MI coalition forms to take gun-violence prevention to ballot box
A new coalition is urging the Michigan Legislature to tackle the epidemic of gun violence.
Michigan ranks 21st for overall gun homicides, though the number is far greater when race is factored in. The state ranks ninth for gun homicides of Black residents.
Despite polls showing what is known as common-sense gun legislation is popular, the Legislature has not advanced such measures such as red-flag laws and safe gun-storage laws.
Mia Reid, CEO and founder of the Charles W. Reid Community Help Center in Detroit, which was named after her son who was killed by gun violence in 2011, said there's no time to waste.
"There are lots of other great ideas that can also reduce gun violence, too," Reid emphasized. "Like increasing mental health funding, returning citizen reentry programs, violence intervention, and so much more. And we support all of these."
The coalition, called End Gun Violence Michigan, said if the Legislature does not act in the next year, it will launch an initiative campaign to put gun-control laws on the ballot. Yesterday, Valentine's Day, marked four years since the Parkland school shooting in Florida.
Kylie Myrand, an Oxford High School student, survived last November's shooting which took four lives, including one of her close friends, 16-year-old Tate Myre.
"Tate was going to be one of my forever friends, with his goofy and dedicated personality, and our time together ended far too soon," Myrand said. "This is why I'm talking to you all today, saying as a survivor and as a mourning 16-year-old girl, that something needs to change now."
A report from the Center for American Progress finds gun suicides are on the rise in Michigan, especially among young people and veterans. Nonfatal gun injuries, as well as stolen firearms, also continue to be issues in the state.