A Michigan town hall on gun control turned into a shouting match Tuesday during which Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens screamed out that the National Rifle Association “has got to go!”
The event was held at the Multi-Lakes Conservation Association’s indoor gun range in Commerce Township, WJBK-TV in Detroit reported. The event was hosted by Fems for Dems, a pro-gun-control group. However, many gun rights advocates also attended.
“I think they just snuck it in here,” Meshawn Maddock, chairwoman of the 11th Congressional District Republican Committee, said. “I can tell you that the members of this gun club are not happy about it.”
“Somehow Fems for Dems booked this event using a different name,” she told WJBK. “The sweet woman I talked to said that it said Fems for Life on her calendar. We needed to show up here and tell Haley Stevens exactly what we think about her gun violence town hall behind held in a very Republican — this is a Republican stronghold.”
Gun rights advocates made their presence know by chanting “NRA” and shouting out their opposition to what Stevens and other Democrats speaking at the event were saying.
For instance, according to the Detroit News, when Stevens began responding to a submitted question about so-called assault weapons, someone yelled, “That’s a media made-up term.”
The congresswoman’s frustration with the Second Amendment supporters at the town hall soon boiled over, and she started shouting.
“This is why the NRA has got to go!” Stevens shrieked. “The NRA has got to go!”
Michigan GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox said the video shows how Democrats are becoming “completely unhinged” as they veer away from representing mainstream America.
Let’s be clear: The Democrats are undermining our democracy with what they are doing.
The Squad is now leading the Democrat Party.
— Laura Cox (@MIGOPChair) October 2, 2019
Gun rights advocates had said in advance they would be out in force to show Stevens that her position was out of touch with local voters.
“Holding a town hall to protest our Second Amendment in this district is a mistake,” Maddock said.
“The 11th Congressional District isn’t progressive,” she said in a pre-town hall statement. “It’s Republican. And Republicans support the Second Amendment and we like our legally owned guns. You’ve got a lot of nerve holding an anti-gun rally in the heart of gun-country. So we will rally voters to show you what voters think about two things. First, your lack of support for our Second Amendment. Then your poor decision to select this location for your town hall.”
However, Michigan House Democratic Leader Christine Greig scolded gun rights advocates over their behavior, according to the Detroit News.
“What are we teaching our children when we cannot have a responsible, dignified discussion about these very important issues?” she said. “We’ve got so many issues and challenges in our state. … Why are we yelling at each other instead of solving problems together?”
Stevens has said gun control is one of her major priorities.
“The U.S. House of Representatives has taken major steps forward to protect our communities from gun violence, passing the first major gun safety legislation in a generation to expand background checks to all firearm sales. Now, we are calling on Senate Majority Leader McConnell to allow a vote on this pragmatic, bipartisan legislation so we can prevent dangerous weapons from falling into the wrong hands,” she said in a statement issued Tuesday, according to the Detroit News.
Democratic state Rep. Robert Wittenberg told the News that gun rights advocates misunderstood the Democrats’ position.
“I want people to understand that we are not anti-gun, we are anti-gun violence,” he said. “And supporting the Second Amendment and being opposed to gun violence are not mutually exclusive.”
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