Lawmaker Cancels Gun Study
State Representative Mike Shelton of Oklahoma City planned to host an interim study Tuesday, November 12th, at the State Capitol to explore changes that might be needed in Stand Your Ground and open carry laws in Oklahoma. But he has cancelled the study because of what he calls a lack of balance in study participants.
I waited until the last minute to cancel this study because I was hoping these organizations would have a change of heart and come to the table,” said Shelton. “But they didn’t. It was my honest intent to have a dialogue with all sides of this issue and to convene an open conversation on Stand Your Ground and open carry laws in Oklahoma. I had many speakers in place to talk about gun safety and ending gun violence in our communities. With the recent announcement that Oklahoma City is one of the top five cities in the country for gang homicides, ending gun violence and increasing gun safety seemed like a conversation we should be willing to have.”
“In the end and after many, many attempts, I could not secure any gun advocates,” said Shelton. “I assume they decided to boycott this dialogue on gun safety. We attempted to make every accommodation necessary so that the leading, national gun advocacy groups could participate even via Skype. They simply stopped returning our calls.”
“I am not done bringing people to the table to have this conversation,” said Shelton. “My district demands it. Over the last couple months as we’ve been planning this study, we have received a number of calls and emails, and I’ve had many conversations with community groups that have generated several great ideas. I intend to follow through with these discussions by introducing legislation this spring that will answer the concerns of my constituents and other concerned Oklahomans.”
“Lastly, Washington-style politics is creeping in to our state when special interests rule the day and neither side can sit down to have a meaningful conversation with one another,” said Shelton. “This was my attempt to be different than the Washington politicians and sit down to have a thoughtful conversation on a topic that deeply concerns my district. I have to cancel this interim study, but my work in pushing back against this silencing of differing ideas and fear of dialogue continues.”