Michigan legislature is about to allow guns in public schools, and that’s not okay

The prospective law extends privilege to transport concealed weapons in previously restricted areas to those on the sex offenders and no-fly list.


Artwork by Kaoru Murai

Editor-In-Chief Bella Pedraza speaks out about the prospective law currently being discussed at Michigan House and Senate, allowing all licensed gun owners, including those on the no-fly and sex offenders list to possess guns in previously restricted areas.

Bella Pedraza, Editor-In-Chief

Since elementary school, for me, school has been a place filled with constant learning, new experiences, and social events. Although my attitudes and feelings about school have fluctuated over the years, especially when I began to work more and sleep less, I have always considered it a safe place where I could actively learn and spread ideas. However, the United States has experienced the most school shootings in my K-12 education than it has ever before, leaving our government in one of the toughest gun violence predicaments yet.

Recently, our Michigan legislators have so thoughtfully constructed a bill to solve this loaded issue: fight guns with more guns. Now, there are many rules and regulations scrambled in the fine print of this bill, but in essence, this bill would allow licensed gun owners, with additional training (only eight more hours), to carry concealed weapons (CPLs) inside gun-free areas such as day cares, stadiums, concert halls, taverns, places of worship, hospitals and most shockingly, schools. Yes, schools. The bill passed through the Michigan senate last Wednesday.

In order for the bill to be made into law, it must now pass through the House of Representatives and then earn a signature from Gov. Rick Snyder. He vetoed a similar bill in 2012. As a result of this, I hold faith the bill will soon be rejected by either the House or the governor. However, I remain far beyond terrified of the decisions of our government. It is 2017, and the large majority of our state senate (25 republicans vs. 11 democrats and one republican) has concluded that the best way to keep our students safe is to allow people the freedom to bring weapons into our schools.

Some may attempt to argue that this bill is actually constructive due to the the legal restrictions that prevent “bad people” from legally obtaining guns. If this were the case, I may feel compelled to agree with them. Nevertheless, this is not the case. In response to the bill, Democrats offered amendments that would restrict people on the no-fly list, sex offenders and people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from obtaining CPLs. All failed.

Not only did members of our government vote to allow people to carry concealed weapons into our safe places, they voted to potentially allow criminals carry concealed weapons in our schools. By no means do I wish to challenge the second amendment rights of legal gun owners, but as a student, I wish to question the approach our government is taking to ensure the safety of future generations. It is counterintuitive to prevent gun violence with guns. As Michigan citizens, it is our responsibility to hold our government officials accountable for the decisions they make regarding our safety in order to prevent the violent tragedies that occur across the country every year.