The Michigan Senate responded to the massacre in a Texas Church that claimed the lives of 26 people with legislation.
The Senate passed a bill that would allow people to get a permit to carry concealed guns in places currently considered gun-free zones, such as churches, bars, and public schools. Churches and bar owners would have the ability to overrule the law with their own policies, but schools would be subject to the legislation.
One Detroit family says the news is personal. They know the pain of the people who lost loved ones in Texas, like most cannot. In 2006, they lost a loved one after violence at the Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church on Detroit’s Eastside.
Kevin Collins, 22, came to the church angry about a break-up. He had a gun. When he found out his ex was not there, he took out his gun and shot at her mom in the sanctuary. Rosetta Williams died. A little girl sitting near her was injured. Collins then left the church and attempted to steal a man’s car nearby. In the struggle, he shot and killed that man.
Rosetta Williams’ brother Ricky Houston remembers thinking, “How could this happen in a church?”
“Our family has not in over ten years recovered,” said Connie Minter, Houston’s wife.
“My sister was a beautiful person. She loved her family. She loved her children. She loved her church,” said Houston. “Every Sunday we go in there and I think about it.”
When they saw reports of the Texas Church Massacre, they felt their pain all over again.
“It is like opening up an old wound that had been trying to heal itself and never healed,” said Minter.
Days after the tragedy in Texas, the Michigan Senate reacted with legislation that would allow the legal concealed carrying of weapons in places previously designated as “gun-free zones under the law.”
“I am against it,” said Houston.
“It is like the legislation is saying we don’t care. Everybody carry. It is the wild wild west,” said Minter. “God does not want that. I am sure of it.”
They have heard proponents of the legislation argue that if people are allowed to get a permit to carry guns in places like churches and schools, they will be able to stop active shooters. They say shoot-outs in crowded public places are not the answer.