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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Crickets and prayers from RI Republicans

To Republicans, “pro-life” means NO to effective gun control

By Will Collette

Another murderous massacre with another military style weapon. The United States, unlike any nation in the world, makes it easy for just about anyone to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction on each other, citing the antiquated and misread Second Amendment of the Constitution as the justification for this slaughter.

In numerous decisions, the Supreme Court has held that “the Constitution is not a suicide pact” and that, yes, sensible measures to control firearms are Constitutional. But try telling that to Republicans.

Guns should be regulated at least as strictly as automobiles, with age restrictions, training, licensure, registration, taxation and regulation appropriate for deadly devices.

Let’s take a look at how Republicans in Rhode Island responded to the Uvalde Texas school massacre where 19 little kids and two adults were murdered with a guy carrying a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle. 

Some background facts: the Uvalde school district doubled its budget for school safety. The school itself had been hardened. They had an armed school police officer present. This is one of the most disturbing facts, reported by ABC news:

The gunman was first spotted outside the school by an armed school resource officer who did not fire at him, but instead confronted him and “followed him in” to the school.”

Armed police were on the scene quickly, but held off for almost an hour before storming the building despite pleas from parents to get in there and save their kids.

Let me remind you that the armed school safety officer during the Parkland Florida mass shooting walked away rather than try to confront the murderer and his assault rifle.

Ashley Kalus, the Republicans’ carpetbagger candidate for Rhode Island issued a long statement that boiled down to this:

“Our existing gun laws need to be enforced to the fullest extent, and every school in our state should have a police officer present to defend our vulnerable children from these heinous and disgusting perpetrators. We must invest in mental health services to ensure we stop these devastating acts of violence before they occur.”

The killer bought his two AR-15s legally under "our existing gun laws." Uvalde had those safety measures in place except they failed. The armed school safety officer and the armed response officers were reluctant to confront a killer with an automatic weapon. The “good guys with guns” were there but the kids still got killed.

Kalus doesn't know what she's talking about, but that's no surprise. She says the political figure she most admires is Florida Governor Ron DeathSantis.

Efforts to strengthen existing laws, including a tougher “red flag” law to strip guns from unstable and violent offenders, were fought tooth and nail by Rhode Island’s Republican legislators, especially our three local General Assembly members Rep. Blake “Flip” Filippi, Sen. Elaine Morgan and Rep. Justin Price.

They are all hard-right with ties to armed militias. Justin Price even went to the January 6 insurrection. He claims he didn't go inside the Capitol but did get close enough to become convinced that Antifa was responsible. Aside from the nonsense of that claim, Price is admitting he illegally crossed police lines. 

One thing I always found to be funky about Price's excuse is why, if he identified the rioters as Antifa, didn't he do something about them? After all, he claims he was a big, tough Marine yet he says he just stood there and watched.

Kristen Chambers of Richmond described her encounters with Price as well as Elaine Morgan in a Westerly Sun letter to the editor

As a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, I went to the Rhode Island State House on May 24 to lobby my legislators and ask them to pass a slate of five gun-safety bills. Those bills seek to prohibit assault weapons, limit magazines to 10 rounds, prohibit open carry of loaded rifles and shotguns, raise the minimum age to purchase rifles and shotguns to 21, and require safe firearm storage. I handed a flyer outlining the bills to my legislators and asked them to support gun safety. Rep. Justin Price shook his head and handed the flyer back to me. Sen. Elaine Morgan said “No” and continued walking. 

These three fools need to be voted out in November.

Justin Price, Blaske "Flip" Filippi and Elaine Morgan

Presumptive Republican candidate for Congress, Second District, and Charlestown consultant Allan Fung directed most of his post-Uvalde remarks to attacking his likely Democratic opponent Seth Magaziner. Here's Seth Magaziner's tweeted statement: 

Tonight I hugged my son harder than usual, knowing there are 18 sets of parents in Texas who will never be able to hug their kids again. Then I opened my email & learned we’ve been named a Gun Sense Candidate by @MomsDemand Action.  I will fight to end gun violence until my last breath

Fung found Seth’s message offensive. Why? I dunno. Maybe he’s offended by a message that goes beyond thoughts and prayers. Maybe he just has other priorities.

In the same sentence where Fung says "I will not politicize their sacrifices" he politicizes their sacrifices with his baseless attack on Seth Magaziner. His second paragraph is a prime example of hypocrisy.

Blake “Flip” Filippi certainly has some odd priorities when it comes to protecting children. While he has had nothing to say about the murder of little kids with an assault rifle, he tweeted today how much this irks him:

I just don’t understand what’s wrong with these people.

I think most reasonable people understand there is no single or simple answer to America’s unique and deadly gun problem. But surely one of those answers is to end the public sale and ownership military-style automatic weapons and extra-large magazines.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Nerohna could not have put it more clearly: