Although [Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst] group takes no public position on the measure, StudentsFirst’s allies in Michigan politics have no problem with concealed carry in schools. Indeed, the vast majority of the Michigan legislators whom StudentsFirst recently endorsed voted in favor of the legislation. Of 22 legislators who received election endorsements from StudentsFirst, 14 supported the bill (all of them Republican), one voted against it (a Democrat), and seven others aren’t in office. [Huffington Post]
AS THE Republican governor of Michigan was deciding whether to veto the concealed carry permit law passed by the Michigan legislature, Michelle Rhee and StudentsFirst were silent.
After StudentsFirst and Rhee were called out on their silence, which came after Sandy Hook massacre, she said she and her group had “a change of heart,” which was an “easy decision to make.” Rhee also applauded Governor Snyder’s decision to veto the Michigan concealed carry law.
At no time did Michelle Rhee or StudentsFirst lead on the concealed carry issue, which would have allowed weapons inside schools, something that only Republicans and the far right advocate, which won’t make anyone safer. When a person has a semi-automatic weapon with high-capacity clips, the idea that a teacher with a hand gun can stop him is absolutely preposterous. That Ms. Rhee couldn’t figure this out and lead the cry against the Michigan law, but also backed Republican legislators who advocated such insanity, proves Rhee’s lack of judgment and ignorance on the subject of safety and guns.
An excerpt from Governor Snyder’s press release on his decision, which revolved around a weak opt out omission in the law.
Snyder’s veto primarily is based on the bill’s failure to let designated public entities such as schools, day care centers and hospitals opt out of the new concealed carry provisions. Currently, Michigan law does not prevent a concealed pistol license holder from openly carrying a pistol in these zones.
Snyder had urged that SB 59 be modified to more significantly restrict pistols in those zones by prohibiting open-carry in such places, in exchange for allowing only concealed pistols to be carried if license holders receive additional training – subject to the right of the property owners to prohibit concealed carrying if they desire. Under the bill as passed, only private venues can opt out, as can college universities with constitutional autonomy.
“While we must vigilantly protect the rights of law-abiding firearm owners, we also must ensure the right of designated public entities to exercise their best discretion in matters of safety and security,” he said. “These public venues need clear legal authority to ban firearms on their premises if they see fit to do so.”
Friday’s horrific school shootings in Connecticut also highlighted the need for a thorough review of SB 59, though Snyder had committed to give the bill additional scrutiny even before the tragedy in an effort to ensure that public safety remains a priority.
“This type of violence often leaves society with more questions than answers,” Snyder said. “The reasons for such appalling acts usually are numerous and complex. With that in mind, we must consider legislation like SB 59 in a holistic manner. While the bill’s goal is to help prevent needless violence, Michigan will be better served if we view it through a variety of lenses. A thoughtful review that examines issues such as school emergency policies, disenfranchised youth and mental health services may lead to more answers and better safeguards.”