Yesterday, the other shoe dropped in Rhode Island. A slew of anti-gun bills hit the General Assembly. There are bills (linked to here);
1) preventing minors from owning firearms,
2) a ridiculous “assault weapons ban” that uses the stricter than normal 1 feature rule has no grandfathering and no grace period,
3) standard capacity magazine bans,
4) a bill to change the town concealed carry permitting process from shall issue to may issue,
5) a bill outlawing the discharge of a firearm from an aircraft,
6) a bill banning bird hunting in the Narragansett bay,
7) a bill to tax firearms and ammunition purchases to raise money for organizations “whose mission includes a commitment to the reduction of crime and violence in the community,” (more on that later),
8) a bills banning those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence
(not all of these bills arrived today, but they should all be scrutinized by firearms owners further)
There are obviously many of these bills we disagree with here at RI Gun Blog. For starters, the ten percent tax raises a major red flag. In the language of the bill it says that money from the tax will be distributed by the state to the town police departments or the “highest ranking municipal official.” There’s only one town in Rhode Island without a police department, Exeter. This has obviously been a battle ground over the last year and many of us are familiar with the town’s highest ranking municipal official, Council President Arlene Hicks. Here you’ll see a picture of Ms. Hicks at the grand unveiling of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, the Ocean State’s very own rabid anti-gun group. Now, does anyone think it’s a coincidence that the the bill would take money from law abiding gun owners and put it in the pocket of one of the state’s most rabid anti-gun politicians? It’s bad enough this crowd wants to tax a constitutional enumerated right, but to then turn that tax into a slush fund to work at further eroding those rights is downright diabolical.
In regards to the “assault weapons ban” offered up by Rep. Almeida, this bill is nearly a carbon copy of the Connecticut gun ban, but with minor modifications that make it even worse. So that leads me to ponder one of two conclusions, either 1) Rep. Almeida was too lazy to write his own bill so he copied and pasted the Connecticut bill, or 2) (this is more likely) there are powerful out of state groups, carpet-bagging their way through the country brining their model anti-gun legislation with them (I’m looking right at you Mayors Against Illegal Guns). If number two is the case, legislators must ask themselves whether they’re going to slap this one size fits all manure on Lil’ Rhody, or if they are going to do their jobs and find solutions that work for Rhode Island.
The fact is that Rhode Island has plenty of bigger fish to fry. There have been few if any murders committed in Rhode Island we these so-called “assault rifles.” But while the legislature wasted time last year and now plans on wasting more time this year on fixing a problem that doesn’t exist, Rhode Island continued to descend deeper into depression compared to the other states in the country.
For a sample of what our little Neros have wrought while Rome was burning take a look at these statistics comparing Rhode Island to the other 49 states:
Infrastructure: 47 out of 50
Unemployment: 50 out 50
Economy: 49 out of 50
Cost of Living: 44 out of 50
Population Growth: 50 out of 50
Home Ownership: 46 out of 50
State and Local Tax Burden: 46 out of 50
The striking thing about these bills is that they are so radical compared to what we faced last year. You’d think that after the trouncing we gave the anti-gun crowd in 2013 they’d come to the table with something legislators would feel more confident about voting for, but instead they’ve doubled down on the crazy and brought bills that are sure to enrage law abiding firearms owners and put their political careers at risk. If I were a moderate in the legislature, I wouldn’t want to come within ten feet of the representatives who proposed these bills for fear of getting their stink on me. They should be pariahs on the chamber floor.
So Rhode Islanders, it is once again up to us to advocate against the radical element of the legislature. Writing to representatives is task number one, and should be followed up by attending the hearings on these bills. I suggest you start by writing the House Judiciary Committee where most of these bills will be heard. Remember, this committee sided with us last year and declined to vote on the anti-gun bills put before it in 2013. We have allies, though surely some of them are tepid. Be polite, these are folks we want to woo and befriend. We want them to know that we simply cannot abide new gun control laws and that we will fight any proposed laws to the end. But personal attacks on the legislators should never be made. You don’t want to turn someone who’s vote you need against us. Get ready, the fight began long ago, but a new battle begins today.