At an event honoring Pride Month, Democratic Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers made clear a glaringly obvious point: He is likely the only thing standing in the way of a Republican push to ban books in Wisconsin. 

As reported by the Associated Press, Evers said “that if he loses reelection in November, Republicans will take the ‘breathtaking’ step to ban books, particularly those related to the LGBTQ community.”

Here’s why he’s almost certainly right:

  1. Republicans are already pushing book bans across the country. Per CNN, “Republican-controlled states including Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas are now pushing statewide rules that make it easier for critics to remove books they dislike from school libraries in every community.” Jeffrey Sachs, a professor who tracks free speech in education recently told Vox that, “every single Republican-controlled state where the legislature is currently in session is considering a new “educational gag order” bill.”
  1. Wisconsin Republicans are already checking bookshelves for content they deem problematic

As reported by Wisconsin Examiner, “Wisconsin Republican legislators have been scouring school libraries in their districts for potentially “inappropriate” books…setting the stage for debates around what books should be restricted.

Evers comments have finally pushed the potential of Republican led efforts to ban books into the news. But anyone paying attention understands that this is not coming out of left field. The threat to academic freedom that book bans represent is very real, and it may be coming to a community near you very soon.

Looked at from a certain point of view, within the context of the last few weeks and the murder of 19 elementary school children in Uvalde, TX, it sure looks like Wisconsin Republicans have more interest in banning books than they do banning untrained civilians from owning AR-15’s.

That’s not just scary, it’s a shame.