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On Anniversary of Brookfield Spa Shooting, Groups Call for More Gun Laws

Ann-Elise Henzl

Monday was the first anniversary of the deadly shooting at the Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield.

Some used the occasion to send a message: it’s time for stronger gun control.

Three women were killed in the shooting: ZinaHaughton and two of her coworkers. The shooter was Haughton’s estranged husband, who took his own life.

ZinaHaughton’s brother, Elvin Daniel, says the deadly incident shows the need for background checks, including for guns sold online and at gun shows.

“I am an NRA member, I’m an avid hunter, I own guns, I enjoy shooting them, but I have no problem going through a background check,” Daniel said.

Daniel made another suggestion, as well.

“I also strongly recommend a three-day waiting period. For a crime of passion, there's a good possibility that within three days, maybe the person would change their mind and not go through with the shooting,” Daniel said.

Daniel spoke at a news conference held by three groups calling for additional gun laws. They gathered outside the federal courthouse in downtown Milwaukee. After the comments, some participants agreed to lie down on the sidewalk, to have their bodies outlined – like those at a crime scene.

Paul Geenen is with Organizing for Action. He says nine women were chosen for the demonstration, because nine are killed in the U.S. each week, by partners using guns. Geenen said he hoped the chalk outlines would be visible from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s office, inside the courthouse.

“The staff there will be able to see this and send this message to the senator,” Geenen said.

Sen. Johnson voted earlier this year against a background check bill. He wasn’t available for comment. But his office sent a statement. It pointed out that the Azana shooter used a gun he was not legally permitted to own. The statement added that state lawmakers have the power to improve the enforcement of laws that protect women from domestic violence.

Meanwhile, Jim Fendry argued against expanding background checks. He’s founder of the Wisconsin Pro-Gun Movement, and says the checks would create an unfair burden and cost to gun buyers.

“It’s like trying to deal with drunk driving by making everyone else have a hard time getting an automobile. The answer is, it just doesn't work,” Fendry says.

Fendry also argued against gun control, in general, as a way to prevent deadly domestic violence.

“A person that is bent on committing a homicide is going to do it, they’ll find a manner and a way to do it,” Fendry says.

Fendry believes that regardless of changes in gun laws, the shooting in Brookfield still would have happened.

Ann-Elise is WUWM's news director.