McNeilly: Gun rights under attack
It’s date night and you and your spouse are walking home after a relaxing evening when you suddenly hear the sound of breaking glass. You spin and see three masked men breaking into a car just down the street.
Before you can grab your phone and dial 911, one of the men notices you. He gestures to the others and they begin running toward you, shouting obscenities, while one begins to raise an arm with a pistol in his hand.
The police aren’t going to arrive in time.
You’re legally carrying a licensed concealed handgun. Do you defend yourself and your spouse?
Better think carefully, because if Democrats in Lansing have their way, standing your ground could send you to prison for the rest of your life.
This November, while Michigan hunters were preparing to bag a buck, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich and state Sen. Rebekah Warren were hard at work in Lansing declaring open season on Michigan gun owners and victims of violent crime.
Along with numerous other Senate Democrats, Ananich and Warren introduced Senate Bill 611, legislation that takes Democrats’ anti-gun zealotry to a dangerous new extreme.
The bill would repeal Michigan’s nearly decade-old “castle doctrine” — formally known as the Self-Defense Act — that protects residents from prosecution if they use deadly force to defend themselves or another person in the face of an attacker.
The Self-Defense Act says that if you “honestly and reasonably” believe you or another person are at risk of death, severe injury or rape, you have the right to fight back.
And anti-gun Democrats want to repeal it. Let that sink in for a minute.
Under the Democrats’ bill, Michigan residents who “honestly and reasonably” believe they, or another person, are at risk of death, serious injury or even rape would be forbidden by law from defending themselves with a gun.
In 2006 when Michigan’s self-defense laws were first enacted, they received supermajority support in both the House and Senate, with significant support even among Democrats. They were signed into law by ex-Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
After all, who could object to a woman using a gun to defend herself from a would-be rapist or a father taking aim at an intruder threatening his children?
It was a small list in 2006, but it’s growing in 2015.
In the wake of the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., anti-gun radicals from President Obama to the New York Times editorial board have bizarrely set their sights on grabbing guns and blowing away the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Here in Michigan, Ananich and legislative Democrats took aim at gun rights months ago.
2015 has seen legislative Democrats introduce a spate of legislation designed to roll back our rights and to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase, carry and legally use firearms.
In September, Senate Democrats introduced a bill to wildly expand state firearm licensing requirements, and to force residents to obtain a license even to purchase a hunting rifle or a shotgun. Some 26 House Democrats introduced similar legislation just a few months earlier.
Democrats also introduced Senate Bill 545 to make it illegal for law-abiding citizens with a concealed weapons permit from exercising their rights in libraries.
The list goes on and on.
These bills would take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, but they wouldn’t do anything to strip firearms from rapists, murderers or terrorists. That’s the thing about criminals. They’re willing to break the law.
Instead of attacking responsible gun owners, Ananich and Warren should focus on expanding the rights of Michigan families.
Alas, it looks like it’d take a holiday miracle to convince Michigan Democrats to put the rights of crime victims above their anti-gun zealotry.
Greg McNeilly is chairman of the Michigan Freedom Fund.