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Michigan Senate holds intense session over the shooting at Oxford High School

The state capitol building against a cloudy gray sky
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

The Michigan Senate held an intense session Thursday with emotions raw over the recent shooting at Oxford High School.

Calls by Democrats to enact restrictions on gun ownership and improvements to firearm safety have largely gone ignored by legislative Republicans.

Senator Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) said innocent people are paying the price for others' right to bear arms.

“Any time anyone brings up any ideas to help stop gun violence and put safety measures in place, we hear outcries of 'freedom.' We hear that it is a right that it shall not be infringed. But what about the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Why are children's lives worth less than guns?” she said.

McMorrow said previous calls for gun reform have been ignored by Republicans.

So I'm not going to stand up here today and ask you to do something because you've already made that choice. But if you're not going to do anything, then get out of the way so that some of us can at the very least try.”

Senator Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) took exception to McMorrow’s comment, calling it an insult.

He said the rights in the First Amendment also pose a threat.

“Freedom of Speech. Freedom of religion. These things endanger people to some degree too,” he said.

McBroom accused Democrats of having no solutions to the violence. He said guns aren’t the real problem.

“Tell us what you'd like to do. Tell us what it is that would solve these problems because the problem is the human condition: bad people, sinful people, people who are willing to do violence,” McBroom said.

Democrats have proposed dozens of gun bills in the state Legislature. Most have not been brought up in committee.

“Every time we're told that now is not the time to talk about policy change, now is not the time to push an agenda, every time it's not the time, for the past 22 years since Columbine,” said McMorrow.

Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners.
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