standing Letters

Have you noticed that “gun safety” laws increasingly criminalize law-abiding gun owners and do nothing to stop/reduce criminal gun violence and crime? News flash: criminals don’t care about following the law — that’s why they’re criminals. Rhode Island has many “gun laws” already on the books so, what went wrong? Legislators need to determine why the laws they enacted to address specific problems/concerns were ineffective.

As in the cases of DUI, the laws must be enforced and prosecuted to be a disincentive to the “bad” behavior. When the existing DUI law is enforced, those who choose to drive impaired are held accountable for that decision — and, rightfully, neither alcohol nor motor vehicles are blamed or banned.

Why are criminals, when caught, not being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, for ALL their crimes? Why do prosecutors regularly choose not to enforce existing gun laws? Why is the dismissal of “gun charges” so frequently an “early chip” in criminal plea-bargaining negotiations? Why aren’t the criminals with the “illegal” guns being held responsible for their actions?

What are the actual “illegal gun” numbers at each stage of the criminal process: from arrest to charges to final disposition of case? With so much of the current legislative session addressing concerns over gun violence, prudence dictates identifying the actual problem. As previously mentioned, the drink/car didn’t break the law, the driver did!

These “gun control” bills financially penalize law-abiding Rhode island taxpayers, with more severe consequences simply for owning the same tools legally purchased and determined to be appropriate for defense and protection, which is why they are fundamental for law enforcement. This is beyond irrational when the actual “penalty” accorded to the criminals who illegally possessed and used them while committing a crime is not being enforced.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics report shows that, of the inmates possessing firearms during the commission of a crime, 90% of those guns were obtained illegally. Only 1.3% were obtained from a retail store. These proposed “gun control” laws will have no impact on “gun safety” but WILL severely and negatively impact thousands of innocent Rhode Islanders.

Abolishing the rights of law-abiding taxpayers with Draconian new gun laws will not change the actions of bad people and/or the mentally ill. Criminals, by definition, do not abide by any law they find “inconvenient” be it protective orders, robbery, assault, rape, murder, car-jacking/theft, domestic violence or home invasion. Only tax-paying, law-abiding citizens will be unfairly punished by these “gun control” bills because the criminals will continue as they always have, obtaining and using firearms illegally. Until existing laws are fully and equally enforced, you cannot intelligently determine what remains to be “fixed” legislatively.

Robin Noury

Ashaway

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