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Tammy Baldwin

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, speaks to a supporter after an event outside the State Capitol Thursday.

The Middleton workplace shooting that injured four people Wednesday shows the need for gun-control measures “consistent with the Second Amendment,” such as requiring universal background checks and banning so-called “bump stocks,” U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said.

“As a gun owner myself, I believe that the Second Amendment is absolutely consistent with stronger safety regulations,” Baldwin, D-Madison, said Thursday.

Her comments came at a news conference outside the state Capitol with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, and supporters. It focused on their opposition to GOP efforts to repeal the federal health care law known as Obamacare.

Baldwin also thanked Middleton, Madison, Dane County and FBI first responders for their handling of Wednesday’s shooting, which left four injured, three seriously, and resulted in the death of the alleged shooter, Anthony Tong, following a gunfight with police. Baldwin said first responders “through their quick action prevented something that could have been far worse — but it was bad enough as is.”

A spokeswoman for Baldwin’s Republican opponent in the November election, state Sen. Leah Vukmir, of Brookfield, responded to Baldwin’s gun-control remarks by saying she is giving “meaningless lip service to a very serious issue.”

“She wants to increase the number of gun laws, then hypocritically supports the appointing of dangerous liberal judges who don’t actually hold individuals accountable for breaking those laws,” Vukmir spokeswoman Jess Ward said.

Baldwin continued to spar with Vukmir Thursday over health care, especially the Obamacare provision barring insurers from denying coverage or charging more to people because of a pre-existing health condition.

Baldwin has emphasized Vukmir’s support for multiple efforts to repeal the health care law; Vukmir contends the state should return to a previous model of covering some people with pre-existing conditions — so-called high-risk coverage pools — that she and other Republicans say worked effectively pre-Obamacare.

Baldwin said she’s standing up to insurance companies and Vukmir is siding with them.

“What would happen if Leah Vukmir put insurance companies back in charge of our health care?” Baldwin said. “For every Wisconsin family with a loved one that is battling cancer or living in a nursing home or living with disabilities, this election is a stark, stark choice.”

Vukmir responded on Twitter telling Baldwin to “stop the lies.”

“As a nurse, I’m committed to covering patients with pre-existing conditions,” Vukmir said.

Baldwin also urged voters to cast their ballots early in this election. She also said “nothing is being taken for granted” following a Marquette Law School poll released Tuesday that showed her leading Vukmir by 11 percentage points, 53-42.

Baldwin said she has been the “number-one target” among U.S. Senate incumbents seeking re-election this fall from super PACs allied with Vukmir.

“Wisconsin voters are saying ‘We cannot be bought,’” Baldwin said. “I’m very grateful for that, but we’ve got to keep on going. We know that early leads have been erased before.”

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Mark Sommerhauser covers state government and politics for the Wisconsin State Journal.