The Oakland Post

Senator Debbie Stabenow talks gun control and other issues at OU town hall

Sergio Montanez

Sergio Montanez

John Bozick, Web Editor

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In the hours after a deadly shooting rocked Central Michigan University, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow held a surprise town hall event to talk about issues such as gun control, DACA and healthcare with students, staff and faculty at Oakland University.

Attended by nearly 60 people, the event opened with Oakland University Student Congress Legislator Ryan Fox giving remarks, citing Stabenow’s fight to lower college costs and her fight to lower the student debt burden before the senator took the stage.

“I grew up in a little town called Claire,” Stabenow said. “We were about 13 minutes from out closest university which was Central Michigan University, and we just had another gun violence this morning at Central, and it just reaffirms for me the work we have to do together to make sure that we all can be safe.”

The Senator began by talking of her family’s love for hunting and fishing and how her family practiced safe gun ownership during the assault weapons ban from 1994 to 2004, saying how this ban did not affect her family’s ability to practice their Second Amendment right and how they didn’t miss a single day of hunting. She blamed Congress’s inability to extend the ban as the reason mass shootings have tripled.

After talking shortly about the importance of net neutrality, the need for high speed internet, the needs to protect the Great Lakes and the importance of maintaining DACA,  it was time for the senator to take questions from the audience.  

The first question asked pertained to the future of the public service loans forgiveness program.

“The public loan forgiveness program is one of the things we hope to take this money that we received and put it in to, we think it can be one of the quickest ways to help students because the public loans forgiveness program for going into public service, law enforcement, social work, healthcare and so on,” Stabenow said. “The problem with this is that it’s not being fulfilled as it should be, it needs to be continued and were hoping that we can strengthen it and continue it with the money that we were just able to get as part of the budget.”   

The senator was then asked about what concrete steps Stabenow would take to reform the U.S.’s gun laws. The senator said she was advocating for reform, but in order for there to be change they would need people who support gun reform in the majority.

“If we don’t have bipartisan support we can achieve what we want, but first of all we need universal background checks, and that means not only where somebody would get a gun, but there are issues right now related to domestic violence, and a the law will need to be strengthened in regards to universal background checks,” Stabenow said.

The senator again stressed the need for an assault weapons ban, bringing up the success the former ban from 1994-2004 had. She also stressed the need to ban bump stocks, and to reform red flag laws and the terrorist watch list so people on this list are unable to purchase weapons.

Stabenow also talked of arming teachers the right way.

“I’m not talking about arming teachers with guns, that doesn’t make sense to me,” she said. “I’m talking about arming them with computers and textbooks and pencils, and I’d love to arm them with support staff, school counselors and school nurses, that would be arming teachers the right way.”

Another question asked pertained to Stabenow’s support of Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare For All” Bill that was introduced last September, and why she did not support it then.

“My passion and what got me into politics in the first place was healthcare, and so I care deeply and have been involved deeply in things involving healthcare and I believe in universal healthcare,” Stabenow said.

She believed Sanders’ Bill was not fleshed out enough and it did not dig deep enough into handling the healthcare for people that already have private insurance. Stabenow believed more work was needed in order to ensure a future healthcare Bill would handle this issue.

After the event, Stabenow was asked by The Oakland Post about campaign finance reform and whether she would support legislation to overturn Citizens United.

“I believe Citizens United is wrong and has been corrupting our political system and to start I’ve been a co-sponsor of the disclose act,” she said. “I would gladly repeal Citizens United.”

Other issues that were asked by the audience ranged from student loans, Michigan roads and climate change. A full recording of Senator Stabenow’s event can be found below.   

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Senator Debbie Stabenow talks gun control and other issues at OU town hall”

  1. Ready to Teach on March 7th, 2018 12:54 am

    Here’s a Common Sense Gun Law/Education Reform idea for you :

    Lets stop the indoctrination of our youth into the lefts “Anti-Gun” mindset and start teaching them from an early age to RESPECT guns, not fear them. The Constitution protects our un-alienable, GOD given RIGHT to self preservation with Firearms through the 2nd amendment. It has nothing to do with Hunting. Lets teach our children the truth and let them decide for themselves if and Armed Lifestyle is for them, rather than continually attempt to strip this RIGHT from everyone else. Here is a rough outline of what should have always been –

    Make Firearms Safety (Use and Handling) a MANDATORY part of the Public School curriculum :
    Starting in Grade School with –
    1. Constitutional study of the 2nd amendment, its TRUE meaning and what it does for ALL of us. Not this lefts false truth that it only covers “Muskets for the Militia” or some similar nonsense.
    2. Basic familiarity with Firearms types and function (Pistols, Rifles, shotguns), 6th, 7th, 8th

    Moving into Middle School (6th, 7th & 8th Grades) –
    1. Study of the Fundamentals of Marksmanship and Shooting with Live fire exercises using .22 Rifles and Pistols.
    2. Basic First Aid (CPR etc.)

    High School –
    1. Freshman Year – Study Principles of Self Defense and the Law.
    2. Sophomore Year – Continued First Aid Education with scenario based training also going into Treatment of Gunshot Wounds (including decompression needle usage, Chest seals etc).
    2. Junior Year – Personal Protection Carry methods and tactics (holster and Draw)
    4. Senior Year – Live fire Tactics Drills (eg. IDPA Style) using larger than .22 Pistols, Rifles and 20ga Shotguns

    Let retired NRA certified Trainers teach the Firearms aspects (I’m sure many would volunteer their time). If I was retired right now I would help start it up !

    Thanks !

    [Reply]

    JoAnne Beemon Reply:

    Guns must be regulated. Machine guns are regulated and AR-15s, bump stocks, high capacity magazines and military type weapons must be strictly regulated or banned. Guns kill people. The military is sent into war with assault weapons (not knives or swords) because assault weapons okill many people quickly.

    [Reply]

    Di Reid Reply:

    #1. AR-15 is a .22 rifle, as in the same guage you would use to hunt squirrels and rabbits. It is not a military weapon. #2. Anything can be used to kill. #3. Please somebody – define “assault weapon”. There first has to be a definition before regulations can be made. #5. Those wishing to make regulations for or against gun ownership need to be educated on the subject. (Do not try to make a judgement on something that you know nothing about).

    [Reply]

  2. cheyenne on March 7th, 2018 7:25 pm

    She wants to ban certain guns and magazines? What does she mean “ban”? You mean like how drugs are banned? Will the guns and magazines she wants to ban become as prolific as illegal drugs?

    [Reply]

  3. Dan on March 8th, 2018 7:33 pm

    1) How are mass shooters stopped?
    A trained individual with a gun shoots him or the shooter kills himself because of the arrival of the trained individual with a gun.

    2) How do we stop and/or lessen loss of life in mass shootings?
    Shorten the time it takes to have a trained individual with a gun confront the shooter.

    3) How do we shorten this time?
    Either eliminate gun-free zones so trained citizens can respond immediately, put Police in every school building/classroom, or repeal the 2nd Amendment and ban all guns.

    2 of these 3 solutions involve common sense, the other involves a liberal pipe dream.

    [Reply]

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