After armed protestors showed up to take issue with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s draconian lockdown regulations, it wasn’t surprising that talk immediately shifted to whether or not guns should be allowed in the capitol. It wasn’t like Whitmer or her cronies in the legislature would actually listen to the people.
Instead, they started talking about changing regulations.
Luckily, those discussions kind of stalled out. It wasn’t indefinite, though. Instead, debate was set to resume this week, but the Capitol Commission instead rejected the proposed gun in a series of votes on Monday morning.
During a Monday morning hearing in Lansing, which streamed live on house.mi.gov/htv.asp and misenate.viebit.com, commissioners rejected first a measure to ban guns in the Capitol and then one that would have banned specifically long guns.
The question arose after armed protesters who objected to the way Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has handled the coronavirus pandemic entered the Capitol in late April. Some entered the gallery above the state Senate chambers, alarming some lawmakers.
Among the obstacles to instituting a ban brought up by commissioners Monday was enforcement, specifically the lack of metal detectors, X-ray machines and security checkpoint staff. WLNS, WOOD TV8’s Lansing sister station, previously reported the cost of implementing a ban could run between $500,000 to $1.3 million.
In other words, they can’t just pass a rule, they also have to figure out how to actually enforce it. That will cost money, which creates other roadblocks.
Frankly, the commission made the right call here.
While I didn’t think those particular protestors should have shown up armed–I believe it detracted from their message because the media latched onto the guns and not what they were saying or why they were saying it–I don’t believe the rules should be changed for any reason. Americans have a right to be armed and that right does not and should not end at the doors of the legislature.
Private property owners can decide they don’t want guns on their premises, but the state isn’t a private property owner. They answer to the people; the very same people they’re trying to regulate.
To be sure, such measures aren’t about making anyone safer, either. It’s about trying to punish people they disagreed with. Today’s vote is a victory not only for the Second Amendment, but the First Amendment rights of Michigan residents as well.