Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway defends her statement in the immediate aftermath of Saturday night’s shooting at the city’s Shake The Lake fireworks show. “Because exactly then is when we need to be talking about the problem of guns,” the mayor said during a Monday press conference with Chief of Police Mike Koval.
One person was wounded Saturday in what police say was a shooting in which the suspect and the victim knew on another. That shooter remains at large. There were some 25,000 people at the show, one of the Midwest’s largest. “I understand that this was a very frightening event for a number of people, and I’m very sympathetic to that. That’s exactly why we have to talk now about what our country has to do to get a handle on gun violence. Because it is terrifying for people.”
Rhodes-Conway says her preference would be for federal legislation to decrease access to guns, but she also accused state legislators of not doing enough to let Wisconsin cities crack down. Our job is made more difficult by a state legislature that advances reckless gun laws and at the same time curtails the rights of cities to take further action,” the Mayor said in a Tweet.
But our job is made more difficult by a state legislature that advances reckless gun laws and at the same time curtails the rights of cities to take further action. We need #GunSense laws now! 2/2
— Satya Rhodes-Conway (@SatyaForMadison) June 30, 2019
Assembly Minority Leader Jim Steinke, in tweet of his own over the weekend, called the comment from Rhodes-Conway a “reckless and stupid accusation.”
Reckless & stupid accusation. I’d suggest the Mayor wld do better to focus on job of making citizens of her city safer & stop blaming things that have no relationship to incidents in her city. Not a stellar start for the Mayor, and certainly not indicative of strong leadership https://t.co/GBzUrMY9Pw
— Jim Steineke (@jimsteineke) June 30, 2019
Chief Mike Koval said the sort of shooting that occurred Saturday’s is becoming too common. “We have so many conflicts that are being resolved at the barrel of a gun these days, that in the past when I was a young copper in ’83 would’ve been a fistfight. Not any more.”
The mayor and chief commended the response to the shooting by Madison police and other personnel at the scene on Saturday, as well as the preparations that went into the event. Koval said lessons learned will help the city plan for similar large scale events in the future.