Everytown for Gun Safety continued its Veepstakes auditions as Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined Shannon Watts to talk about her gun control credentials.
Gov. Whitmer’s highlight of the event was boasting about putting 6,600 Michiganders in the firearm and ammunition industry out of work by deeming them “non-essential” during the coronavirus pandemic. Most of their industry peers across the United States could remain on the job. Gov. Whitmer, though, shuttered gun businesses in her state and was proud of it on her Everytown Veepstakes tryout with Shannon Watts.
“I would do it again. I absolutely stand by the decision that I made,” Gov. Whitmer said. “I’m not going to apologize. And I’m not going to be bullied into doing things differently…It was very clear, the purchase of a gun does not fall in that [life-sustaining] criteria.”
Should she be 2020 presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, Gov. Whitmer would fit the ticket. Former Vice President Biden’s antigun track record is well-known and he’s had his own run-in with Michigan gun owners, scolding one Detroit Second Amendment supporter, saying “You’re full of sh*t!” Together the two would make for the most antigun presidential ticket in modern history.
For Safety and Security
Watts dismissed concerns Michiganders have for their personal safety. She went as far as labeling the more than 2.5 million Americans who bought a gun for the first time as just “the gun extremist community.” Gov. Whitmer blamed President Donald Trump.
“That is just the kind of dog whistle that always makes me fearful that we’ll have more violence break out across the country.” She glossed over the numerous examples of law-abiding Americans protecting themselves, their families, their businesses and their neighbors.
For her part, Gov. Whitmer supports reinstating the failed 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and gun control grab bag favorites like “red flag” laws that deny due process to the accused, closing loopholes that are in fact just the Second Amendment and more. There’s just one problem keeping her from getting her way – voters.
“I can’t just change these laws on my own,” Gov. Whitmer said. “I need a legislature to work with me. I don’t have a legislature that is very friendly when it comes to working on this issue.”
Gov. Whitmer is correct, though she did not make the point she thought she was making.
Biden and Beyond in November
Gov. Whitmer praised Biden’s candidacy and what it could mean for stricter gun control.
“With Joe Biden in the White House we’re going to have a leader who makes decisions based on the best information there is, so that we have higher odds of achieving all the goals that he’s running on,” Gov. Whitmer told Watts. “He’s the perfect candidate at this time.”
Former Vice President Biden’s gun control “goals” also include appointing former U.S. Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-Texas) as his chief gun-grabbing sheriff to confiscate 18 million of the most popular selling centerfire semiautomatic rifles in America.
His ‘leadership’ includes telling his wife to blindly fire a shotgun into the air without knowing the target and suggesting police try their best to shoot threatening armed attackers in the leg. He called the firearm industry “the enemy” and wants to dismantle it.
Not everyone agrees with Biden or Gov. Whitmer on these extremist ideas. An NSSF survey of likely voters in 18 battleground states, including Michigan, showed that enforcing existing gun laws and protecting lawful firearm sales are at the top of their minds heading into November. NSSF regularly updates the #GUNVOTE online resource so voters don’t risk their rights in the ballot box.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.