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Michigan State Senate passes bill to allow concealed carry - if you're trained - in schools, churches, bars
Good guys with guns.
I got an e-mail from my pastor a few days ago. He realized that members of our church were probably thinking what church members all across the country were thinking: If this psycho could walk into a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and start murdering the unarmed, sitting ducks attending the service, what would stop one from coming into ours?
The e-mail explained the church's security team had developed protocols for various situations, and that they would be prepared if there was a threat.
What the e-mail didn't address one way or the other was the number one question on my mind and, I'm sure, on the minds of many others. Would the members of our security team be armed? Because if they weren't, what could they possibly do in the face of a threat from another Devin Patrick Kelley?
It turns out the law in Michigan is a little vague on this question, but the good news is that Michigan's Republican-controlled state Senate is trying to tilt the scales in favor of people being able to protect themselves. And unsurprisingly, that has Democrats throwing one of their usual anti-gun fits:
The legislation would legalize the right to carry in those places if a license holder gets eight more hours of training, though privately owned businesses such as bars could stay pistol-free. People licensed to carry would be banned from openly carrying or intentionally displaying a pistol — a provision that addresses a "loophole" that has allowed armed open-carry activists to enter the gun-free zones and has sparked lawsuits.
The current law already gives the leaders of churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship permission to allow concealed weapons.
Twenty-five Republicans voted for the main bill . All 11 Democrats and one Republican opposed it.
The sponsor, GOP Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof of West Olive, said the recent mass shootings in Texas and Las Vegas highlight the need to act.
"I believe citizens have the right to be free and safe and secure and to defend themselves and their loved ones," he said. "Responsible, well-trained, licensed gun owners may be one of those deterrents to those individuals who seek out gun-free zones as opportunities to commit heinous crimes."
Opponents, including gun-control advocates and the education lobby, criticized allowing anyone other than a law enforcement or security officer to bring pistols inside schools, day care centers and other public spaces. They called it the "pistols in preschools" legislation, warned of accidental shootings and chaos for police responding to active shooters, and said it could boost liability insurance costs. Critics also questioned allowing alcohol and guns to mix and said the bills would do nothing to stop bad actors from obtaining guns in the first place.
Sen. Meekhof is acknowledging what should seem obvious to anyone: Mass shooters seek out "gun-free zones" because they know there won't be anyone else there with a gun. That means that if you happen to be in one of these places when the mass shooter shows up, you are a sitting duck. It's fine to say you should let the police handle it, but the police aren't there, and by the time they get there, everyone could be dead.
Rarely do Democrats reveal their unseriousness more egregiously than they do on this issue. My own state representative is a Democrat - good guy, I know him very well - who immediately declared that he would not support the legislation because it represents the "worn out philosophy of a 'good guy' with a gun." I asked what made this philosophy "worn out" and he replied that he just doesn't buy into it.
That makes no sense. It sounds good on a bumper sticker or on a yard sign to say "more guns are not the answer," but what could be worse than a room full of people in which the only person with a gun intends to use it to murder everyone else? That is what the Lansing Democrats want to maintain. It's madness.
The Michigan House is also Republican-controlled, so I'm confident the bill will pass there. I'm less confident about Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who vetoed a similar bill in 2012 after Sandy Hook. Gov. Snyder is very good on economics but tends to get a little tripped up on social issues or issues of public safety. Sometimes he will send a bill back to the Legislature with suggestions for how they can address concerns - and sometimes his concerns have merit - but other times he just goes wobbly and says no when he should say yes. Maybe after Sutherland Springs he will realize he's putting people at much greater risk if he issues yet another veto.
It's really hard for me to wrap my brain around the Democrats' position on this. I get that they're so invested in the gun control narrative that they probably feel they can never, under any circumstances, acknowledge that the presence of a gun might actually help a situation. That explains the ideological hesitation.
Yet look what happened in Sutherland Springs. It was only when an armed citizen engaged the shooter that the carnage stopped, and without that happening, everyone in that church might have ended up dead. Yet Democrats continue to focus on potential unintended consequences of having multiple people with weapons, including the possibility that when police arrive they can't tell who the real bad guy is.
I get all that, but they have to get this: None of it matters if an armed killer has already taken out a room full of sitting ducks. With an armed, trained security team that has established protocols and gamed out different scenarios, there is a much better chance of lives being saved. Even an individual who isn't part of that team, but who has trained in the use of firearms, gives the would-be victims more of a chance than what they have now.
Yet Democrats continue to insist they "don't buy into it," and give efforts like this mocking names like "pistols in preschool." Maybe the party that can't believe it lost to Donald Trump should take a look at itself.
Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!