Today Marks 10 Years Since Sandy Hook
Gun violence is an extremely serious problem in the state of Michigan. According to a recent report from the Center for American Progress, more than three people are killed and more than nine people are injured by a gun every single day in our state. Firearms are now the leading cause of death among children and adolescents in Michigan.
Democratic representatives have introduced a number of measures to help reduce gun violence, but they have gone nowhere in our Republican-controlled legislature. The recent election, however, produced a dramatic change - Democrats are now the majority in both the state House and Senate. There is a real possibility for passage of much-needed legislation to save lives and reduce injuries by implementing evidence-based gun violence prevention laws.
Governor Whitmer and Democratic legislators are focusing on passing three specific gun violence prevention measures:
Mandating safe storage of guns, especially in households with children and adolescents, and implementing tougher laws against unsafe storage
Establishing Extreme Risk Protection Orders (“Red Flag laws”), which would allow police officers, family members, and educators to petition a court to prohibit the possession of firearms by individuals who are at great risk of committing gun violence, toward self or others.
Requiring background checks on all gun sales, including those that are currently exempt from such measures.
If passed, these laws will save many lives and prevent many injuries. Passing them, however, will not be easy. The gun lobby will spend very large amounts of money to oppose passage of gun violence prevention laws. Therefore, it is extremely important that everyone who supports these laws communicate their support to their state representatives and state senators.
We the people need to make our voices heard, clearly and often. If our legislators do not hear from us, they may conclude that their constituents don’t care about this issue. Let’s tell them, over and over again, that we care very much.
The time for the passage of gun violence prevention laws is now.
Dr. Larry Feldman