Michigan lawmakers address needed changes to help prevent school shootings

‘The real issue here is mental health, not gun laws’

On Tuesday, a gunman walked into an elementary school outside San Antonio and killed 19 children and two teachers. This tragedy follows the Oxford High School school shooting that happened in our home state in late November. While many communities and families are grieving, many are looking at Washington D.C. to see what will put an end to mass shootings. On Wednesday Local 4 reached out to every Michigan lawmakers in congress to comment on the shooting trend.

On Tuesday, a gunman walked into an elementary school outside San Antonio and killed 19 children and two teachers.

This tragedy follows the Oxford High School school shooting that happened in our home state in late November.

While many communities and families are grieving, many are looking at Washington D.C. to see what will put an end to mass shootings.

On Wednesday, Local 4 reached out to every Michigan lawmaker in Congress and asked them an open question about the shooting trend.

What, if anything, are you going to do to stop or at least reduce the number of school shootings in this country?

“The lack of humanity sitting there and saying we can’t do anything. My God! We’ve normalized school shootings like this in our country, and it’s devastating. These poor parents and people are against sending their kids to school, and they’re not coming back home. Why? Because of a Jim Crow-type law called the filibuster,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib told Local 4.

Related: Texas school shooting: Parents submitted DNA samples to ID children shot, killed in classroom

The increasing use of the filibuster essentially means legislation needs 60 votes to pass the senate instead of a simple majority.

According to The Brookings Institution, filibusters became a regular feature of Senate activity around the time of the Civil War.

Click here to learn more about filibusters and how they could change in the future.

On the Senate floor, Senator Debbie Stabenow asked republicans to help pass anything.

“We gotta do what is necessary at this moment. This is a huge crisis. People should be able to grocery shop without getting killed,” said Tlaib. “They should be able to send their kids to school so they can come home and they can tuck them in. This all is happening because this small minority has this power under the filibuster. Enough is enough. We gotta move forward. "

Below are statements from Michigan lawmakers about school shootings:

Jack Bergman (R-MI 1ST)

*Did not respond

Bill Huizenga (R-MI 2ND)

Peter Meijer (R-MI 3RD) (Emily Taylor)

*Did not provide statement

John Moolenaar (R-MI 4TH) (D Russell)

*Did not respond

Dan Kildee (D-MI 5TH) (Montgomery)

Fred Upton (R-MI 6TH)

Tim Walberg (R-MI 7TH) (Dan Kotman)

*Did not respond

Elissa Slotkin (D-MI 8TH)

Andy Levin (D-MI 9TH) (Washington)

Lisa McClain (R-MI 10TH) (Kearney)

Haley Stevens (D-MI 11TH)

*Did not respond

Debbie Dingell (D-MI 12TH)

Rashida Tlaib (D-MI 13TH)

Brenda Lawrence (D-MI 14TH)

Related: Parents of suspected Oxford school shooter claim they can’t get fair trial in Oakland County, request move

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)


About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital Producer and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.