Mass shooting at Oxford high school prompts gun safety legislation – The Oakland Press
When US Representative Andy Levin, returned from the memorial service after the Oxford school shooting, he told his staff in Washington DC to get to work on a common sense gun safety bill fire. He wanted it to focus on parents and their responsibilities.
On November 30, four students were killed and seven others injured in the mass shooting at Oxford High School. It hit near my house.
“Thoughts and prayers are no longer enough and have never been enough. As many as 4.6 million children live in homes with at least one loaded, unsecured firearm,’ Levin said at a press conference Thursday at Berkley High School, his alma mater.
He introduced the Protecting Children by Safely Owning Firearms Act, which takes a three-pronged approach. According to Levin:
— It imposes reasonable limits on the transfer and use of handguns by minors. It requires that a parent or guardian, who permits a minor to possess or use a handgun, actually knows that a minor will be in the presence and under the active supervision of a parent or other adult authorized to do so.
— Includes a secure firearms storage requirement that allows victims or family members of a death or physical injury to sue if a firearm is not properly stored.
– Also involves a grant from the Department of Education so that school districts can provide parents with best practices on how to keep guns away from children and tips on how to teach gun safety age appropriate.
Levin (D-Bloomfield Township) shared the Berkley podium with several local gun safety advocates.
Kathryn Ross, representing Brady: United Against Gun Violence, said nearly 300,000 children have been directly exposed to school shootings since 1999.
“That means 300,000 families, parents, children, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, siblings, families were also exposed to the trauma,” Ross said. “We need this law because we know what happens when we do nothing. Doing nothing is no longer an option.”
Wayne State student Megan Dombrowski represented Everytown for Gun Safety.
The 20-year-old said her generation is often referred to as the school shooter generation. “We know only too well the constant threat of this violence,” Dombrowski said.
Danielle Atkinson, a Royal Oak parent and founding director of Mothering Justice, also advocated for the legislation.
“Of course, we know only too well what happened in our backyard. We mourn and pray for their families, but it’s not enough,’ Atkinson said.
She explained that when her children go play on dates, she calls the parents ahead and asks if they have unsecured firearms.
“I tell them it’s an integral part of what we do. It is not enough. We need public policy,’ Atkinson said.
Levin said the legislation has the support of the National Education Association and the American Teachers Federation.
When Levin first visited Washington in January 2019, he joined the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.
“As a father of four children, I am convinced that we must protect all of our children from gun violence,” Levin said. “I’m really proud of this legislation and I’m not going to let it go.”