Michigan may pass a bill that allows people to bring guns to schools and churches
With the conversation about gun control in America so divided, positive change can feel painfully slow and even confusing at times. Some states are trying to limit gun ownership, while others are trying to make it easier to incorporate guns into daily life.
In fact, a new Michigan bill would allow concealed guns in schools and churches. According to ABC News, the recent mass shootings in Texas and Las Vegas have prompted the Michigan Senate to come to a decision about how to proceed with zones that are currently gun-free, like hospitals, concert arenas, day care centers, college dorms, and schools.
If the new legislation passes, trained gun license holders would be able to carry their concealed handguns in these public spaces. Privately owned businesses, such as bars, would potentially still be free of guns. ABC News reports that “25 Republicans voted for this main bill. 11 Democrats and 1 Republican opposed it.”
This legislation was approved by the Michigan Senate and is now under consideration by the House.
"I believe citizens have the right to be free and safe and secure and to defend themselves and their loved ones," GOP Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhoff shared with ABC News. "Responsible, well-trained, licensed gun owners may be one of those deterrents to those individuals who seek out gun-free zones as opportunities to commit heinous crimes."
However, in reality, the notion of a “good guy” stopping a “bad guy” in these situations is little more than Hollywood fantasy.
Studies conducted by firearm experts have found that violent scenes can actually escalate when an armed civilian tries to intervene during a highly stressful situation.
"People who have been in gunfights describe hearing very little and perceive time slowing down. Amid this chaos, as police officers have to make difficult, split-second decisions, humans can lose motor skills as the body reverts to basic fight or flight instincts," the study states.
And this, of course, can lead to accidental deaths or injuries.
Because of this, there are many gun-control advocates and education lobbyists in Michigan who are concerned about the consequences of having more guns in public spaces, especially in schools. They’re actively fighting against the NRA and this bill, and questioning why lawmakers aren’t discussing how to strengthen background checks instead.
At a recent committee hearing to discuss the bill, Don Wotruba, executive director of the Michigan Association of School Boards, made a critical point about everyday gun carriers and their lack of rigorous training.
"Tragedies are going to happen. But we're concerned this change could create more accidental incidents and the additional training doesn’t come close to training an individual for high-intensity situations. Unless you’re trained for a military or police perspective, you're not well-trained."
All of this can seem overwhelming, but the more information and statistics we have on the realities of gun violence, the better.
We’ll continue to share updates as the bill moves forward in Michigan. In the meantime, if you feel strongly about gun control, don’t hesitate to call your local representatives and make your voice heard.