Michigan has managed to dodge a bullet for a little while now. Following the Oxford shooting, it seemed possible the state would end up with some degree of gun control on the books. After all, people get emotional after school shootings.
However, it just didn’t happen. Many thought it would, including anti-gun groups, but it didn’t.
Now, one such group is still mulling over a ballot initiative for 2024.
A group lobbying for stricter gun laws in Michigan says a citizen-led ballot initiative could be on the horizon if the state’s Republican-controlled legislature does not take action soon on gun safety legislation.
End Gun Violence Michigan, a group that formed earlier this year to demand changes to Michigan’s gun safety laws, made a last-ditch effort to appeal to lawmakers in Lansing at a press conference near the Capitol Wednesday, April 13, where organizers pleaded for “sensible reforms” to the state’s gun laws.
“Enough is enough – we will not sit idly by as they (our legislators) sign our death warrants,” said group organizer Zoey Rector-Brooks, 19. “Today we ask our elected officials and people who are tasked with representing us, what are you doing to save our lives? If you fail to protect us, we will have no other choice but to go around you and bring change to our communities through a ballot initiative.”
The group is advocating for gun safety reforms like universal background checks, safe storage laws, extreme risk protection orders and a ban on guns in government buildings.
The hope is to basically go around the legislature by appealing directly to the people of Michigan, who they believe will side with them.
They also likely believe that urban voters will rally to a ballot initiative and vote for the initiative when their legislators may not support similar measures.
Had they done this last year, they might have.
Unfortunately for them, public opinion is swinging away from them. People just aren’t interested in gun control these days. Unless something drastic happens, that’s not going to change over the next two years.
Don’t get me wrong, I know the thinking here. You get better turnout during a presidential year and all that.
However, if this goes down in flames as I suspect it will, what will ultimately happen is that gun control will be a dead issue in Michigan for years. Politicians will know the people of the state oppose gun control and they’ll simply avoid the issue entirely.
Which is fine with me. The greatest day I can imagine is the day sites like Bearing Arms no longer cover politics because there’s no threat to the Second Amendment. I can live with an outcome where gun control becomes a non-issue.
And I’m more than eager to watch them make that a reality, at least in Michigan.
It should be noted, though, that none of what they want will make anyone safer. On the contrary, restrictions make it more difficult for normal, everyday gun owners to defend themselves from criminal threats. But don’t expect them to acknowledge that. They know what they want and will try to cram it down the throats of people in Michigan.
I hope it blows up in their faces quite spectacularly.