WI ‘SCHOOL GUN HOTLINE’ DESERVES PROXMIRE’S ‘GOLDEN FLEECE’ AWARD, SAYS CCRKBA

Friday, May 30th, 2003

BELLEVUE, WA – If legendary Wisconsin Sen. William Proxmire were still in office, he would certainly be obliged to give a Golden Fleece Award to Wisconsin’s $50,000-a-year “school gun hotline,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).

“This hotline has been in business almost two years,” Gottlieb complained, “and in all that time, only seven anonymous calls have come in. Five of those were proven to be bogus pranks and the other two also failed to turn up a firearm. In a state where the budget is getting tighter every day, this hotline is a worthless, feel-good luxury that taxpayers can easily live without, and always could.”

CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron pointed to a recent disclosure by State Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) that each hotline call cost the taxpayers $14,285.

“Rep. Pocan has done a service to Wisconsin residents by exposing this enormous waste,” Waldron said. “Think of the legitimate uses that money could have financed, such as law enforcement training or equipment, or textbooks for schools, or maybe even school lunches. Yet, according to Rep. Pocan, the Joint Finance Committee turned down a chance to erase this hotline from the state budget. That’s ridiculous.”

Fortunately, lawmakers from both parties have vowed to shut down the hotline and eliminate that expense. Gottlieb said that is a good idea that comes “about two years too late.”

“The history of gun control and anti-gun legislative activism in this country is full of wasteful spending programs like this one,” Gottlieb commented. “Not one real crime was prevented, not a single illegal gun was found on a school campus, and not one life was saved because of this foolish foray into political correctness. Former Sen. Proxmire would have been horrified at this hotline boondoggle. It’s time to cut the cord on this dumb gun hotline, because the phone isn’t ringing.”