Today’s Heavily Armed Rally was the Second in Two Weeks Against Gov. Whitmer’s Stay-at-Home Orders
The Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement about heavily armed demonstrators storming the Michigan Capitol to resist stay-at-home orders that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Demonstrators demanded to be let onto the House floor, reportedly screamed “Heil Whitmer,” ignored social distancing requirements, and openly carried military-style firearms.
“Extremists who use guns to try to intimidate politicians don’t speak for the rest of Michigan’s gun owners. Armed intimidation has no place in our politics,” said Jon Gold, a gun owner and firearms instructor, a volunteer with Michigan Moms Demand Action, and a member of the Everytown Survivor Network. “The majority of Michiganders reject these reckless tactics and recognize that we need to listen to public health experts during this emergency.”
The Michigan state legislature has until the end of the day to approve Gov. Whitmer’s request to extend stay-at-home orders, which is set to expire at the end of the month. Across the country, stay-at-home orders have the support of eight in 10 Americans––including a majority of both Democrats and Republicans.
Anti-quarantine rallies across the country have the veneer of grassroots support, but in truth, they are well-coordinated intimidation efforts––fueled by dangerous rhetoric and encouragement from President Trump and the NRA, and attended by some of the same extremists who took part in the Tea Party Movement of 2009, the deadly Charlottesville rally of 2017, and the Richmond gun rally of January 2020.
The open carry of firearms––which is being used at these rallies as an intimidation tool––is permitted by Michigan law, which fails to prohibit civilians from openly carrying guns in public without permits or safety training. Extremists have used similar intimidation tactics at the Charlottesville rally, the Richmond gun rally, and other protests.
More than 1,000 people die by gun violence in Michigan every year. Statistics about gun violence in the state are available here, and information on how Michigan’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here. Michigan Moms Demand Action volunteers are available for interviews.