“Bring your own gun or rent something new,” read an invitation to a March 15 fundraiser for 39th District State Representative Republican candidate Ryan Berman at the Target Sports II shooting range in West Bloomfield. The email invitation was sent on Wednesday, February 21 – a scant one week after 17 people were slain at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Berman, a former special deputy with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and certified firearms instructor with the NRA, sent a second email two hours after the initial invitation, clarifying that the event and invitation was scheduled weeks prior to the massacre in Florida. “While the timing may seem unfortunate, the event is more important now than ever,” Berman said. “Cancelling (sic) this event would send the exact wrong message.” While Berman said the tone of the event would focus more on gun education, he said he would oppose ‘gun free zones’ as a measure of control. Photos posted to Berman’s candidate page post-event included frosted cookies shaped like guns and election signs. Berman, who is hoping to replace term-limited Rep. Klint Kesto (R-Commerce, West Bloomfield, Wixom, Wolverine Lake), on his candidate Facebook page said the event was a success that focused on shooting and safe gun ownership.