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Michigan Governor Snyder Vetoes Concealed Carry in Public Schools Bill

Embattled Michigan Governor Rick Snyder vetoed ill-timed legislation that would have allowed experienced gun owners to carry concealed weapons in public schools. This is among the first tangible impacts of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The bill was delivered to Snyder’s desk early Tuesday afternoon and he vetoed it about two hours later, spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said.

Snyder’s office informed the bill sponsor, state Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, of the veto before the governor took action.

“He’s not going to sign it,” Green told The Detroit News before the veto was announced.

The article tries to mention some weird justification for the veto to claim that it was in motion before Newtown. I hope nobody believes that. Snyder, already reeling politically from signing the right to work legislation he said he opposed as recently as a year earlier, didn’t want to attract yet more negative attention by signing a concealed weapons in public schools bill days after the largest public K-12 school shooting tragedy in US history.

Snyder, incidentally, has cratered politically in Michigan. His approval is down a net 28 points since the election, and now he gets only 38% approval. Clearly right to work is the culprit:

There’s not much doubt that it’s the right to work law and his embrace of other actions by the Republican legislature that are driving this precipitous drop in Snyder’s popularity. Only 41% of voters in the state support the right to work legislation, while 51% are opposed to it. If voters got to decide the issue directly only 40% of them say they would vote to keep the law enacted, while 49% would vote to overturn it.

Snyder’s office fielded calls on the public schools concealed weapons bill which ran 5-1 in favor of a veto. He was trying to cut his losses, nothing more.

I am not totally on board with Newtown being a tipping point – it’s no more tragic to have a mass shooting in a public school than it is in a movie theater or a mall – but it does look to be the case. Cerberus Capital Management, a major private equity firm, plans to sell its stake in the company that manufactures Bushmaster guns, the same model used in the Newtown shooting. The company was forced into its decision by California state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who announced that the large teacher’s pension fund he controls would divest of Cerberus and any other company that owns a large gun manufacturer, specifically the production of guns banned under state law. So the ground is shifting here.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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