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Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette wants to turn Michigan into a southern state (Michissippi? Alabamigan?)

Unfair as it may be, there are certain things we northerners think of when you think of southern states. The first is bigotry and intolerance. Another is a near worshipful devotion to guns and anything related to guns. Hunting is part of it but just walking around with a big weapon strapped to your body is a much bigger part of it. In general, that’s not something that folks in northern states are nearly as enamored by. Yet another is a visceral disdain for government and regulations. Yes, we have all of these attitudes in the north, but they are just not really part of our culture.…

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Michigan school figures out how to tell a gun-toting bad guy from a gun-toting good guy: go into lockdown & call 911

Imagine this scenario: you’re taking your third-grader to school and you look over and there’s a guy in front of the school with a handgun strapped to his hip. What do you do? Is this a crazy guy who is going to start shooting the place up? Is it just a gun-loving lady making a point about her Second Amendment rights?

What if you’re a teacher or the principal of the school? Do you just let it go and hope everything turns out all right? After all, several hundred children are under your watch and their lives and safety are your responsibility for the next several hours.…

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Strange bedfellows: Republican Rick Snyder endorsed by anti-gun Michael Bloomberg AND the NRA

In what was a surprise to pretty much nobody, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Republican Rick Snyder this past week. He’s also spending $2 million on pro-Snyder ads. I say it’s unsurprising because (a) Bloomberg held a mega-fundraiser for Snyder back in June in the midst of the road funding battle in the Michigan legislature that ended up fully funding our road repair needs going absolutely nowhere in the vacuum of leadership provided by Gov. Snyder and (b) the Multi-Millionaire’s Club is small and they take very good care of each other.

But another odd thing happened: The National Rifle Association (NRA) also endorsed Snyder.…

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Man who shot an un-armed man over road rage to use Michigan’s “Stand Your Ground” defense

On September 2nd, Derek Flemming, a 43-year old married father of two young children was driving with his wife in Livingston County to pick up their kids when a pick-up truck nearly t-boned them as they drove down Grand River Avenue. Instead, the truck swerved and cut them off. The truck driver then slammed on his brakes and was clearly messing with Flemming. When they arrived at a stoplight, Flemming got out of his car and approached the truck which was being driven by Martin Edward Zale.

Zale then rolled down his window, pulled out a pistol, and shot Flemming, who was unarmed, in the face, murdering him in front of his wife.…

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White nationalist group argues shoulder-fired rocket and grenade launchers, antipersonnel mines, etc. should be legal

Back in March I wrote about white nationalist Kyle Bristow’s support of Attorney General Bill Schuette’s effort to maintain Michigan’s bigoted ban on same-sex marriage. Bristow filed an amicus brief in support of Schuette’s appeal of a federal court ruling declaring the ban unconstitutional on behalf of an extremist group called the “Traditionalist Youth Network LLC”. At I wrote at the time, he is a “28-year old…newly-minted lawyer here in Michigan. But he has a history. Oh boy, does he ever have a history.”

Bristow’s history led to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to label his group a “hate group”.…

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George Zimmerman takes it upon himself to “patrol” gun shop that gave him a free firearm

After George Zimmerman was aquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida, the owner of the Pompano Pat’s gun store did what any compeletly (ir)rational person would do: he gave Zimmerman a free gun. The store’s owner Pat Johnson let Zimmerman know about the offer in a letter to Zimmerman’s attorney:

“Upon receiving your confirmation that he is well within his legal rights to concealed carry, our company would like to offer Mr. Zimmerman a free firearm. We currently have the same model in stock, or he could (choose) another weapon suitable for concealed carry,” the letter states.

It also says, “We have read numerous reports of death threats against your client and believe no good would come from harming him.

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New study: Guns do not make a country safer

The fact that nations with fewer guns have lower gun-death rates should surprise no one. Except maybe the NRA.

Really, it’s just common sense and the law of averages. But now researchers report that countries with lower gun ownership are safer than those with higher gun ownership. This is sure to tick off the NRA, which has been actively promoting the idea that if only everyone were armed we’d all be safer.

Before anyone gets all huffy, I’m not making an argument against the Second Amendment itself. But I do think it’s important to look at the facts and remember that the words “well-regulated” and “militia” actually mean something.…

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CALL FOR ART: Harbor Country Progress looking for gun violence artwork for upcoming show in Union Pier, Michigan

Calling all artists!

Harbor Country Progress is putting together an art show on gun violence in America at their office/gallery in Union Pier, Michigan in the very southwest corner of the state. The show is titled GUNS? They are soliciting artwork from artists around the country. Here’s the schedule:

  • Submissions being accepted now via email to gunstheartshow@gmail.com. Deadline for submissions September 1st, 2013.
  • Drop off art at Harbor Country Progress, Union Pier, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 4:30-5:30 or by appointment.
  • Guns? Art Show opening Saturday, September 7th 2013, 4 -7 pm at Harbor Country Progress, 16142 Red Arrow Hwy. Union Pier, MI 49129.
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The next Trayvon Martin could easily live in Michigan thanks to our Stand Your Ground law

Michigan’s “stand your ground” law resembles Florida’s more than any other state


Graphic by Chris Lozos

The tragic death of unarmed Trayvon Martin in Florida was a direct result of that state’s odious “Stand Your Ground” law. The fact that George Zimmerman was acquitted of his death is a direct result, not of the six female jurors ignoring the law, but, rather, of them enforcing it to the letter. Zimmerman’s murder of Martin was completely protected by this hideous law.

As Michigan Radio reports, Michigan has a similar law that is more like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law than any other state:

States that adopt “stand your ground” laws generally indicate a person has no duty to retreat if they feel unlawfully threatened by another individual, regardless of where the person is.…
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While Michigan Republicans dismantle the middle class, Democrats are trying to actually solve problems

Actions speak louder than words

As Michigan Republicans continue their corporatist agenda of eviscerating the middle class, destroying unions, harming public employees and taking women's rights back to the middle of the last century, Michigan Democrats are proposing important pieces of legislation that solve actual problems. The first comes from Representatives Jim Townsend, Vicki Barnett, and Andy Schor. They are introducing a package of legislation designed to reduce gun violence in our state and to increase public safety. A separate package of bills will be introduced by State Representatives Gretchen Driskell, Jeff Irwin, Adam Zemke and state Senator Rebekah Warren that will reverse some of the restrictions Republicans have put on women's health care, educate women about health care options, support rape survivors and address health care inequities women face. Details after the jump.
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