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Finally addressing plague of gun violence

As we note in our story on improvements local school are making towards school security in the wake of unprecedented school shootings and gun violence, if 2023 continues as it has begun, there will be approximately 400 school shootings this year, up considerably from 2022's record high of 273. And that, quite frankly, is 400 too many.


Schools are not the only venues which are targets for mass shootings. In the last several years, banks, factories, concerts, malls, department stores, grocery stores, churches, synagogues, mosques, movie theaters...the list goes on and on, have all been prey for those with a grudge and the ability to gain access to firearms. That is why we are so pleased that the Michigan state legislature has passed and the governor has signed into law, with others in the works, at least a few significant gun bills.


On the two-month anniversary of the Michigan State University shooting, where three students were gunned down and others were injured, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed six gun reform bills into law. Of primary note are Senate Bill 79, which requires a person to keep a firearm stored or left unattended on a premises unloaded and locked, either with a locking device or stored in a locked container. We all saw the dire consequences of the failure to do this when the Oxford shooter reportedly gained access to an unlocked gun at his home, much less numerous children in homes across the state who accidentally shoot someone when a gun is left unlocked. Companion Senate Bills 80, 81 and 82 lower the costs of gun safety devices in an effort to allow easier access to materials needed to safely store firearms and updates Michigan’s criminal code for safe firearm storage as it relates to “child access protection.”


Also signed into law were House Bills 4138 and 4142, which expand universal background checks to purchases of all firearms. This is a common sense expansion of gun reform, and one 90 percent of all Americans support, including 88 percent of all Michiganders, according to polls. In light of the continued increase in school shootings, the Pew Research Institute noted that over half – 53 percent of all Americans – favor stricter gun laws, with 85 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats supporting preventing those with mental illnesses from purchasing guns. After all, no where in the Second Amendment does it say the right to a gun is immediate, or the right extends to those planning massacres against their fellow citizens, or for those who have mental illness.


Currently in process are efforts to reconcile legislative bills to move forward “red flag” bills, which are meant to protect a gun owner or others around them if that owner is considered dangerous. Whitmer has said she is eager to sign the bill


The moves by those in Lansing finally offer leadership on starting to address the scourge of gun violence. While not an end-all to the problem, continuing do nothing is not an option. As we note in our story on improvements local school are making towards school security in the wake of unprecedented school shootings and gun violence, if 2023 continues as it has begun, there will be approximately 400 school shootings this year, up considerably from 2022's record high of 273. And that, quite frankly, is 400 too many.


Schools are not the only venues which are targets for mass shootings. In the last several years, banks, factories, concerts, malls, department stores, grocery stores, churches, synagogues, mosques, movie theaters...the list goes on and on, have all been prey for those with a grudge and the ability to gain access to firearms. That is why we are so pleased that the Michigan state legislature has passed and the governor has signed into law, with others in the works, at least a few significant gun bills.


On the two-month anniversary of the Michigan State University shooting, where three students were gunned down and others were injured, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed six gun reform bills into law. Of primary note are Senate Bill 79, which requires a person to keep a firearm stored or left unattended on a premises unloaded and locked, either with a locking device or stored in a locked container. We all saw the dire consequences of the failure to do this when the Oxford shooter reportedly gained access to an unlocked gun at his home, much less numerous children in homes across the state who accidentally shoot someone when a gun is left unlocked. Companion Senate Bills 80, 81 and 82 lower the costs of gun safety devices in an effort to allow easier access to materials needed to safely store firearms and updates Michigan’s criminal code for safe firearm storage as it relates to “child access protection.”


Also signed into law were House Bills 4138 and 4142, which expand universal background checks to purchases of all firearms. This is a common sense expansion of gun reform, and one 90 percent of all Americans support, including 88 percent of all Michiganders, according to polls. In light of the continued increase in school shootings, the Pew Research Institute noted that over half – 53 percent of all Americans – favor stricter gun laws, with 85 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats supporting preventing those with mental illnesses from purchasing guns. After all, no where in the Second Amendment does it say the right to a gun is immediate, or the right extends to those planning massacres against their fellow citizens, or for those who have mental illness.


Currently in process are efforts to reconcile legislative bills to move forward “red flag” bills, which are meant to protect a gun owner or others around them if that owner is considered dangerous. Whitmer has said she is eager to sign the bill


The moves by those in Lansing finally offer leadership on starting to address the scourge of gun violence. While not an end-all to the problem, continuing do nothing is not an option.

Yorumlar


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