LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Getting a grip on gun safety

Published 4:28 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Dear Editor,

Michiganders can finally get real gun safety measures passed and signed into law, but only if we make our collective will be known to our elected representatives.

The recent mass shooting at MSU, a preventable tragedy, may be the thing which pushes the Legislature to do the right thing and pass three simple, popular gun safety measures.

First, universal instant background checks for all firearm sales. It makes no sense to limit background checks to handgun sales by licenced dealers, while private sales of semi-auto rifles and shotguns go without any checks. Every sale of any firearm should require a background check, something a large majority of Michiganders want to happen. 

Second, safe storage laws, making mandatory something every gun safety class or program teaches. If you own firearms, you know that they should be kept locked up when not in use, preventing countless incedents of misuse, accidental shootings and suicides. 

Finally, legal intervention by law enforcement and court authorities to remove guns from dangerous or threatening persons. The MSU shooter had mental issues, and a parent had asked if he still had a gun. 

The shooter simply lied, said he didn’t. If the parent had been able to go to the police or a judge and report his suspicions, the law counld have intervened and likely avoided this tragedy. In Florida, these intervention laws have been used over 9000 times, preventing countless tragedies and mayhem.

These three gun safety meaures have withstood legal challenges, and all three are well within the Second Amendment parameters of the right to keep and bear arms. Legitimate gun sales are allowed, the law enforces what responsible gun owners are doing anyway, and nobody’s guns get taken unless they are a provable danger to themselves or others. 

Call your State Representative and Senator and ask them to support these three popular and rational gun safety measures.

JIm Pedersen, Cassopolis