Letter: 2nd Amendment — Let’s find ways to unite, not divide, Tiverton

Posted 5/30/19

To the editor:

For those in support of Tiverton becoming a "Second Amendment Sanctuary Town:” 
What if the council considered a "Gun Law Sanctuary Town" (Essentially sending a political …

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Letter: 2nd Amendment — Let’s find ways to unite, not divide, Tiverton

Posted

To the editor:

For those in support of Tiverton becoming a "Second Amendment Sanctuary Town:” 
What if the council considered a "Gun Law Sanctuary Town" (Essentially sending a political statement that this town is pro-gun laws)? How would you feel then?

My guess is that you would be angry because your view would not be represented in that type of sanctuary and therefore you would feel it should not be used to define the whole town. Voting yes to either resolution would be pandering to one side of a debate and would not be including all perspectives of citizens of this town.

Thankfully, this is a free country, each citizen can contact their representative, join groups and attend rallies that represent their views, and vote. Let that be how citizens express their views, not by hijacking an entire town to make a one-sided political statement.

My point is, the debates on this topic should not just be whether you are pro-guns or pro-gun laws. It should be “Does this resolution represent the entire town?”

If there were to be a vote on this resolution it should not be done at a Town Council meeting. None of the councilors even ran on that issue. [Noteworthy - many people who spoke at the town council meeting on May 28 weren’t even from Tiverton!] If there has to be a vote, at the very least there should be a town-wide vote.

However, to be clear, I am against approving this resolution. I have many other concerns about this resolution and process, including the vagueness of the wording and resulting confusion. The resolution indicates that “Unconstitutional” gun laws are not to be enforced. Whether certain gun laws are “constitutional” has historically been hotly debated due to varying interpretations of the Second Amendment. So which laws might not be enforced in this town? This is not clearly delineated. You can view the resolution here: https://clerkshq.com/content/Attachments/Tiverton-ri/190528_23.pdf

Additionally, there is often talk in this town regarding the need for tax relief. What if fewer families move here or more families move out because they feel unsafe in a town that may not enforce gun laws? That would leave a larger burden with those that remain.

I love this town of Tiverton and I am tired of the divisiveness in this town. Aren’t you? We need to expand our discussion past just taking sides of what people are for or against. We need to find a way to find more commonalities, compromises and community in this great town. This proposal unfortunately just increases discord and creates confusion. It also does not accurately represent all sides of the issues and perspectives of this town. So how can it be used to define our town?

Town Council meetings can be viewed on YouTube, just type “All Tiverton Town Council meetings.” The resolution discussion on 5/28 starts at 1:26:50. There is another Town Council Meeting June 3, at 7 p.m. in Town Hall for the final vote. You can also contact the town clerk at nmello@tiverton.ri.gov to forward your input to all the councilors.

We ALL want our beliefs and values to be respected and heard. Let’s find a better way to represent and help ALL citizens of Tiverton, not just a select group.

With concern and ope for our own,

Maureen Umehara

Tiverton

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