Wisconsin congresswoman asks Justice Dept. to help prevent gun violence in Milwaukee

The Wisconsin Gazette

Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore of Milwaukee has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to partner with local officials to reduce and prevent gun violence in Milwaukee.

Moore, on July 14, said, “Gun violence is a plague that steals the lives of far too many in our community. Each time we lose a life, our hearts break and the violence continues.”

She continued, “We must all work together, on the local, state and federal levels, to thwart these crimes. While common-sense gun violence reduction measures sit in legislative limbo, I am taking additional action now. I have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to provide resources and support to our community. I know that these efforts alone will not solve our horrific problem, but neither will inaction.

“While I wait for his response, we must look to one another. Every one of us has an invested interest in ending this senseless violence. I implore everyone to do our part to keep our children and our community safe.”

The congresswoman, in her letter to Holder, said from January through mid-June, 30 children had been shot in Milwaukee. She said there had been 185 nonfatal shootings in the city during that time and 30 homicides.

The letter cited data from the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission that showed a spike in recent gun violence: 78 people victimized between May 18 and June 15, with 71 percent of the victims falling between 18 and 34 years of age. Seventy-four percent of the suspects range between 18 and 34 years of age.

“As you can imagine, community leaders and many of my constituents are concerned that we could experience a trend of violence continuing through the summer months in Milwaukee,” Moore wrote to Holder. “Youth gun violence is particularly troublesome to me, because it not only snatches away the hopes and dreams of so many of our children, but it also devastates the families, friends, and neighbors who bear witness to our children being killed or taken from us.  Moreover, the loss of our children to gun violence snuffs out our potential for so many talented youth who would be great contributors to our city and the country as a whole.  We must put every option on the table to immediately halt this senseless violence that is plaguing our community.”

She asked the Justice Department to “do everything in its power to assist Milwaukee in its efforts to reduce and stop gun violence.”