Slotkin: ‘Our children are being traumatized and killed in their sanctuaries’ 

By: - March 29, 2023 1:42 pm

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin speaks to reporters following a rally in support of gun safety legislation with former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords on March 15, 2023. (Andrew Roth/Michigan Advance)

During a Capitol Hill news conference on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) announced three legislative measures aimed at curbing gun violence that continues to grip the nation. 

“I became the first congresswoman in America to have two school shootings in her district,” said Slotkin about the mass shootings at Michigan State University (MSU) and Oxford High School. They occurred 16 months apart. 

Slotkin, who is now running for U.S. Senate, represented Oxford at the time of the Oxford High School shooting in November 2021 in which four students were killed and seven people injured. She currently represents Michigan State University where a mass shooting occurred on Feb. 13 that left three students dead and five injured. 

“Our children are being traumatized and killed in their sanctuaries,” said Slotkin. “They are asking for our help.” 

“Preventing more gun violence in our schools and on our streets is a matter of homeland security – not politics,” she added later in the news conference. 

Mourners leave flowers at the MSU Union on Feb. 19, 2023, one of the locations where several students were shot during a mass shooting on Michigan State University’s campus. (Andrew Roth/Michigan Advance)

One bill would bar the transfer of a gun for three years to someone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor if they used, carried or possessed a gun during the crime. 

A second measure would require a one-week waiting period before a buyer can receive a gun. A third bill, reintroduced with U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), called The Gun Violence Prevention Research Act would authorize $50 million each fiscal year over the next five years to boost the CDC’s firearms safety and gun violence prevention research.

Calls to U.S.House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) regarding the legislation were not returned. 

Joining Slotkin was MSU shooting survivor Devin Woodruff, as well as Dylan Morris, who survived the mass shooting at Oxford High School.

“So have Dylan and Devin – the Oxford and MSU students joining us today who have survived both,” Slotkin added. “We, as a society, need to step up and decide to protect our kids so that an entire generation of young Americans isn’t defined by gun violence.” 

“We need concrete laws to save our lives,” said Woodruff about the MSU shooting. “… We need Congress to act now.” 

Morris said that his community is “now left shattered.” He said he believes that the set of legislation will help to create “evidence-based solutions.” 

Markey called for federal legislation “to help save lives — now” and mentioned the Monday mass shooting in Nashville, Tenn., where a 28-year-old fatally shot three children and three adults at a private Christian elementary school. 

“We now must act,” said Markey. 


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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman writes about Southeast Michigan, history and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on Black life in Detroit.