Letters to the editor for April 5

Groves-Lloyd announces District 42 candidacy

My name is Ann Groves Lloyd, I was born and raised on my family’s farm right outside Lodi and I’m asking for the opportunity to serve you in government.

Like many of you, I was upset to see Madison politicians trying to deny us democratic representation in our Capitol. State and local government is meant to be a force for good when they partner with communities to foster growth and development. I am proud to be doing just that as an alderperson on the Lodi Common Council.

I have also been dismayed at how the Wisconsin I love has been turning away from local control, clean government and public education. When I served as the Director of Career Services for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I saw first hand that there is no better on-ramp to the middle class than a quality education. Investing in our classrooms and our students is our state’s economic future.

The Wisconsin I know treats people right. When our neighbors are down on their luck, we help them get back on their feet. Our state should be working to provide everyone with health care — nobody should miss life-saving treatment because of what’s in their checking account or a pre-existing condition. We also used to look out for future generations by protecting our environment and natural resources. Wisconsin is not just for us, it’s for our children and theirs as well.

Growing up, my family taught me that you don’t just complain when you see a problem, you do something about it. My grandfather, Bill Groves, and my great-uncle, Harold Groves, did just that when they served in their state government on the Progressive ticket.

My family was right. The Wisconsin I love is facing some serious problems, and I feel it’s my responsibility to step up and do something about it.

That is why I am proud to announce that I’m running for the 42nd District of the Wisconsin State Assembly.

I can’t wait to travel across our district and hear your ideas on how to improve our communities. If we work hard, stand together and refuse to be divided, I know that we can build a Wisconsin to be proud of again.

Ann Groves Lloyd

Lodi

Some guns are the problem

The NRA, 2nd Amendment extremists, and some gun hobbyists repeatedly tell us that guns are not the problem, but some guns are the problem!

The United States is awash in guns. There are 310 million guns for a population of 325 million Americans. That works out to virtually a gun for every man, woman and child in the country. Of course, those guns are not evenly distributed. Many citizens don’t own a gun, but a few have amassed arsenals of guns. Our homicide by gun statistics dwarf those of other modern, developed countries.

Particularly troublesome are the increasingly popular assault-style weapons like the AR-15. Defenders of the semi-automatic AR-15 (which looks like the Vietnam-era M16 assault rifle) assert it’s merely cosmetically different from that semi-automatic .22 you used to hunt rabbits or squirrels. That is really misleading. The AR-15 (with up to a 30-round magazine) has a high muzzle velocity which when combined with its .223 caliber bullet can even penetrate some popular body armor like Kevlar and should it hit bone it can ricochet throughout the body doing massive amounts of internal damage.

But these look-a-like guns have another problem. They speak to the mind of the owner. This style of weapon is meant to emulate the battlefield killing machines. They say, “I am for killing people.” They’re a staple of modern action movies.

Politicians often defend their inaction on reasonable gun control legislation by saying they don’t want to inconvenience “law abiding” citizens. But law-abiding citizens are law abiding until they aren’t. The Las Vegas shooter killed 58 people, wounded over 500 and amassed an arsenal of “bump stock” equipped semi-automatic rifles. (A bump stock turns a semi-automatic into a machine gun.) There was no clue that the shooter was contemplating a massacre.

In the face of accelerating mass shootings our country desperately needs uniform and reasonable federal gun regulation. State gun regulation has proven ineffective because its lack of uniformity provides loopholes which allow gun traffickers to skirt even tough local laws. Universal background checks supported by a system capable of rapidly reporting individuals with violent, threatening behaviors and correlating them with gun purchases is a must. Banning all forms of automatic weapons and devices intended to increase the rate of fire of non-automatic weapons should be passed. We cannot turn every public venue into a fortress.

The solution is at the ballot box. Vote!

Stan Ruesch

Lodi

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