Two days after three of their fellow students were fatally shot and five others were wounded, more than a hundred students at Michigan State University staged a demonstration after which state lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) promised action on gun control, according to the Detroit News.
The Lansing State Journal reported that several politicians attended the protest, including Attorney General Dana Nessel, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, state Sen. Mallory McMorrow and state Rep. Julie Brixie, all Democrats.
The report said the protest preceded a session of the Michigan State House of Representatives, where majority Democrats are promising action on new gun control proposals. In addition to the three students who lost their lives—identified as Alexandria Verner, Arielle Anderson and Brian Fraser—five other students were seriously wounded and remain hospitalized.
President Joe Biden was quick to exploit the tragedy, issuing two statements from the White House in which he called for new gun control measures including a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” despite the fact that the gunman, identified as Anthony McRae, apparently used a handgun seen in surveillance images published Tuesday.
Biden also wants universal background checks, a safe storage mandate and repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, opening up gun manufacturers to liability lawsuits when firearms are used in crimes. A storage mandate may already have been declared unconstitutional by the 2008 Heller ruling, and a string of “junk” lawsuits filed in the late 1990s and early 2000s essentially came up empty when they were ultimately tossed or rejected by the federal courts.
However, 16 state attorneys general on Wednesday signed a letter to Biden promising to fight the president’s gun control efforts.
“With every tool at our disposal, we will oppose your attempt to trample on Americans’ fundamental right to defend themselves with guns,” the group said.
The letter was initiated by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.
In a separate report, the Detroit News said state Brinks is promising lawmakers will be “taking action soon.” The newspaper said Brinks’ daughter is a student at the university.
“We will be introducing common-sense legislation and we are prepared to get the job done,” Brinks reportedly stated.
MSU is essentially a “gun-free zone” and the killer violated that prohibition.
In a statement from Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the veteran Second Amendment advocate observed, “Let’s look at the facts. Guns are prohibited on the MSU campus, yet there he was with a firearm. There’s a law against murder in Michigan, and he committed three of them. What makes anybody think passing more laws will prevent the next madman from doing the same thing?
“This senseless incident is already being exploited,” he added, “by anti-gunners who want to use McRae’s evil act to justify new restrictions on millions of law-abiding Americans who are just as shocked and heartbroken as anyone.”