PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 306
Gun Violence – Where do we go from here?
MLive Readers Respond
Today the editor of MLive, John Hiner, published an important opinion piece related to the epidemic of gun violence. It is based on his informal poll of readers which, while not a scientific survey, points to a resolve to act. He highlights two things:
“1) the deep sense of conviction behind people’s concerns and ideas, and 2) an encouraging level of constructiveness.” He notes an “undeniable sense that things must be changed and can be changed.” He terms this “RESOLVE.”
Following the mass shooting at MSU, Hiner received hundreds of emails to which he responded by asking writers to identify their first priority. A synopsis of the replies follows:
- Legislation and law enforcement – 40 percent of replies
Two categories emerged: some want more laws and others want better enforcement of existing laws. In addition, there was a call to repeal/change the second amendment and a call to strip immunity from gun manufacturers.
- Address social and moral issues – 17 percent of replies
This category included comments that Americans have turned from God and moral principles, families need to provide more structure, and social media/violent movies have created a “more violent and detached culture among Americans.”
- Politics and politicians – 14 percent of replies
Numerous ideas included forming a group to counter the NRA, instituting campaign finance reform and holding politicians accountable for their positions on gun violence.
- Address mental health issues – 13 percent of replies
There were some legislative suggestions, but few specific suggestions other than funding for mental health programs.
- Prevention, protection and education – 10 percent of replies
Numerous suggestions included education on firearm safety, arming more people, investing in police resources, “hardening” buildings.
- Pull together like-minded people – 6 percent of replies
This reflects a sense that people need to work together to make progress.
Hiner concludes by suggesting that this is “A problem to be solved. And I feel this exercise in constructive dialogue is a good start. Stay tuned for more.” –MLive
Things to do
Help Michigan Resistance make calls
They will be calling constituents to ask Michiganders to call their senators and representatives to support common sense gun legislation bills over the next few weeks. If you’re interested in helping, text Terryl Sperlich at 810-516-0923 and tell her A2D2 sent you. Ann Arbor inDivisible for Democracy
Voice Your Opinions and Concerns – It’s Easy to Email your Representative
The Democracy Labs provides information on how to determine and contact your state representative to voice your opinion/concerns. There is even an email for you to copy and send.
Stronger Gun Laws Will Save Lives
Please strongly urge republican members of the Michigan House and Senate to vote YES on these bills. These proposed laws are just common sense. Please contact the State Representatives and State Senators listed below and urge them to vote YES on all three sets of gun laws. (Also, if your own State Senator and/or State Representative is Republican, please call them with the same message.)
Possible script, however, putting it in your own words is most effective, so they aren’t getting the exact same message from each of us.
Hello ______________. Michigan needs stronger gun legislation. Whether it’s school shootings, other mass shootings, suicides, domestic violence or other murders, so many of these could be prevented through Extreme Risk Protection Orders, Safe Storage and Universal Backround Checks.
The Extreme Risk Protection Orders will keep those who the court says could risk from being a harm to themselves or others from having firearms, perhaps preventing the recent mass shooting at MSU. Safe Storage of firearms could have prevented the student who killed all those kids and that teacher at Oxford High School. Universal Background Checks will keep those who are prohibited from owning a firearm from being able to purchase one.
Our children deserve to be safe from firearm violence at school and we all deserve to be safe from firearm violence at home and throughout our state. So please vote for the Firearm Safety Legislation that would help protect us and our children. Thank you!
Senators and Representatives to Contact
Rep. Thomas Kuhn 517-373-1706
Rep. Mark Tisdel 517-373-1792
Rep. Mike Mueller 517-373-0840
Rep. Kathy Schmaltz 517-373-1798
Rep. Donni Steele 517-373-1771
Sen. Mark Huizenga 517-373-0797
Sen. Ruth Johnson 517-373-1636
Sen. Michael Webber 517-373-0994
Sunday, March 5. Talk with State Senator Jeff Irwin and State Representative Jimmie Wilson, Jr
We need to show our Representatives that there is overwhelming grassroots support for the work that they do. Join us as we talk to Representative Jimmie Wilson Jr. (32nd District) and Senator Jeff Irwin (15th District) and find out what their priorities are for 2023 and how we can help. RSVP for this free session here. 7 pm
Monday, March 6. State of the District Town Hall with Senator Jeff Irwin
Please join State Senator Jeff Irwin for a State of the District Town Hall to learn and discuss the new landscape in Lansing, ongoing legislative priorities, and how our office can best assist residents with state government. We want to hear from District 15 to help us shape the next four years in the State Senate. Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center located at 4135 Washtenaw Ave Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Facebook event HERE.
Friday, March 10. Bridge Lunch Discussion: Gun violence in Michigan
A discussion with Bridge Michigan reporters and managing editor on potential solutions for stopping gun violence and mass shootings from taking place in Michigan. In the wake of the mass shooting at Michigan State University, members of the Bridge Michigan reporting team will discuss potential strategies for stopping future shootings, including policy changes, security enhancements at institutions like K-12 schools and colleges and universities and more.
Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions via the Zoom chat feature throughout the event. Bridge Michigan’s coverage of gun violence is supported by the Joyce Foundation. Reserve a spot for this free roundtable event HERE. You will be sent a Zoom link and a calendar invitation. Noon–1 pm
Sunday, March 12. SAVE THE DATE for the next Conversations! about Climate ChangeJoin Chuck Newman and guests Steve and Mike Newman, both of whom are passionate about mitigating Climate Change and have been working to do so. Learn about the enormous amount of time and money that is being spent by consumers, companies and organizations that is being wasted and even making the problem worse. RSVP Link and additional info coming soon. 7:30 pm
Things to read, watch, and listen to
Speaking out: Second Generation Voices of the Holocaust
The collaborative memoir, The Ones Who Remember: Second Generation Voices of the Holocaust, details the trauma of sixteen children of holocaust survivors. Begun as an annual program for services at their synagogue, Beth Emeth, in Ann Arbor, on the Day of Remembrance (of the Holocaust), their personal stories are memorialized in this volume. These sixteen writers view themselves as both “memory-keepers” of their parents’ near-death experiences and celebrants of their survival. For these writers, who had come to view silence as a refuge, this volume represents a welcome deliverance.
This past Sunday, three of these writers—Joy Wolfe Ensor, Julie Goldstein Ellis, and Avishay Hayut—recounted the time from when they were small and lived under the cloud of the unsaid to when they were older and “learned more than [they] ever wanted to know.” They shared the burden of always having to be good and never wanting to make trouble for the parents they viewed as vulnerable and fearful. One writer recalled the onus of being named after an idealized grandparent, another the pressure of having to live the life their parent never had.
The experiences of these children of Holocaust survivors, which document the ways trauma is passed down through the generations, are relevant to survivors of wars and upheavals everywhere, including in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Syria. As Americans, their stories lend understanding to the survivors of our government’s sins—those descendants of slaves, inhabitants of internment camps, and the decimation of Native Americans and the seizure of their lands.
Missed the recording? Watch it anytime at bit.ly/41EA40U
Historic Win in Virginia is ‘Poetic Justice’
March is Women’s History Month! Meet Representative-Elect Jennifer McClelland (D-VA) the first Black Woman elected to Congress in Virginia on February 21, 2023.
“As more people who lived during Jim Crow are dying, we’re losing those stories and we’re in a battle right now over whether they’ll be taught in our schools. So being a voice to bring those stories and those perspectives to the halls of Congress is important to me….. It’s an honor knowing that I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams and I stand on their shoulders. To be the first Black woman from Virginia, the birthplace of both American democracy and American slavery and massive resistance, is poetic justice.” –The Hill
Michigan Democrats begin repeal of 1931 abortion ban
The Michigan House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved and advanced legislation that would formally repeal an invalidated abortion ban and remove references to criminal penalties. Learn more HERE. –BridgeMI.com
Michigan Senate votes to add LGBTQ protections to anti-discrimination law
The bill expands the state civil rights act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Democratic bill, which passed with three GOP votes, does not include any religious exemptions. Learn more HERE.
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