AP Photo/Steven Senne
Local communities have very little power for good reason. The needs of one community don’t always coincide with the needs of another. If every city could dictate what the rest of its state has to do, it would be chaos. Imagine every city had the power within its state like Chicago or New York.
However, these cities can let their thoughts be known. One method for doing this is to pass resolutions. If enough communities pass such resolutions calling for a certain type of law, legislators will eventually get the message, especially if they’re interested in moving up to higher office…or keeping their current ones.
The matter recently came up as a Rhode Island city council had to determine whether it would pass a resolution calling for gun control.
On one side of City Hall’s Council Chambers sat a group of people wearing pink or orange shirts bearing the names of the groups Moms Demand Action and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, with slogans such as “#NeverAgainRI.”
Across the aisle were others in yellow shirts, many bearing the language of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and promoting the Rhode Island Second Amendment Coalition.
In the end, after hearing from a litany of speakers and engaging in a discussion that at times turned partisan, the City Council’s Ordinance Committee on May 16 rejected a resolution urging state lawmakers to approve a package of gun-control measures during the current session.
The council’s four Democrats – citywide Councilman Steve Stycos, Lammis Vargas of Ward 1, Paul McAuley of Ward 3 John Donegan of Ward 3 – co-sponsored the resolution. Specifically, it called for the General Assembly to pass legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and prohibit concealed-carry permit holders from having concealed weapons on school grounds. It defined high-capacity magazines as those “capable of holding more than 10 bullets.”
The committee’s final vote was 4-2 against the resolution. Vargas and McAuley, the committee’s two Democrats, voted in favor, while the body’s four Republicans – citywide Councilman Ken Hopkins, Edward Brady of Ward 4, Chris Paplauskas of Ward 5 and Michael Favicchio of Ward 6 – were opposed.
In other words, it went right down party lines.
That’s probably a good thing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the resolution is dead. There’s talk of amendments to strip some of the language out but ultimately still beg for more gun control.
Regardless, this is something that every gun owner should be fighting in their communities. The idea of begging the legislature for restrictions is idiotic. Why on earth would someone actively ask for their civil liberties to be curtailed?
Of course, the answer lies in the misguided belief shared by these people that gun rights aren’t civil liberties. Most of them don’t like to acknowledge that gun rights even exist. They pretend they’re a figment of our imaginations or something, which they have to do to justify what they want.
But they’re wrong. They’re wrong, and I hope that every community across the nation wakes up and realizes that gun control does not benefit society in the least.