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Open Letter to Michigan State Senator Mike Green

Dear Senator Green,

My name is Erik Utrecht and I am a resident of the state of Michigan born and raised in Kalamazoo. I am a decorated Air Force combat veteran and I spent nearly a decade of my life in service to his country as a military law enforcement officer and instructor. I had the opportunity to serve both in the United States at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota as well as overseas in Aviano Italy, with deployments to Kuwait and Kirkuk, Iraq in support of OPERATIONS: ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and SOUTHERN WATCH. After my honorable discharge from active duty, I returned to Michigan where I am now a licensed and bonded Professional Investigator and the owner of MDFI LLC, a company that trains civilians, law enforcement and military members on multiple self-defense disciplines.

I am writing you today regarding the 19 March 2015 Article in the Detroit Free Press (Online) titled, “Bill would shut down open-carry gun loophole” where you are mentioned as desiring a bill that would remove the ability to open carry in gun-free zones like schools, yet allow a citizen to concealed carry in any gun-free zone as long as they had, “much, much more extensive training.” More so, I am writing you regarding the recent incident at an Ann Arbor school where a law-abiding citizen was made out to be a criminal for open-carrying a firearm at his child’s event while operating IAW applicable MI law.

Although the specific reason for my letter as stated above is regarding recent events within the realm of Second Amendment issues, I would like to change the typical dynamic of what I imagine most letters you receive are like. I do not wish to ask you to support or deny any single bill or issue. I do ask that you support the Constitution of these United States and the rights of all citizens of this great nation.

Sir, I, like many other military and law enforcement veterans as well as citizens, are truly becoming disenchanted to the idea that those representing us are acting in the best interest of their countrymen. I find it truly disheartening to have served under my oath to protect freedom and the American way of life, only to return home and find it slowly being dismantled by those who also took the very same oath. Day after day, individuals in positions of power, like you, are whittling away the very facets of freedom in the name of and under the illusion of safety.

It saddens me to see my home state where a private business owner can be forced to make a bar into a “smoke free” environment to appease those who would choose to control the way others live instead of capitalizing on the opportunity to create a smoke-free business entity that caters to those that think along the same lines. In this example like so many others at the local, state, and federal level, the government has moved to tell its responsible citizens, supposedly of free will, that the greater good trumps their desires. No person has the right to force a member of the public to visit an establishment against their will, and when no such force has been made to any patron, what right does the government have to force the will of others on free men?

The Second Amendment is suffering the same fate both here in the State of Michigan and across our nation. In Ann Arbor, an individual acting responsibly with a firearm was accused as a criminal by an ignorant member of the populace in a spectacle leading to just short of a panic. Individuals like these who lack the intestinal fortitude to look past their own fears (whether through lack of education or motive) pose the greatest threat to the freedoms of their fellow man as they continue the push for safety at any cost by trying to criminalize anything that does not fit with the way they wish to live.

As someone that exists in the firearms-training world, I will always support that responsible people seek out training that can benefit both themselves and their communities. However, my desire for such does not warrant that it be mandated as all free men and women have the right to be ignorant. As a free people, we must resort to holding everyone accountable should they put other’s rights in jeopardy instead of demanding that they fall in line with how we want them to live.

There are many out there that are afraid of guns. There are many out there that believe that a thin piece of fabric over the top of a gun makes them safe as it is “out of sight.” There are many that believe that if we make enough laws, the evil within man will just give up and try another approach.

Knee-jerk reactions from our elected representatives designed to appease the emotionally driven masses at the cost of individual freedoms have sadly become the norm whenever an incident happens. Time and time again, responsible citizens are forced to watch the irresponsible actions of a few erode on the freedoms of all through worthless legislation.

Only an idiot would believe that criminals could be undone by placing an imaginary line on the ground through the use of written law. The only justification for such an action in the eyes of a free man would be to criminalize those that would exercise their rights responsibly, as actions that deprive others of their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are truly criminal.

In closing, I hope that as you move forward as an elected representative of the people of the State of Michigan, you choose to hold all Michiganders exactly the same: As free men and women held fast to personal responsibility. I hope that your future legislation and your support for any legislation represents the safeguarding of the rights of all, demands responsibility of all, and works to make Michigan as free as possible.

We must not sacrifice the incredible work and responsibility required of freedom to appease those that cannot bear such duties.

Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
– Benjamin Franklin 1755

Thank you for your time on this matter. If you should ever desire to discuss the issues in this letter, the Second Amendment as it pertains to the State of Michigan, or any other issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.

23 Responses to Open Letter to Michigan State Senator Mike Green

  1. TQFan March 20, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    Well written and we’ll said.

  2. Chad March 20, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

    Here here.

  3. Tyler March 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

    That is a wonderful letter. Thank you for posting this.

  4. Ray March 20, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Well said. I think the smoking analogy is appropriate. They are clearly using the same tactic against the 2nd Amendment. Let’s hope we can convince enough people not to fall for it again.

  5. Joe Blow 81 March 20, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

    while I too agree with your comments, I think they are misplaced. Sen. Green is one of the few gun rights SUPPORTERS who is willing to go on the record and actually DO SOMETHING – in this case, introduce legislation that benefits us all.

    I am afraid your comments could be interpreted as an attack even if that wasn’t your intention, and that upsets me, for I think you’ve mistaken your target.

    • Brandon March 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

      Interpreted as an attack? Ummm…how, exactly?

    • Trek March 21, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

      Hi Joe,
      A politician who introduces legislation to make people need to choose the lesser of two evils regarding their rights instead of legislation that ensures rights are upheld are do no good but possibly slowing the destructive process. If brought to the table this will be the second knee-jerk reaction to a far more complicated issue designed to appease emotionally controlled folks while doing nothing to solve the problem or help responsible citizens.

      As for an ‘attack’, if asking politicians to keep to the constitution and away from meaningless pandering is an ‘attack’ on them, I guess you’re correct.

  6. Greg Toal March 21, 2015 at 4:54 am #

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve had an idiot woman DEMAND I leave the office of the middle school my Daughter went to because I had a knife, a LEGAL knife, on my belt , because she felt ” uncomfortable ” with me being “ARMED” in school. She tried to rile up the crowd of parents, but between being on such good terms with the administration and laughing at her almost hysterical claims feeling threatened by me, she finally waited for her kid in the car. Ignorance used to be bliss, now it’s down right dangerous because the herd of people BELIEVE it! No one bothers to learn what’s law and what’s myth. Most of the “Herd” believe “Myth” is LAW. And THAT frightens me more than anything. All it takes is one person to start hollering some myth that sounds good, like if 1 person has a gun, NO ONE is safe! Or no one needs THAT kind of gun for hunting, or ANYTHING, it’s all crap that the herd can “cheer” to, & that’s what they want, something to ” cheer ” to in the end

  7. Hillbilly Bob March 21, 2015 at 8:25 am #

    That letter was great but it is a shame that the 2nd Amendment is being attacked in this once great country

  8. O. Perry March 21, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    Enjoyed this letter sir. Well said and thought out!

  9. Merle Kensinger March 21, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    He said exactly what I have been saying for so long. I’m so glad that others see our freedom and liberty being whittled away on a daily basis. Once this has run it’s course government will go for all firearms and we the people will be defensless just like the people of Great Britain after the battle of Dunkirk when they begged American citizens to send them firearms to defend the homeland only this time it will be Americans begging with no one left to send us assistance. It’s not about guns, it’s about control.

  10. Christopher March 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

    Perfect letter to Sen. Green! I always supported him in the past because of his pro-gun legislative agenda. I was however quite taken back by his recent comments in the Detroit Free Press.

  11. Big Mike March 21, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

    Whittled away is exactly what the politicians are doing to all the things that are and were great about this country.
    Your letter was well written and has an overwhelming message to all that read it. If our politicians thought and acted in the manner in which you wrote about in your letter, this would truely be a great country led by great men and women. THANKS FOR SPEAKING UP!
    P.S. Senator Green…read this aloud on the floor as soon as you can and send a copy to all your peers. If all elected officials took the authors advice, we’d be rushing to the polls to keep you guys in office!

  12. Heather King March 21, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    This is awesome!!! Erik was my instructor at ALS. Still just as sharp and well spoken.

  13. Joe Caringi March 21, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

    your letter was well thought out! We all have the Right to life. It comes from our Creator, through birth. Thus, we all have the Right to defend that life, from all enemies both foreign and domestic. It’s dangerous to realize that modern society believes our 2nd. Amend, is outdated. The purpose of govt is to protect our Rights not whittle them away. What protects us from unconstitutional govt? The 2nd.

  14. David Bulchak March 21, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Born free, Live free , Die free..

  15. Carson Foster March 22, 2015 at 9:04 am #

    Well said. While Sen. Green may be well intentioned, he is coming off the tracks a bit. Perhaps this will help him refocus.

  16. MARK SARCOIDLUNGS March 22, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    Very well stated, I am with you on most issues except that of the smoking, granted if everyone was responsible and respectful of others we would not need a smoke free zone, but there is always that person who does not care about my lungs or if I go home smelling like a smoke stack. I will fight for the 2nd Amendment and my lungs. Thank You

    • Trek March 24, 2015 at 10:14 am #

      Hi Mark, as my letter mentioned the smoking issue was in reference to private establishments, not public areas. I agree that the public should not have to dodge clouds of smoke when they are out and about but if a citizen wants to have their bar filled with caustic smoke, noone should be able to tell them otherwise. If a responsible citizen cares more for their lungs then the peanuts at the bar, they will make their choice of pubs accordingly.


  17. Floyd Kaminski March 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    Love the letter except the part of smoking. As a non smoker all my life I am so glad that they have ban smoking in public places. Yes I know people have the right to smoke but I and other also have the right to not have to breath in second hand smoke or have the item I am wearing smell of the foul odor. Having worked as a bartender for many years the smoke was so bad sometimes it was hard to breath even the bar had smoke eater in it. I agree with the right to carry but not with the smoking.

    • Trek March 24, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      Hi Floyd, as my letter mentioned the smoking issue was in reference to private establishments, not public areas. I agree that the public should not have to dodge clouds of smoke when they are out and about but if a citizen wants to have their bar filled with caustic smoke, no one should be able to tell them otherwise. If a responsible citizen cares more for their lungs then the peanuts at the bar, they will make their choice of pubs accordingly. Likewise, that same person will make appropriate employment choices as well.


      • Hillbilly Bob March 24, 2015 at 10:21 am #

        Amen brother, nobody forces people to enter a smokey bar
        We have a few bars around here that still let people smoke. The owners found out that the health dept doesn’t have the money or manpower to do anything about it
        It’s great living in the boonies in a lightly populated county

  18. Greg March 23, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Well Said…I Agree 100%