To the Editor:
Two of the most critical issues facing all Americans are climate change and the ever-increasing violence and destruction caused by assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Both issues are complicated; there isn’t an easy solution to either. But there are steps we can take, which experience, science and common sense tell us will reduce the threats and dangers they present to our quality of life and our survival.
Big complicated issues need strong, determined and courageous leadership. Our City Counselors and Planning Commission have risen to the challenge by taking positive steps to correct zoning and oversight issues related to alternative energy projects in the city. By listening and working with all stakeholders they are developing regulations that will mitigate the threats of climate change and improve and preserve our quality of life in Cranston.
Our Cranston Republican City Council members have not shown the same level of leadership and courage to support and work with stakeholders and state legislators to pass commonsense gun legislation that will help to prevent the next Sandy Hook and El Paso mass murders. Assault weapons and high capacity magazines are not sporting and hunting instruments – they are weapons of war intended to inflict maximum damage and death to enemies of our democracy not on innocent school children and ordinary citizens going about their lives shopping and going to concerts and church. Dayton, Pittsburgh, Sandy Hook and El Paso all thought they were safe. It was inconceivable to them that a person filled with hate with an assault weapon and a magazine holding 100 rounds of flesh tearing, bone breaking bullets would appear out of nowhere and destroy the most precious thing that life has to offer – life itself.
The time has passed for our Cranston city councilors and legislators, particularly Speaker Mattiello, who has denied the will of the majority of Rhode Islanders that want legislation to protect them from the next angry person with an assault weapon. Gun violence is a threat to our community; when and where will that angry person decide to kill next? That’s a difficult question to answer, but we can take action to prevent it from happening. To do so, we need the support and courage of our city councilors and legislators to act now not after a loved one is taken from us.