U.P. lawmaker crafts bill for concealed weapons

During the Granholm administration there was a tumultuous debate over allowing concealed weapons in Michigan. The good governor predicted, if enacted, “it would be the wild-wild west out there” but despite her protestations and those of the anti-gun lobby the measure passed and now years later, most agree the wild wild west never materialized.

The anti-gun lobby, however, may trot-out the same argument now that another pro-gun bill has been dumped in the hopper.

Without fanfare an Upper Peninsula lawmaker has crafted a bill to permit concealed weapons in what are currently called gun-free zones. The zones are just what the name implies: Keep you guns out of schools, day care centers, sports and entertainment facilities, hospitals, religious buildings, universities, casinos, and bars.

And bars?

OMG the critics will argue. Just imagine the fun on a Friday night in some tavern up North, or anywhere else for that matter, when the boys are drinking and now they could be shooting at each other as well.

Rep. Beau LaFave’s legislation (H.B. 4852 for those of you who track this stuff) is warranted because, “if you have a background check. You did the training. You have finger prints on file with the FBI and you’ve got your permit, why in the world are we disarming people that are law abiding citizens?”

But what about the bar’s Mr. LaFave?

“Why can’t a guy go into a bar with his buddies and not consume alcohol and drugs and protect the bar?”

In fact he reasons, had there been weapons carried by the good guys down in Orlando, where there was that now infamous mass shooting, the body count might have been lower.

“I wish there was somebody there to stop that. And if a law abiding Michigander had been carrying, I think there would have been return fire in the other direction,” he goes on.

The pro-gun folks say that makes sense to them.

Mr. LaFave, from the U.P. where some say drinking is the most popular indoor sport, with no offense to those who imbibe, he concedes some drunk with a concealed weapon could get into a fight. “That happens in Michigan all the time, but no law I’m going to introduce is going to stop that. So we need to make sure the law abiding citizens have an ability to defend themselves whenever they are in public.”

The anti-gun lobby will undoubtedly mount an attack on this saying when guns are in the room, under your coat or not, eventually bad things will happen and if that’s in a day care center, or any of the other locales on the gun free zone list, somebody will be hurt.

And the other side will counter, “guns don’t kill people. People do.” Or “if the good guys don’t have guns, only the bad guys will.”

Mr. LaFave does report that if you have a private entity on the gun free zone list, it would have the right to enforce the concealed weapons ban and that would include schools he indicates. But supposedly all over public facilities would not have that right.

This current decidedly pro-gun house and senate have a long record of passing bills that send shivers down the spine of some law enforcement types and those on the other side. Most recently the house sent to the senate a plan to lift the requirement that you pay for a state permit to carry a concealed weapon. It breezed through the house, but it’s future in the senate looks a bit iffy.

As for this latest permutation in the hot-button gun issue, there’s been no debate in the house yet.

The anti-gun lobby’s best hope for a fire wall may be Gov. Rick Snyder. True, he owns weapons and uses them with his children, but he’s vetoed other gun bills in the past.

And when asked how he thought the governor might react to the possible elimination of gun free zones, Rep. LaFave chuckled. Which is code for, this puppy may be in trouble.