PPGV member Kathleen Howard targets many of our issues in this Op-Ed.
“The right to openly carry firearms has been getting a lot of attention lately- locally, across the state, and throughout the U.S.
A judge’s ruling this week in favor of a Grand Rapids police officer who stopped and questioned a person who was open carrying a gun is just the latest round in an ongoing debate that has recently featured a Hollywood celebrity comparing firearms to cutlery, open carry proponents bringing their weapons into schools across Michigan, and efforts in several state legislatures to weaken licensing and registration requirements.
Gun rights advocates — backed by well-funded supporters — have been enjoying some success in their push to allow guns to be carried anytime, anywhere, without regard for the safety of the rest of society, including schoolchildren.
But it’s not too late to fight back. I am part of a group of parents who are asking the Michigan Legislature to close the loophole allowing the open carry of weapons in our public schools. In just a few weeks, nearly 3,000 people have signed our petition asking the House Judiciary Committee and entire Michigan Legislature to enact common-sense gun legislation.
The presence of guns in schools introduces the possibility of unintentional shootings and increases the risk of physical and emotional harm to students, staff, and everyone present in the building. This potential for devastating harm is more than enough reason to enact a strict ban.
I encourage Michiganders who are concerned about this issue to sign our petition, contact their legislators, and consider joining a gun violence prevention group such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
We don’t have to sit back and watch as a small, well-funded group of gun enthusiasts puts the safety of our children at risk. We can take action and work to protect ourselves and our families.”
Kathleen Howard, MD, FAAP
Grand Rapids, MI