As a veteran and a staunch supporter of our military, it is my honor to sponsor legislation that would establish an annual state holiday to recognize Blue Star Mothers of America, an organization founded in Michigan in 1942.
My legislation, House Bill 4047, would designate February 1 of each year as Blue Star Mothers Day in Michigan.
Blue Star Mothers of America was founded after 300 mothers of World War II service members first met at the Durant Hotel in Flint, Michigan, on Feb. 1, 1942 – eight weeks after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The group received media attention and the idea spread rapidly, with Blue Star Mothers groups quickly popping up across the country.
Eighty-one years later, Blue Star Mothers throughout the United States still play an active role in boosting the morale of the men and women who serve our country. They pack and ship thousands of care packages every year to service members deployed overseas. They also volunteer to help homeless veterans, provide support for Wounded Warriors, visit hospitalized veterans, honor fallen heroes during funeral services, and offer a compassionate community for the loved ones of those serving in harm’s way.
This week, the House Government Operations Committee held a hearing to discuss it, and I was happy to offer my support alongside Jacqueline Ransom, president of the Michigan Department of Blue Star Mothers of America, and Kathy Barnes, a past president who has been advocating for a state day of recognition for more than a decade.
As Kathy pointed out: “We are the only historic, congressionally chartered military support organization to be founded in the state of Michigan. To ask for an annual permanent day of recognition is really a small thing after 81 years of serving our military and veterans. We only wish to appear on the state calendar. We don’t ask for a day off of work, recognition from FTD or from Hallmark.”
I’m pleased to say the committee agreed, approving the bill with a 5-0 vote. It will now advance to the full House of Representatives for further consideration.
The leadership in the House continues to move forward with efforts to enact extreme restrictions on lawful gun owners in Michigan. This week, despite my opposition, the House approved a plan to establish a one-size-fits-all government mandate that dictates how lawful gun owners store their firearms.
Don’t get me wrong. I know the importance of responsible gun ownership and I always advocate for the safe storage of firearms, especially around kids. It’s also incredibly important to teach kids about gun safety from an early age.
My problem with this legislation, House Bills 4139-41 and 4144, is that they seek to criminalize practices people have to protect their own safety. We can never take everyone’s personal situation into account. A young woman fresh out of an abusive relationship would be very justified if she wanted to keep a gun easily accessible in her nightstand, but these bills could make that a misdemeanor or even a felony.
Michigan already has plenty of laws on the books that can be used to punish people who act recklessly with a firearm or endanger their children. These bills do nothing more than micromanage law-abiding citizens who own guns for their personal protection.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by calling (517) 373-3906 or emailing [email protected]. I am always happy to hear from people in our community.
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