To the editor: There are currently two pieces of legislation critical to our public safety which are making their way through our Rhode Island legislature. They would: 1) Ban of future sales of …
To the editor:
There are currently two pieces of legislation critical to our public safety which are making their way through our Rhode Island legislature. They would: 1) Ban of future sales of assault rifles; and 2) Require safe storage by gun owners.
Assault rifles, used in most mass shootings, are military weapons designed to kill many people efficiently. Unsecured guns contribute to suicides and accidents, which are the leading of gun related deaths in America.
Those would have you think that enabling your neighbors to arm themselves with military weapons is normal or that not requiring gun owners to keep their weapons secure so that children or those who may be at risk of harming themselves don’t have access somehow makes us safer. Seventy percent of Rhode Islanders are in favor of this commonsense legislation.
In America, guns are now the leading cause of death of people under 21. We are experiencing more than 1 mass shooting per day. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that this cannot happen here. We lived in Newtown at the time of the Sandy Hook massacre. We once felt that way; we no longer do.
Shouldn’t we do everything possible to make ourselves safe and protect our common right to live freely and without fear of sending our children to school?
In the last two weeks both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees heard testimony. A strong majority of legislators and senators have already sponsored the bills, indicating their support. The Governor stands ready to sign them. The Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, the head our the Rhode Island State Police and Bristol Police Chief Kevin Lynch (who leads the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association) have all testified voicing their support.
We call on the House and Senate Judiciary leadership to advance these bills out of committee and for the House Speaker and Senate President to allow a floor vote. In recent years, a vote on these bills has been blocked in committee and sent back for ‘study.’ Too many years have passed with this cynical excuse by our leaders.
When they block a vote, it weakens the legitimacy of our government by eliminating your voice in your government. The leadership should allow our elected representatives to vote and be accountable to their constituents by advancing these important pieces of legislation.
Please take 15 minutes to send a simple e-mail expressing your views to your representative and senator. Importantly, send an e-mail to the chairs of the Judiciary Committee in the House, Robert Craven (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Senate, Dawn Euer (email@example.com), and to House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (email@example.com). Tell them you demand a full vote of the House and Senate on these measures in this legislative session.
Democracy can work, and your e-mail will make a big difference.
Steve and Kathy Kloeblen
693 Hope St., Bristol