Michigan School Shooting Demonstrates Consequences of Irresponsible Gun Ownership
The school shooting last week in Oxford, Michigan — the deadliest U.S. shooting at a K-12 campus since 2018 — has reignited discussions on the need for stronger child access prevention laws that could reduce the number of underage shooters with access to guns. The shooting and the charges brought against the parents of a student accused of murdering four high school classmates underline the deadly consequences when gun owners fail to properly secure their firearms.
Michigan, along with many other states, does not require the safe storage of firearms. To protect our children laws must create clear standards that can be used to hold irresponsible gun owners accountable.
Our hearts go out to the families who lost loved ones in this shooting and the survivors who bear scars both seen and unseen. Recklessness when it comes to basic gun safety is unacceptable, and when it enables a tragedy like the one we witnessed last week, accountability is not only warranted, it should be expected. The Oxford school shooting underscores the life-and-death responsibility that gun owners must accept when they choose to bring a firearm into their home. Unsecured guns are often stolen or taken without knowledge of the gun owner and fuel mass shootings, community violence and firearm suicides.
The parents charged in the Oxford case are an example of people who want the right to bear arms but not the responsibility that comes with it. We must demand answers from lawmakers who have failed to address gaping holes in our gun laws, not just in Michigan but across the country.
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald is right — without safe storage laws, Extreme Risk Protection Order laws and other basic gun safety measures, Michigan’s laws are dangerously inadequate. We call on legislators to enact strong child access prevention laws, which will help curb the flow of dangerous weapons into the wrong hands, hold irresponsible gun owners accountable and reduce the likelihood of inflicting further carnage on our children. Our laws must reflect our values — caring for our children, our neighbors and our loved ones means demanding accountability for those who put their lives at risk.