Firearms Owners Against Crime

Institute for Legal, Legislative and Educational Action

Michigan: Another ‘Gun Violence Commission’ Without Any Gun Experts :: 09/20/2022

Oakland County, MI Prosecutor Karen McDonald has announced the formation of a “commission of local and national experts to investigate and recommend solutions to address gun violence in the county,” which—like so many other panels looking at “gun violence”—does not appear to have a single firearms authority on board.

According to the Detroit News, McDonald’s new commission is comprised of “first responders, health experts, local elected officials, faith leaders, individuals who have been impacted by gun violence and more…” There is also the mother of a student killed at Sandy Hook Elementary and the father of a man murdered at the Aurora, Colorado theater mass shooting.

As reported by WXYZ News, McDonald’s commission will “develop an evidence-based curriculum that will help prevent gun violence and mass shootings in Michigan.” However, Detroit News noted there is no timeline for this commission to issue a report.

NBC said the commission will focus on three specifics:

  • Scrutinize the threat assessment model in Oakland County.
  • Investigate and provide recommendations on both hard and soft components of preventing gun violence.
  • Work to develop a model for training kids and adults to identify individuals in crisis and ways to take meaningful action to prevent violence from occurring.

So, while Democrat McDonald tells reporters, “I think gun access is a critical issue, but it isn’t the only issue,” she was apparently not asked about nor did she volunteer any reason for this commission to lack a representative from the Michigan Rifle & Pistol Association, a gun shop owner or even a certified firearms instructor; people who know a bit about firearms and genuine gun safety.

The Detroit News did note for the record McDonald lamented “the national dialogue surrounding gun violence hasn’t been conducive to solving the problem.”

Could it be because this “national dialogue” has been, perhaps by design, absent the voices of firearms owners, local retailers, and even gun manufacturers?

Last year, the Biden White House made headlines by hosting “a virtual discussion with leaders of gun violence prevention advocacy groups” including Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, Giffords, and Brady. Has anyone from the Biden administration gathered representatives from the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America or the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for a discussion about “gun violence prevention?”

Recall in the early 1990s, it was gun owners and gun rights groups who championed “Three Strikes” and “Hard Time for Armed Crime” citizen initiatives in Washington State; ideas that quickly gained popularity and spread nationwide. Washington voters passed “Three Strikes” in 1993 and California passed a similar measure the following year. Liberals and anti-gunners opposed both measures.

Of course, responding to the spike in violent crime involves different dynamics than preventing or stopping mass shootings at schools, grocery stores or shopping malls.

A school resource officer was on-site at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and responding officers at Uvalde’s Robb Elementary waited more than an hour to move in.

When a gunman opened fire at a Greenwood, Indiana shopping mall, an armed private citizen—Elisjsha Dicken—drew his legally-carried pistol and shot the killer dead.

When 37-year-old Dennis Butler opened fire on dozens of people at a party in Charleston, W.Va., a legally-armed female bystander killed him.

Perhaps individuals who have successfully intervened in mass shooting incidents belong on McDonald-style commissions. They might offer a unique perspective.

There is no indication McDonald has created her commission just to produce a headline. She seems to have good intentions, but that is the stuff of the pavement leading to Hell, according to a proverb.

As noted above, gun owners and activists in Washington spearheaded the “Three Strikes” and “Hard Time” laws, and now far-left Democrat King County Executive Dow Constantine has announced his own “public safety plan that focuses on reducing crime, gun violence and behavioral health crises.”

However, Constantine’s announcement amounts to what is sometimes sarcastically described as “word salad.”

“We can have a robust and coordinated public safety system that creates genuine safety for everyone in King County,” Constantine declares on Facebook, “while upholding our values. By breaking down silos across county government, working with community-based organizations and broadening our options beyond just the traditional responses, we can help end harmful cycles and implement new partnerships that bring about systemic change.”

He wants to launch a new unit in the Sheriff’s Department “focused on reducing gun violence.”

He also wants to reduce the inquest backlog “to shed light on the facts & circumstances surrounding a death at the hands of law enforcement.”

Like McDonald, Constantine has no record of sitting down with anyone in the firearms community, else he might learn some reasons why his county has the highest number of active concealed pistol licenses in Washington state. At last count, the Evergreen State boasted 667,260 active CPLs and 105,091 were in King County, which encompasses Seattle.

Commissions and “public safety plans” may have some benefit, but until people like McDonald and Constantine are willing to have representatives from the firearms community at the table, such efforts are more likely to result in projection, ultimately blaming guns and gun owners for problems they did not create and crimes they did not commit.

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