A draft of a floor speech prepared by state Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) in January contained ominous musings about gun violence in the state Capitol, a police report shows. The speech draft emerged as part of a Capitol Police report on Rep. Brett Hulsey's allegedly odd behavior, which caused a female aide to say that she was "terrified" of her boss.
According to Capitol Police records, Hulsey walked into the Capitol earlier this year carrying a box cutter and acting a way that caused a Capitol Police officer to be concerned about the well being of those the lawmaker came into contact with.
In the speech draft, Hulsey references his own background with firearms and then makes references to gun violence that could have happened if he and others opposed to collective bargaining reform had been allowed to carry guns in the Capitol in 2011.
"Is this a beginning to restore sanity to a world where people seem to solve their problems with guns instead of words? And if this doesn't work for you, do you really want me carrying a gun here for this session?" Hulsey wrote in his draft, which was e-mailed to a female aide who then asked police to included it in their report as evidence of language that made the staffer feel threatened and uncomfortable.
Hulsey got more specific further on his draft, singling out both Governor Scott Walker and Speaker Robin Vos (R) in his rhetorical comments about potential gun violence in the Capitol.
"Grew up spending many of my Saturdays at our NRA gun club where I became a marksman. Came in handy as I once shot the heart out of an antelope running at 300 yards. I don't say this to brag, Mr. Speaker, only to let you know that I could probably shoot an apple off your head at this distance, but do you really want to find out?"
Repeatedly in the draft, Hulsey posed the question of whether or not lawmakers really wanted to find out what would happen or could or did carry a gun on the Assembly floor.
"If you vote for my amendment, you won't have to worry about me carrying a gun here. Which the way you behaved the last session is probably wise."
"Do you remember when Gov. Walker said he would drop the bomb on us and conspired with someone he thought was a big donor to pressure and extort our Senators to Gross state lines to vote on the Unfair Despair Act 10? I went to his press conference and called this nonsense, I was angry and glad I didn't have a gun then."
The context of this draft speech was a proposed amendment to the Assembly rules that would have prohibited members of the public from carrying concealed weapons in the gallery. Under current rules and state law, citizens with a concealed carry permit may carry a concealed weapon while sitting in the Assembly gallery.
When asked about the draft, Hulsey didn't deny that he wrote it, though he emphasized that he never gave that version of the speech. The version of the speech that he did give removed references to his own experience with guns, hypothetical gun scenarios, and references to Governor Walker and Speaker Vos.
It appears that no action will be taken by the Assembly at this time to address the allegations of threatening conduct leveled against Hulsey by his aide. Speaker Robin Vos said on Thursday that the voters represented by Hulsey would have to decide about the matter.