GOP lawmaker says people should “clean society of scum bags” after mall shooting

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MADISON -- A Wisconsin lawmaker is calling on concealed carry permit holders to "clean our society of scum bags" after a shooting inside the crowded East Towne Mall in Madison that happened on Saturday, December 19th.

Criminals  in a mall with guns will think twice if they know there are people willing to shoot back, Rep. Bob Gannon, R-Slinger, said in a news release that sparked controversy Monday morning.

Shooting at the East Towne Mall in Madison

Shooting at the East Towne Mall in Madison

A gang banger in the mall with a gun is going to think twice if there could be a law abiding (concealed carry weapons) holder standing behind them fully prepared to shoot center mass," Gannon said.

Democrats criticized the idea, saying Gannon was inciting a "vigilante uprising." They said more guns in the mall wouldn't have stopped Saturday's shooting.

"The answer is not to add more people with guns to the mix, and certainly not to call for private citizens to ‘shoot center mass,'" said Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison. "Rep. Gannon is living in a James Bond dream world."
Rep. Bob Gannon

Rep. Bob Gannon

The mall, like many others, does not allow guns inside. Gannon said that created a "target-rich environment" for criminals looking to harm people.

"That is not vigilantism. That is self-defense," Gannon said when asked whether he'd gone too far with his comments. "Maybe that's too strong, but it's my nature to say things in a strong manner to make sure people are paying attention."

A fight between two groups of teenagers led up to the shooting Saturday afternoon. One of the teenagers was hit, but police said his injuries were not life-threatening. Police put the mall on lockdown for three hours before re-opening it to holiday shoppers.

No bystanders shot at the fighting teenagers during Saturday's incident. That's a good thing, Gannon said, because the fight broke up right after the shooting.

"That's what a good concealed carry holder would've done is walked away and gone home safe again because the threat was over," Gannon told FOX6 News in an interview, "but if that threat continued -- pull, aim, fire."

Rep. Bob Gannon

Democrats said the idea was irresponsible and would make malls less safe.

"It's simply a terrible idea," said Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, D-Milwaukee. "This is just another example of my Republican colleagues being more scared of the (National Rifle Association) than of mass shootings, unfortunately."

Rep. Jonathan Brostoff

Rep. Jonathan Brostoff

Brostoff said malls and other public places would be made safer if lawmakers implemented universal background checks for prospective gun owners.

Gannon, who refuses to shop at businesses that don't allow guns inside, said concealed carry permit holders are trained to shoot only if their life is in danger. Such would be the case in a crowded mall, he said.

Permit holders are also trained to shoot with intent to kill, he said.

"This isn't the wild west, where you shoot to wound them in the foot," he said. "You aim for center mass and you pull the trigger and you keep pulling 'til that threat stops."

As of Monday, Madison police were still looking for the people responsible for Saturday's shooting.

Shooting at the East Towne Mall in Madison

Shooting at the East Towne Mall in Madison


  • A yooper

    Time to take care of ourselves. This guy is “spot on.” Our police are afraid of what the politicians will do to screw up their lifelong dreams of being a policeman. Our federal government is more worried about foreign affairs than our our own. We have our own veterans living under bridges. We are in a bad way as a country. Just saying………


  • Clint the dog

    He is 100% correct. Time to rid society of these sh.t for brains felons. A dumb entitlement gang banger is much more dangerous than a liberal without a gun. Sometimes liberals endanger themselves by making stupid millennial decisions based on what their prof told them in school.

  • Truth Hertz

    Will the real Donald Trump please stand up. Every colorless punk is a tough guy now. In every other country men make guns, in America punks think guns make them men. This is what happens with testosterone supplements, old AARPers are gansters now, laughable.

  • Jim Smith

    Anybody who thinks that restricting gun use by law-abiding citizens is a criminal sympathizer. Do the math.
    Criminals will ignore any new gun law so gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens so anti-gunners feel only criminals should have guns.
    Simplistic? Maybe. But doesn’t change the premise.

  • Catfish86

    And I am sure that a background check would have stopped this gangbanger from carrying a gun in the mall just like the no guns allowed sign did. If the Democratic lawmakers were less worried about getting a check from the “gun safety” crowd and more worried about their constituents right to defend themselves they would be agreeing with Gannon..

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