
So, when a notorious Wisconsin sheriff got caught inciting violence in a speech at the NRA's recent annual convention, the public reaction was fierce and forceful.
This powerful open letter, co-signed by 1,372 people across Wisconsin, is something every elected official in every state needs to read:
To Sheriff David Clarke:
Following one devastating mass shooting after another, the last thing we need is an elected law enforcement official who promotes violent rhetoric and advocates armed anti-government extremism. Yet, that is exactly what you have done.
Sheriff Clarke, when you appeared on stage at the annual NRA convention in Indianapolis, you said: "If you're going to stand with me, you can't be afraid to get your knuckles bloody...you have to be willing to resist any attempt by government to disarm law-abiding people by fighting with the ferociousness of a junkyard dog."
Heated, fear-fueled calls to violence have no place in civil society. They're out of line with Wisconsin values, and, for an officer of the peace, they're wildly inappropriate and totally unacceptable.
This isn't the first time you have betrayed the badge you wear by encouraging violence, but it needs to be the last. More than 1,370 of our members have co-signed this letter to remind you that you work for the citizens, not the NRA. All of us are calling on you to immediately stop inciting violence.
Jeri Bonavia, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort & 1,372 concerned Wisconsin citizens