Letter to Michigan State Legislators re: SB 59, HB 4009 and associated bills


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ezkl2230
August 10, 2012, 12:52 PM
I faxed the following letter to several legislators in the Michigan State Legislature this morning (it has been modified for this posting in case anyone else wants to use it). November is rapidly approaching, and Michigan Republicans are in danger of losing their majority in both houses - which means that passage of these bills will be even more difficult than it is now, if not impossible. They need to hear from us - NOW. The letter was addressed to senate majority leader Richardville and house speaker Bolger (they are responsible for scheduling these bills for votes), and CC'd to several other legislators.

Sen. Richardville and Rep. Bolger:

I appeal to you to act speedily on SB 59, HB 4009 and associated bills on the one basis that should get your attention.

November is rapidly approaching, and you are still playing politics with these critical bills. Going into November, because of the debacles involving Representatives Genetski, Bolger, and Schmidt, as well as some of the fiscal measures for which Republicans voted over the course of the last two years (many of which were necessary for the financial good of the state), I feel safe saying that Republicans are going to lose seats in both houses. The Republican majority is at risk of being narrowed or lost altogether. I understand that you do not want to hear this, but as I analyze public sentiment that is my conclusion, and we need to be realistic about what is possible, even probable, in November. This is going to make passage of these bills even more difficult than it is currently with a friendly legislature - perhaps even impossible. If we are going to pass this legislation, then there simply is no time to lose; it must be done now.

Recent events have made it clear that no limitations on firearms will keep criminals from getting their hands on the tools they need to wreak havoc, and the drawdown of police forces across the nation, and Michigan in particular, necessitates that citizens be allowed to carry with them the means for their own defense as SCOTUS has ruled in more than ten cases is our individual responsibility:

"You, and only you, are responsible for your security and the security of your family and loved ones. That was the essence of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in the early 1980's when they ruled that the police do not have a duty to protect you as an individual, but to protect society as a whole. It is well-settled fact of American law that the police have no legal duty to protect any individual citizen from crime, even if the citizen has received death threats and the police have negligently failed to provide protection" (emphasis added). SCOTUS, City of Castle Rock, Colorado v Gonzales

Since 1980, there have been 645 casualties in so-called "gun-free school zones"; all but sixteen occurred since the passage of the Gun-Free School Zones Act in 1990. Since 1999, there have been 90 casualties in church shootings, and there have been 192 casualties in mall/theater shootings since 1985; the last number would be dramatically higher if EVERY shooting at a store or gas station were included. All of these shootings share one commonality - they all took place in a "gun-free" zone. This is the cost in human lives of continuing to deny our citizens their Constitutional right to bear arms in a concealed manner. That is, after all, the only real issue being addressed by these bills. Michigan law already provides for open carry, even in "pistol free" zones; the ONLY thing that changes under the proposed legislation is the method of carry, and yet legal concealed carriers are being treated like they pose a greater threat to society than the criminals who truly do threaten us - something that is simply not supported by any existing data.

It is time for this to stop.

These bills must be passed NOW.

"Pistol free" zones, which have proven to be eminently ineffective in stopping crime (but tremendously effective in providing criminals with a wealth of unprotected soft targets), must be eliminated.

The additional requirements for concealed carriers mandated in SB 59, which place an undue burden on concealed carriers and are therefore unconstitutional under the Equal Protection clause, must be removed.

It may be that your optimism regarding the upcoming elections will be rewarded, and Republicans will maintain their majorities in both houses, but can we really afford to take that chance? I respectfully submit that the answer to that question is NO.

Please bring these bills to the floor for a vote now. After November it may be too late.

Respectfully,

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