Days after dozens of armed protestors flooded into the state capitol demanding an end to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, a Michigan lawmaker showed up for work on Wednesday morning with armed escort of her own.
Rep. Sarah Anthony, a freshman Democrat from the Lansing area, was accompanied by three individuals carrying modern sporting rifles as she strolled into the capitol building on Wednesday. The legislator says she didn’t request the armed security, but didn’t object to it either.
“We were all just appalled by the lack of support and lack of security that I had, that other legislators had, and the fact that a lot of the demonstrators last week were adorning many racist, anti-Semitic signage. I think it just triggered a lot of folks, especially African Americans.”
Anthony and other lawmakers met this morning for an appropriations committee meeting. The scene was quiet. Anthony’s cadre of Second Amendment advocates had no trouble entering the building. They left to quietly stand on the front steps after Anthony made it inside an elevator.
“We want to change the narrative, first of all. We want people to understand that people of color can come out here with guns just the same as anybody else can,” said Michael Lynn Jr., a black Lansing firefighter and community activist who helped organize Anthony’s security detail.
I probably don’t agree with Rep. Anthony’s politics, but I absolutely agree with Michael Lynn that every law-abiding American has the right to keep and bear arms.
What I really want to know is where Anthony stands on gun control issues, and if speaking to Lynn and other activists has had any impact on her thinking about how gun control laws impact black constituents in her district. After being protected by guys with semi-automatic rifles, does she believe that they should be banned? Will she support a proposed ban on firearms in the state capitol, or will she stand up for the right of people like Lynn to continue to carry a firearm inside the building?
Because Lynn is black, he suspects that cops would’ve been a bit more cautious — and perhaps violent — had his group been as boisterous as some of the crowds last week. He wanted to prove a point that Second Amendment rights aren’t limited on the basis of race.
“I could hear the fear in her voice during that protest,” Lynn explained. “It was the visual of her being that scared to go to work. It meant we had to do something. We came out here today to make sure we could provide some protection, even if it’s only just to make her feel better.”
I don’t think Rep. Anthony had anything to worry about from the protests last week, which were boisterous but non-violent, but if Lynn and his fellow gun owners made her feel safer, I’m glad they were there. Actually, even if this was just a political stunt on the part of Anthony, I’m still glad Lynn and his fellow gun owners provided an escort for the representative. Lynn’s point about the Second Amendment not being limited on the basis of race is absolutely correct. I just hope that his time with the lawmaker helps her understand the importance of the right to keep and bear arms for all of the constituents she represents.