When people talk about the most gun-controlled states in the nation, the tiny state of Rhode Island. It’s easy to forget about Rhode Island, though. I mean, the city of Sitka, Alaska is twice the size of Rhode Island in square mileage. It’s easy to overlook a state that small.
But it’s got plenty of gun control, so much so that it really belongs in the discussion with California, New Jersey, and Illinois.
As bad as that is, though, there’s an effort in the state to make already onerous restriction even worse.
Heated and emotional testimony came from more than 300 Rhode Islanders at the R.I. House Judiciary Committee’s virtual hearing on gun-related bills Friday.
Among the six bills relating to firearms, there are some that have been brought before lawmakers in the past.
One would ban the use of magazines that hold 10 or more rounds. Another would ban the possession, sale and transfer of “assault weapons,” which are defined in the bill as semi-automatic shotguns, rifles or pistols with certain magazine capacities, threaded barrels or several other features.
There’s also a bill that prohibits the possession of a firearm on school grounds, unless the person is retired law enforcement, under contract to provide school security or the person unloads the firearms and keeps them in locked and contained in their vehicle.
Proponents of the bill say other states in New England have similar legislation in place.
The head of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence tells 12 News these bills will help keep people safe.
“These are bills to enhance public safety,” Linda Finn said. “They do not remove anyone’s ability to protect themselves, but they’re really to protect the public.”
Yeah, I usually couch such terminology into something mildly amusing, but I just don’t have it in me when faced with that much crap.
Rhode Island is one of the safest states in the nation. People are already safe within the state. They don’t need more invasive anti-gun measures in the state.
However, such measures will interfere with people’s ability to defend themselves.
For example, the definition of an assault weapon is likely to include a handful of handguns in the mix. Further, limiting people to just 10 rounds sets them up for failure. The one thing no person ever said after a gunfight was that they wished they’d carried less ammunition. Restricting people to 10 rounds or less means they have fewer opportunities to defend their life.
“Dur, then just learn to shoot better, hur dur.”
Yes, Dipstick, people should learn to shoot better. Because private citizens have so many opportunities to train against moving, dynamic targets that they really have no excuse, right?
Look, people can train and train, but a real fight is nothing like training. You’re going to miss. Look at law enforcement shootings. A lot of them have a ton of missed shots before they take down the bad guy.
Yet they also have people with them to provide cover if they need to reload.
Now, picture being in our house. Your handgun has just 10 rounds in it, but it’s close at hand. Then, a violent home invasion takes place with three armed criminals. Your adrenaline jacks up, degrading your fine motor skills. Your hands shake as you take aim. Just as you squeeze the trigger, the target moves. He and his buddies shoot back.
Back and forth, you fire until all of a sudden, your slide locks back. You’re out of ammo, so you have to reload. You’ve shot at least three at each hostile target, but because of all the factors at play, you missed. You can punch all the rounds through the same hole on the range, or damn near, but this is different.
Now you need to reload.
They, however, don’t.
Is that where you want to be?
Let’s be realistic here. Being attacked by a dozen folks isn’t a realistic scenario for most of us. It’s happened, but it’s rare. Three bad guys, though? That’s not all that unusual.
So yeah, things like this don’t make people safer. It’s the opposite.
My hope is that Rhode Island sees some sense and kills these measures. The citizens of that state deserve better.