A Wednesday noontime rally on the steps of the Michigan State capitol is the latest move in the stepped-up effort to push new gun restrictions in the wake of the Feb. 13 triple-murder by a lone killer on the campus of Michigan State University, and the ongoing campaign even attracted David Hogg, the Florida high school student-turned-celebrity gun control advocate.
But reports dating back to last year indicate Democrats were already planning to push for new gun laws after they gained control of the Legislature in Lansing in the November elections. The Detroit News back on Dec. 9, 2022 reported, “Following a historic showing in the November election, Michigan Democrats will control both chambers in the state Legislature come January for the first time since the 1980s. One of the priorities, Democrats including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer say, is stricter laws about gun access.”
According to WWMT News, students and at least one politician—Democrat State Rep. Penelope Tsernoglou—were scheduled to attend the Wednesday event.
They appeared 48 hours after Hogg, who was a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland when a deranged teen opened fire on Valentine’s Day 2018, killing 14 students and three adult staff members, appeared in Lansing, calling for gun control. His visit came the day after he tweeted, “After reading about the history of the second amend and talking with a lot of hist & law professors- I believe the second amendment has been intentionally misinterpreted. It was never meant as an individual right it was created to protect state militias like the national guard.”
Later in the same Twitter stream, Hogg wrote, “It says well regulated militia for a reason. The ‘shall not be infringed’ part means the federal government is not allowed to forcibly disarm state militias. I’m not alone in this interpretation. Over 100 years of jurisprudence back me up on this.”
After reading about the history of the second amend and talking with a lot of hist & law professors- I believe the second amendment has been intentionally misinterpreted. It was never meant as an individual right it was created to protect state militias like the national guard.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) February 19, 2023
Critics replying to Hogg’s tweet suggested he needs a refresher course on Second Amendment history. While it is his opinion, the Supreme Court’s opinion from Heller, McDonald and Bruen seem to have him flanked.
Local media, including the Lansing State Journal, continue to refer to gun control as “gun safety” and “gun law reforms.” The newspaper did note in its coverage of Hogg’s appearance, “The MSU gunman, 43-year-old Anthony McRae, had two 9 mm handguns, nine magazines and extra rounds on him when he was found, police said.” Both of those firearms were reportedly purchased legally. However, they apparently had not been registered.
The push for new gun restrictions in Michigan started well before the murders at the university. Indeed, weeks ago, the local media was talking about the potential for new gun laws because Democrats have assumed full control of the Legislature for the first time in decades.
As reported by Chalkbeat back on Jan. 6, “After sweeping Michigan’s statewide races again and capturing a majority in the state House and Senate, Democrats have control over the legislative agenda that they haven’t had since the 1980s. One of their top priorities is gun control, and they’re looking to move quickly while they’re still in power and while memories of the Oxford shooting are still fresh.”
And CNN reported how Michigan Democrats “filed a host of bills” only three days after the university shooting.
“Democrats see a prime opportunity to enact changes,” CNN reported. “In January, for the first time in 40 years, Democrats took control of the state’s legislature and the governor’s office, fueling optimism that a path forward for critical gun safety measures is within reach.”
This amounts to media acknowledgement Democrats were all set to use the Oxford High School shooting to press their anti-gun agenda, and then MSU happened.
During his Monday appearance, Hogg proposed a package of gun control measures including a “red flag law,” so-called “universal background checks” and a “safe storage” mandate, according to the Detroit News. The newspaper noted that the Michigan State Senate recently saw introduction of legislation for safe storage and “red flag” requirements.
But do those laws really work? Advocates for and against will offer their own claims of research. For example, CNN reported, “Three specific policies included in Thursday’s (Feb. 16) package have been proven to be effective in lowering gun violence rates, according to a study by Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit focused on gun violence prevention.”
According to WKRC-TV news and other news agencies, Michigan gun rights advocates are already lining up to fight new restrictions.
The Great Lakes Gun Rights group, based in Grand Rapids, announced it would work to recall “anyone supporting the gun reform bills,” WKRC reported.
The Wednesday event was the second gathering of students at the state capitol. Monday’s event featuring Hogg brought hundreds of people demanding an end to “gun violence.” However, proponents of more gun laws anywhere have learned to temper their promises that more laws will bring the desired results, only that they may help reduce violent crime.
About Dave Workman