The firsthand accounts of survivors of school shootings are gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and becoming far too common. As preventable acts of violence continue to take the lives of students and educators across the country, recent polling shows MEA members stand firm in their support of common-sense laws to improve gun safety and prevent school shootings.
A poll conducted in January by Emma White Research shows 94% of MEA members support universal background checks, 93% favor increasing penalties for those who provide a firearm to a minor, 92% back “Red Flag Laws” and 86% support allowing school districts to declare their buildings gun-free zones.
This is not a partisan issue for school employees; the vast majority of MEA’s Republican and gun-owning members also support these policies, per analysis of the research.
The same poll revealed that 87% of MEA members support laws requiring gun owners to securely store their firearms. Michigan Senate Democrats proposed such a law, which would also enact criminal penalties for those who fail to secure their weapons and the firearms cause injury or death.
State Sen. Rosemary Bayer, a Keego Harbor Democrat whose district includes Oxford, is a key sponsor of Senate Bills 550-553.
“Safely storing a firearm in the home is a widely supported and commonsense measure that has been shown to save lives and that doesn’t seem like much to ask for when you consider it could save the life of a child,” Bayer said. “Most shootings of children by children are caused by the guns that were in the house. We can stop this without taking anybody’s gun away.”
Educators clearly believe the solution to gun violence is not more guns. A broad majority of MEA members oppose providing gun safes in classrooms (82%) or allowing school employees with concealed carry permits to bring their guns to school (73%), including majority opposition from gun-owning MEA members to both ideas.
Want to take action to keep our students and educators safe from guns? Visit www.mea.org/gunsafety to find out how, including filling out our online petition and letting us know what you’re willing to do.