LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Shannon Watts is on a mission. She’s the Founder of Moms Demand Action.
Today, Watts and her team are traveling across the country pushing for stricter gun laws including four Michigan bills. They’re designed to prevent children from gaining access to guns in their homes by requiring all weapons to be locked away. It’s a bill started after the Oxford shooting.
“About 4.6 million children in America live in homes with unsecured guns meaning they are not locked, they are loaded, they are not separate from ammunition and most school shooters about 80 percent of them and they get their guns from home,” said Watts.
But for Watts and her team, today was also about listening to the people right here in Lansing. People like Michael McKissic. He’s working every day to put an end to the violence. His organization Mikey 23 was founded after he lost his own son to gun violence in 2015. His mission? To give the youth of Lansing the chance to build up their community through a construction apprenticeship program.
“The African proverb it takes a village, right? So it literally takes each and every one of us to be successful and to achieve a goal, and that goal is to stop this violence that is going on in the city,” said McKissic.
So far this year the city of Lansing has had six homicides, with two of the last four involving teenagers.
“There’s something missing in our community that we are not doing and, so, therefore, coming together collectively as a whole community should, you know we can do better. You know we are doing ok, but we can do much better,” said McKissic.
Watts says hearing the work McKissic is doing inspires her to continue to fight to bring change.
“This is a true angel on Earth, someone who has taken such immense pain and turned it into purpose.”
As far as the four gun storage bills go Watts says some have been heard by a committee, but no decision to approve them has been made.