Michigan residents support red flag laws in wake of tragedy in Nashville

(WXYZ) – A national tragedy hits close to home for the survivors of a mass shooting.

Monday’s rampage in Tennessee that left 6 dead, including 3 students, prompted Lansing Democrats to push for gun control reform.

The sounds and images from Nashville are re-traumatizing in so many ways for people like Dylan Morris, an Oxford upperclassman who knows this fear firsthand.

“Seeing the pictures of the kids walking out of school this morning with their hands on their heads, it was traumatic,” he said.

Jonathan Mathis/AP

Children from The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Nashville, Tenn., hold hands as they are led to a reunion at Woodmont Baptist Church following a shooting at their school, Monday, March 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Jonathan Mathis)

Dylan works with Future Without Today, a group that pushes for gun reforms and tougher laws aimed at preventing another tragedy.

He and other activists hope lawmakers can do something. He also expressed his anger and frustration at the tragedies that continue to occur across the country.

“These were primary school children. They were babies. That is something we cannot be comfortable with,” he said.

Dylan is working with Democrats in Lansing, such as state Rep. Kelly Breen of Novi, to pass safe-storage laws and expanded background checks. Those measures are currently headed to the governor’s desk.

Extreme risk protection orders, also known as red flag laws, could theoretically have an impact in Nashville, where the shooter was undergoing mental health treatment and reportedly had suicidal thoughts.

Brin also wants to see it come to fruition.

“We need to make sure that what we’re doing is going to be the best-crafted policy in the country, and we want to make sure that it can withstand any potential court challenges,” Breen said.

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Republican state representative Andrew Beeler of Port Huron opposes gun control measures that have passed the House.

“I think we’re setting a very dangerous precedent by infringing on people’s constitutional rights without due process of law, and I don’t think they’re going to solve the problems that Democrats think,” he said.

Instead, he wants lawmakers to focus on school safety and mental health.

On the other hand, Dylan says he’s optimistic about the momentum behind red flag legislation in our state and wants to see action in Lansing before another tragedy occurs.

“It forces us to mitigate the trauma every time there’s a mass shooting,” he said.

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