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DETROIT ― More than a week has passed since the shooting at Michigan State University ― long enough, I gather, that most of the country has moved on.
Three deaths isn’t a lot by the standards of mass killings nowadays. And that’s to say nothing of the more than 100 Americans who die every day Guns in suicides, murders, and other accidents. Most of those deaths don’t even make the news.
This is Michigan, though, we are still dealing with the aftermath of the shooting ― and mourning the victims.
Tuesday marked the end of Tuesday’s funeral Arielle AndersonA Detroit sophomore, aged 19, was present. The Governor of Indiana was among the dignitaries. Gretchen Whitmer, who spoke about Anderson’s “quiet confidence” “loud compassion” And the “special bond” Anderson was with an aunt that she cared for.
Rema Vassar, Chair of the MSU Board of Trustees was also present. Anderson was announced as the recipient of a university degree, along with Brian Fraser (20), and Alexandria Verner (20), who were the two other students who passed away last week.
At Fraser’s funeral last Saturday, a priest recalled his charisma and humor ― how he wasn’t the most gifted athlete but loved so much to be “part of a team.”
A speaker at Verner’s service remembered her as an idealistSomeone who “saw something greater in mankind.”
Some of the shooting survivors have also been in the news ― among them, John Hao20-year-old student from China, who was wounded in the back. He is currently paralysed. His parents who don’t speak English have flown from China to be there. To help him with his expenses, a friend created a GoFundMe. Many donations came in from people who knew that Hao was a huge fan.
Harden brought a pair game-worn shoes and talked to Hao via FaceTime. He also passed along his personal phone number so they could speak again in the future ― maybe in person, when Hao is well enough to attend a game as a special guest. Harden later told an ESPN interviewer He was hoping “to brighten John’s day, even if it was just for one minute.”
This impulse to give some emotional support has driven thousands of people to turn out for vigils All across the state. And it’s why, when MSU’s basketball team played the University of Michigan Ann Arbor at the weekend Michigan’s athletic department bathed the arena in green lights ― the official color of the MSU Spartans ― for a moment of silence and then a rendition of the MSU alma mater by Michigan’s band.
This in-state rivalry game is well-known for its rough play on hardcourt and unfriendly taunts coming from the stands. On This night Michigan’s students held a banner that said “Spartan Strong,” Everyone here is using the same slogan to express solidarity
That may sound familiar because it’s become the go-to phrase fOder mourning mass shootings ― as in “Uvalde Strong” or “Parkland Strong.” This phrase actually has a long history. I heard it first after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. The city adopted the slogan. “Boston Strong.”
Whatever its origins, its appropriation as a response to gun massacres has a certain logic — although the fact that shootings now have their own, well-established slogan is no cause for celebration.
It is now questionable if the sympathy expressions are really the high-gloss version. “thoughts and prayers” — or whether, for once, they will lead to some kind of response.
Michigan, at least, there’s reason to think action is possible. The legislature’s Democrats filed several bills this week to regulate gun access. They plan to quickly move on three fronts. Expanding the background check system that covers all firearm sales. Establishing new gun storage rules. And putting in place an option for getting permits. “emergency risk protection orders.”
That last provision would create what’s come to be known as a “red flag law,” under which a judge could authorize police to take away a person’s firearms temporarily following evidence that the person is a danger to others or themselves.
These ideas are not novel. Michigan All of the proposals were presented by Democrats one year ago, following the attack at Oxford High School north of Detroit which left seven people dead and several others injured. The proposals couldn’t even get a committee hearing because the Republicans in charge wouldn’t allow one.
Now, thanks to the 2022 elections, Democrats control the legislature and are moving ahead ― with Whitmer, the second-term Democrat who has been calling for these laws, ready to sign them.
That doesn’t mean their enactment is a foregone conclusion. With just two seats in each the 38-member Senate, and 110-member House respectively, the Democratic margins remain thin. These are some of the more conservative and rural areas where gun owners have more control and gun restrictions are suspected more.
Only one organization Great Lakes Gun Rights, has called the Democrats’ push a “power grab” It is an attempt to use tragedy to gain political power, and has made a vow to punish Representatives who vote for recall efforts.
“If they think they’re going to be able to quietly pass these bills, without repercussions, I think they’re fooling themselves,” Brenden Boudreau, the organization’s executive director, told Michigan Radio.
Great Lakes Gun Since before the election, rights have been under attack. It tweeted about it a while ago. ghoulish, green-colored caricature Whitmer and the phrase “Gun-Grabbing Gretchen.”
And while the accusation of exploiting a massacre for political gain has deterred plenty of lawmakers in the past, it doesn’t seem to be deterring this generation of Democratic leaders, who have been anything but quiet about their intentions.
Some Democrats tweeted The gun group was reaffirmed their support and they dare opponents to recall. Winnie Brinks is the new Michigan Senate majority leader, has appeared on multiple local and national television shows promising to bring the new proposals up for a vote and to get them to Whitmer’s desk.
“We will get this done,” Brinks has vowed to MSNBC This week.
She is confident polling numbers The results show that even Republicans and gun owners are enthusiastic about the ideas under review. These measures have been supported by long-time supporters, such as Democratic Sens. Rosemary Bayer and Mallory McMorrow have said they believe some of these measures could even get Republican support now that GOP leadership isn’t blocking votes altogether.
Bayer said that she was most concerned about passing gun laws when knocking at doors in 2022. The other issue was the abortion. She stated that Democratic leaders heard from Republicans who are interested and may vote for the bills. However, none of them would like to cast the decisive or tie-breaking vote.
But lawmakers haven’t spent that much time in Lansing yet this year — and they need to update old legislation to make sure they are taking advantage of the latest feedback from states that have already introduced similar laws.
“We want to make sure we get all the voices in, we want to make sure we’re we’re as comprehensive as we can be ― and that we really have the best possible piece of legislation,” Bayer stated.
A second high-profile example Michigan U.S. Rep. Elissa S. Slotkin, a Democrat that hopes to achieve bipartisanship over gun laws, is the one. Slotkin is a former CIA officer who has won three elections in two partly rural, conservative-leaning districts ― the first included Oxford High, when the shooting there took place; the current one includes MSU.
“I’ve heard from countless hunters, sportsmen, local Republican leaders, business owners, big game enthusiasts and parents who carry concealed weapons,” Slotkin wrote an editorial for The New York Times. Detroit Free Press This week. “They have all been clear that they want to do something to protect our children from gun violence.”
The reason these ideas have so much support is because they are modest and not something that would be considered a threat or hinderance to liberty by gun rights activists. Gun rules and many other types of legislation are also modest, so they tend to only have modest impacts.
At this stage, even small changes in gun laws would be a departure from the past. Sometimes, this is all it takes to make a new future.