In producer Jason’s home state of Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker was voted out of office recently. The new Governor, Tony Evers (D), did away with the previous tradition of calling the capitol’s Christmas tree a “Christmas Tree.” Gov. Evers declared it the “Holiday Tree. “

 

In response, Republicans who run the assembly and senate in the state were very upset. To change the name back to the original, they passed a bill declaring the tree be called a “Christmas Tree.” Lawmakers in Wisconsin took their time on bickering over a tree. Rep. Paul Tittle (R) went one step further, proposed a bill that the week of Thanksgiving be declared Bible week. It passed 86/9 in the assembly. 

 

Guest Jonathan Brostoff, Dem. Assemblyman from Wisconsin weighs in; “Republicans, instead of doing something substantiate and helpful, are trying to politicize a tree. If they want to help Christians, they should pass gun control bills if they’d like to get something done.”

 

Brostoff goes on to mention that legislators spent more legislative time on this tree than on gun control. In the wake of the governor calling for a special session, calling on legislatures, and they didn’t spend one minute discussing the special topic of gun violence prevention. Instead, they discussed the name of a tree. 

 

Brostoff calls this a fake manufactured crisis to distract, talk about “culture war,” and not about gun violence. 

 

Guest Rep. Tittle shares his reasons for “Bible Week.” He states that the week name was to encourage people to read their bible. The idea is attributed to a 1941 resolution. Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed the first resolution that declared the week as national read your bible week. He believes that with such turmoil in the world, encouraging the people of Wisconsin to read their Bible is a great thing and doesn’t harm anyone. 

 

Brian Shapiro asks, “How is reading the bible going to end school shootings?”

 

Rep. Tittle, “I’m not sure I have all the answers for ending school shootings. I know CA has some of the strictest gun control laws, and yet they still have some of the greatest most horrific shootings. I don’t know if you’ll remove evil from the world, but getting closer to God wouldn’t hurt anything.”

 

Actually, many have died or killed in the name of their God. So encouraging people, through legislation, to be closer to their God wouldn’t necessarily harmless, but it would be unconstitutional (please see First Amendment, “Separation of Church and State,” United States Constitution). It is an interesting common factor that Republicans cling to the second amendment. Rather than discuss actions to take toward ending gun violence, they argue that the right to bear arms for hunting, collecting, or any other reason. The goal is not to remove all firearms from American homes, but to diminish violence primarily with assault weapons. Brian suggests this to Rep. Tittle, mentioning such weapons and their primary purpose. Tittle responds with the usual “hunting” response. However, hunting can be successful with rifles, not semi-automatics. 

 

Many don’t feel Wisconsin legislators are taking enough time to focus on gun control laws in their state. There have been eight school shootings in Wisconsin since 2009. Nationwide there have been 502 school shootings since 2009. It’s surprising and disappointing that a bill can get support and pass so quickly to name a tree. However now, in 2020, we don’t have a true solution to gun control. 

Rachael Edlow

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