Constantine residents rally against, shoot down assault weapon ban

Posted at 11:10 PM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 23:10:29-05

CONSTANTINE, Mich. -- For now, it seems that an assault weapons ban in the Village of Constantine is unlikely to pass as residents and outsiders lobbied nearly unanimously against it.

Monday night, Constantine council president Patricia Weiss opened the floor for public comment. She made and distributed printouts of a New York Times editorial - End the Gun Epidemic in America that was published in early December to explain her rationale behind the ban.

What she didn't expect was to hear from over 20 people, speaking in unison against the possible ban.

The attendees in the room were less than receptive to the editorial, one man saying that Constantine is the wrong area to be talking about an assault weapons ban before accusing the New York Times of having a liberal bias.

Weiss even brought homemade cookies to calm tensions that were brought up at the council meeting two weeks prior, but even those didn't sway any to her side.

"I think she was trying to want to ban them," said Philip Lockwood, a resident of Constantine, "but she's starting to realize with as many people that came out tonight that she can't do that."

Resistance against a possible lawsuit - should a ban be enacted - was polled, with nearly the whole room raising their hands in protest.

Weiss took inspiration from the New York Times piece, claiming that she wanted to use a smaller town like Constantine to get the attention of legislators.

"I was thinking perhaps if there was enough interest in grassroots, maybe something could be started," she said.

Lockwood expressed his big-picture fear of what would happen if Constantine were to follow through on a ban, saying, "I think it's opening up a can if they do, because the next city is going to say, 'let's do what Constantine's done,' and it's just going to follow."

The assault weapon ban proposal was almost unilaterally shot down, but Weiss said she's going to rethink her idea, saying that she's still thinking about pushing it forward.