To the Editor:
The attempted murder of congressional staff and congressmen is one more tragic event that should be a call for our nation to engage in open and honest discussion on the purpose and limits of guns in our society. I believe America’s experiment with guns is a tragic failure. Compared with 22 other similar countries our murder rate is 25 times higher and although we represent less than half the population of these nations combined we account for 82 percent of all gun deaths. How much longer can we act ignorant to the reality that guns are killing Americans.
The Cranston City Ordinance Committee, chaired by Christopher Paplauskas once again, a day after the tragedy in our nation’s capital had the opportunity to have an open discussion on the merits of sensible gun legislation currently being considered in our state legislature. HB5345 and SB187 would close a dangerous loophole that allows 4,000 residents who have permits to carry concealed guns to carry their weapon into our schools and on school grounds. Instead they chose to table the resolution again and to prohibit concerned citizens from making comments and presenting testimony.
The most consistent and everyday threat to our safety is not from abroad, it is the lack of courage on part of leaders, like chairman Paplauskas who refuse to acknowledge the gun problem and to allow citizens to voice their concerns. Councilman Lanni challenged the Committee to engage in a discussion – their response was silence. They could have risen to the challenge, allowed discussion and taken a vote, but they decided to hide in silence instead of taking a stand to protect our children and teachers.