Hearings held in Rhode Island over gun control measures

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Rhode Island may be a tiny state, but they’ve got a big problem. That problem is a very troubling gun control scheme.

In fact, the state is one of the most gun-controlled states in the nation, giving California, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey a run for their money. They might not have a massive population, but they damn sure don’t want any of their citizens to be able to defend themselves if they have anything to say about it.


Now, they’re looking at making the laws even worse.

The Rhode Island State House was filled Monday with armies of dueling warriors in the Rhode Island gun debate.

From gun rights advocates in their yellow T-shirts came this familiar battle cry: Enforce the laws we already have, don’t tread on the rights of “law-abiding citizens.”

From gun control advocates in their red Moms Demand Action tees came this counter-argument: Rhode Island laws do not go far enough to avert the kind of violence that turned a Connecticut elementary school, and more recently a Nashville grade school, into killing fields.

Amid the fusillade of legal arguments, the mother and cousin of 16-year-old  Dillon Vienes begged the lawmakers to require the safe storage of guns, and make violations a felony.

Lawmakers on opposing sides disagreed on the wisdom of even attempting an “assault weapons” ban when the legal landscape around guns is unsettled.

House GOP leader Michael Chippendale told colleagues it would be “reckless” and “throwing taxpayer money away” to pass a law the state would have to defend and that would almost certainly be overturned.

But Rep. Jason Knight, the lead sponsor of H5300, the proposed ban on rapid-fire “assault weapons,” read aloud a letter from Attorney General Peter Neronha assuring legislators that: “We are confident that this legislation is constitutional and that we are prepared to defend any challenges that may arise.

“While I recognize that there is a pending case in the First Circuit addressing the constitutionality of the high-capacity magazine ban [passed last year], that pending litigation should not prevent the General Assembly from advancing this important legislation,” Neronha wrote.


Except that Chippendale is right, that actually would get tossed out by the courts. Anyone who read the Bruen decision knows that’s going to happen.

And I’m sorry, but trying to make it a felony not to have your gun locked up the way the state prefers? Yeah, I’m going to oppose that on general principle as well. Yes, bad things happen and all that, but bad things can also happen because someone had to keep their gun locked up to appease the state.

The truth is that Rhode Island is considering measures that they have no business passing. Moms Demand Action says the laws they already have on the books aren’t enough to stop a mass shooting like Uvalde, but they forget that Rhode Island has a particularly invasive set of gun control laws already on the books.

If those laws aren’t enough, then no amount of laws are really going to do the trick.

So maybe the answer to mass shootings isn’t more gun control, but less.

Put guns in more law-abiding citizens’ hands so they can meet the threats where they appear, rather than pretending you can just legislate people into being good, decent human beings. We can’t even get legislators that qualify as that with any particular regularity, so just how in the hell can we somehow make the average criminal be better?


It’s just not going to happen, so I hope Rhode Island has the good sense to put and end to this and not pass these measures.

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