Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) — It's About Politics, Not Violence

An in-depth look at the WAVE group and it's open stance on gun control. There is more than meets the eye, and the truth behind their statements and actions might surprise you.

Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE for short) is a nonprofit Wisconsin group that claims to be about reducing violence in our society, specifically "Dedicated to Preventing Gun Violence".  In addition, they claim to be a grassroots organization and their mission is creating a safe state and working to stop preventable deaths. They have a website as well as a Facebook page to help their organization reach out to people. I'd like to show you more about this organization, as what's on the surface is misleading.

To start, what is a grassroots movement?  It's defined as a natural and spontaneous organization that forms from the politics of a community.  WAVE is funded primarily by the Joyce Foundation, a well known anti-gun group. The Joyce Foundation is not listed as a nonprofit, but WAVE is. What's interesting about that, is that there are restrictions on the amount of political activity a non-profit group can do.  The IRS site states:

"... it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates." 

However, WAVE is very politically active. Jeri Bonavia, the executive director of WAVE, is often found in politics, pushing gun control on behalf of her and the WAVE organization.  For just a few of many examples, see here, here and here

Notice the recurring theme? It's always somehow related to gun control.  In addition, WAVE itself is a registered lobbying group in the state of Wisconsin. And all of their lobbying has to do with gun control, lobbying on 4 separate bills in the last legislative year.  In addition, their facebook page often has politically active posts with topics arguing for more gun control, pushing people to contact legislators about gun control, and even advocating against politicians who don't follow their gun control agenda. They pushed for their facebook fans to vote for Barrett in the recall election. For a nonprofit organization who claims to be about stopping violence, they sure participate in a lot of political activism.  And none of their activism actually does anything to reduce violence.  There are many variables that determine violent crime rates, and very little (if any) of those variables have to do with gun control.  Put more simply, there is no evidence gun control reduces violent crime rates.  For every study you hear that argues otherwise, it is generally easily debunked.

In fact, let's look at a few of WAVE's claims.  First is the claim from WAVE that:

"People are five to seven times more likely to be murdered in workplaces that allow firearms than in those that prohibit it." 

Politifact rated it half true, but that's because politifact didn't go far enough.  The information actually comes from the Brady Campaign.  The study itself took place from 1994 through 1998.  However, North Carolina didn't even implement CCW until 1995, so almost 2 years worth of the study is flawed in that no employers even allowed CCW since it wasn't legal.  In addition, they cherry picked the area to obtain their data.  And for a very thorough debunking, see this article here.

How about a few more WAVE claims? On their site, they urge their members to present these cards to businesses who do not post no weapons allowed signs.  The cards make 3 claims, one of which was already debunked above.  So, let's take a closer look at the other two.  The first claim:

"By a huge 3 to 1 margin, state residents say they will feel less safe, not safer, in public places that allow guns." 

The card offers no citation, but it appears the poll was conducted by WAVE.  Looking at their methodology, the "random" voters were selected primarily from heavily democratic areas.  And that's not surprising, considering the poll was provided by an apparently left-leaning "Third Eye Strategies".  It's not surprising most of their political clients are liberal or democratic groups.

As for the second claim on the WAVE card:

"Nationwide, 80% of businesses prohibit guns on the premises."

This also has no citation, and with all of my searching I have been unable to find one.  When asked for a source, WAVE never responded to my inquiry.  Upon researching this myself, I was unable to even find such a study, and it appears no one has even collected this kind of data.  According to another article, there are estimates on this number that don't even go near 30% much less 80%, and in reality it's more likely 15%.

WAVE is nothing more than a gun control political front, and is run by anti-gun Jeri Bonavia, who makes about $98,000 a year just in salary (doesn't include benefits) as the director, according to WAVE's 2010 990 form.  And sadly, their actions do nothing to actually reduce violence.  There is even an "anti WAVE" page on facebook whose goal is to expose the truth about WAVE's agenda, and debunk the lies.  In my opinion, based upon the amount of political activity they do, there should be some scrutiny by the IRS about their non-profit status.  The lesson here is that far too often in politics today, good intentions are used as a ruse for a political agenda.  And WAVE is no exception.

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Lyle Ruble August 07, 2012 at 10:37 PM
@Greg...I wouldn't eliminate shooting sports. There wouldn't be any changes to long guns used for hunting. As far as competition shooting whether handgun or long gun, special permits could be issued for competition shooters. Their ration limits could be raised to support their hobby or profession. Competition and practice for handguns would have to occur in a registered and controlled range. I hope that clears up any questions you might have.
James R Hoffa August 07, 2012 at 11:19 PM
@Bren - Posed question my rear-end! It was a rhetorical question meant to postulate an anti-conservative conspiracy theory and you know it! All one needs to do is read your post, as it is quite apparent from the overall context. By the way - "...yet another example of an antisocial extremist in the grip of political rhetoric taking action (domestic terrorism)." Could you please provide some examples from the last 100 years of US history where major party "political rhetoric" caused an "antisocial extremist" to "tak[e] action (domestic terrorism)" and what exactly the rhetoric was that set the extremist(s) off?
James R Hoffa August 07, 2012 at 11:28 PM
@Bren - Nope, Hoffa didn't need to be at the trial to tell you that there is NO way in hell that a prosecutor wouldn't have prosecuted a felony-murder charge against the suspected robber in your story. Which makes the credibility of your story highly suspicious. It makes one wonder if this story wasn't just made up in an attempt to humanize a partisan political/ideological position. Do the ends justify the means Bren? What exactly is an "unsourced opinion?" Are you saying that one's opinion is not valid unless it derives from someone else, preferably someone who "displays a formidable intellect and knowledge/experience base?" You really are against individuality, aren't you?
Lyle Ruble August 07, 2012 at 11:48 PM
@Conceal Carrier....No mental disability. As far as stupidity goes, others can be the judge of that. So far my record would indicate reasonable good intelligence.
Thomas Jefferson August 08, 2012 at 08:26 AM
Dirk wrote: "CCtosa - The first responding police officer at the Oak Creek Temple was trained, professional, experienced, aware of a gunman, apparently had a drawn appropriate weapon and his finger on the trigger, yet was shot 9 times. How will Average Joe or Molly Citizen stop such a crazed gunman, even with their little Beretta carefully concealed? Lots of luck with that. It's not like all those movies and video games where the bad guy doen't shoot straight, and Princess Leia is a deadeye. Fantasy." You are wrong, as usual. The first responding officer was giving medical attention to victims when the shooter snuck up on him and shot him. Being an experienced tactical guy, Murphy could easily have shot Page if it was a simple one-on-one. But Murphy was more concerned with helping the wounded than with his own safety, and that is how Page was able to sneak up on him and shoot him, not because Page was some superman crazed gunman. Concealed carry saves lives every day in this country, and it could have saved lives at that Sikh temple if they had been carrying. Why are you so terrified of these inanimate objects that you have to demonize them, rather than the people who commit these acts? Liberalism truly is a mental disorder...


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