standing letters

Each Richmond Town Council member made the following oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and obey the Constitution and laws of the United States of America and the Constitution and laws of the State of Rhode Island, that I will observe the Charter and the ordinances of the Town of Richmond, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office.”

Similarly, Richmond police officers swear to “defend, enforce, and obey the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Rhode Island and shall be responsible for the enforcement of the ordinances of the town and the laws of the state.”

Flanked by a yellow-shirted brigade, our state senator, Elaine Morgan, has joined a seditious national campaign to nullify gun laws with the so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuary City/ Town” resolution, whose wording is as follows: “Now, therefore be it resolved by the Richmond Town Council that the Town of Richmond be, and hereby is, declared to be a “Second Amendment Sanctuary Town.”

“Be it further resolved that the Richmond Town Council affirms its support for the Richmond Police Department to exercise sound discretion when enforcing laws impacting the rights of citizens under the second amendment. “Be it further resolved that the Richmond Town Council will not appropriate funds for capital construction of building space or purchase of storage systems to store weapons seized pursuant to the requirements set forth in any legislation if such bill is enacted by the Rhode Island General Assembly and/or for the purpose of enforcing any other law that unconstitutionally infringes upon the right of the People of the Town of Richmond to keep and bear arms.”

What does the resolution mean? Do police still have to follow and enforce the law? Do the councilors who have, or will, vote to adopt the resolution know what they are voting for?

The Foster Town Council didn’t have a clue what they were passing. In response to residents’ questions, one member said that if the state passed another gun law but didn’t give the town money to enforce it, the town would not have to enforce that gun law. Another said that if the state did give the town extra money to enforce the law, there might not be a need to declare themselves a sanctuary town.

So is this resolution all about money? Or is it, as one resident suggested, an agenda item of a far right-wing organization? I saw the video of the Foster meeting courtesy of Dan “Infowars” Bidondi, whose Facebook page proclaims “ The War On Gun Rights Could Lead To All OutCivil War in America.” Despite having been previouslyschooled by a West Greenwich councilor as to how laws are actually made, Bidondi told the Foster crowd

that Tyrant Gina Raimondo could decide to confiscate everyone’s weapons because “she makes the laws.”

Apparently the state has revoked Bidondi’s firearm permit. Bidondi is all over the internet with his own ramblings, videos, and reporting for Alex Jones’ Infowars and Breitbart news, but it does appear that his Twitter account has been suspended. According to Bidondi, Sandy Hook was — take your pick — a hoax, a homeland security drill, or an easy target for the shooter because it was the only gun-free school zone in Connecticut; the FBI was behind the Boston Marathon bombing; vaccines cause autism, alzheimers, and diabetes. In his May 11th Saturday rant he warned his followers “to arm up” and “prepare to go to war” if someone like Corey Booker or another Democrat gets in.

“If a Democrat wins you better arm yourself to the teeth because they’re coming, and it’s not going to be U.S.

troops, folks, it’s gonna be United Nations peacekeeping scum.”

The consensus among those voting to approve the resolution is that it is feel-good, non-binding, and probably unenforceable declaration and political show of support for the Second Amendment. A yellow-shirted supporter who attended the West Greenwich meeting took issue with that assessment: “All these town councils have to do is close down the police department ... we don’t want the laws enforced, and we pay the bills.”

Any Richmond town councilor, and any other elected or appointed official who refuses to honor his or her oath of office by supporting a resolution to defy enforcing duly enacted laws, thereby denying residents’ rights to equal protection of the law, should resign or be removed.

Cheryl J. Latos

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