Gun debate is so toxic that Michigan leaders focus on school safety

Gun debate is so toxic that Michigan leaders focus on school safety

Visitors now need to be buzzed into many Michigan schools. It’s one method officials have used in the wake of school shootings. ( Don’t talk about guns. That’s the message Michigan leaders are sending as the nation grapples with how to address mass school shootings. While lawmakers juggle proposals to increase school safety following the shooting in Parkland, Florida, many Republican leaders are not eager to discuss guns. "…You start with guns, you’re going to get a polarized discussion and most likely nothing … other than people being polarized, upset and yelling at each other," Gov. Rick Snyder said at the Mackinac Policy Conference at the end of May. "Let’s start talking about helping troubled kids, let’s start talking about hardening schools." The concept of "hardening schools" means beefing up the physical structures themselves. Thicker doors. Tougher locks. Bulletproof glass. Identification software. Democratic lawmakers like State Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Pak, feel the safety measures don’t fully address the problem. "What they’re trying to do is only half of the equation," said Wittenberg, a sponsor of gun control bills in the House. "I think we have to do everything we can to prevent (school shootings) from happening." Wittenberg’s red-flag gun legislation, which would allow judges to intervene and keep guns away from the mentally ill, hasn’t gotten a hearing in the House yet. Focusing just on school safety also doesn’t sit well with students like Ann Arbor Pioneer High School’s Clara Nunez-Regueiro, who has been an outspoken advocate in […]

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