Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer isn’t likely to go down as being pro-gun by any stretch of the imagination. We know that while she may not support at total gun ban, she’ll definitely support any gun control measure just short of it.
But she made an announcement regarding a law enforcement effort that might actually pay off in the long run, and we have to give credit where credit is due.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday that the Operation Safe Neighborhoods program has reached a new milestone.
Since the operation began, law enforcement officials have conducted 2,020 check-ins with felony offenders, leading to 254 illegal guns taken off the street before it could be used to commit a crime. During sweeps, officers have also recovered countless illegal drugs and ammunition.
“Every Michigander deserves to be safe in their neighborhood,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today, I am proud to announce that Operation Safe Neighborhoods has taken 254 illegal guns off the street before it could be used to commit a future crime. Over the last four years, we have invested over $1 billion in public safety, and we will continue to make record investments, so Michiganders are safe at home, work or school, or running an errand.”
Now, that doesn’t sound like many. If this were a series of gun buybacks, for example, I’d be laughing at Michigan right now. After all, for a state of over 10 million people, that’s a drop in the bucket.
But that’s looking at the numbers wrong. This should be focused on the group that was checked, in this case, convicted felons. There, the numbers tell a different story, because if you figure out the percentages, it’s kind of alarming. 254 guns among 2,020 people checked. If you assume one guy per person–which is probably not how it went down, to be honest–you get just over 12.5 percent of the check-ins resulting in finding guns.
Yes, that’s a lot. Especially considering these are people who can’t lawfully own a firearm.
Now, I’m of the opinion that when someone has finished their debt to society, they should be free to enjoy all of their rights. However, that’s not the law as written, which means anyone who is truly reformed would be unarmed.
These folks weren’t.
What Michigan has done, though, will likely provide at least some benefits because these felons are also the ones most likely to commit violent crimes. They’re the armed criminals that represent so much of an issue in our communities.
And the thing is, by targeting them, law-abiding citizens aren’t seeing their rights infringed.
Unfortunately, this is Whitmer we’re talking about. This effort targets felons, but expect to see her push some kind of gun control in 2023, especially now that she’s likely to have a much more favorable legislature that will go along with her on the issue.
In fact, while Whitmer made the announcement, I’m quite sure this wasn’t her idea. Stuff like that usually originates lower down on the food chain, after all, but she’ll take the credit for it, that’s for sure.