Rhode Island State Representative Edith Ajello (D-Providence) is pushing a bill to repeal the state’s current law that allows civilians with concealed carry permits and off-duty police officers to carry firearms on school campuses for self-defense.
Ajello did not cite crimes that have arisen in Rhode Island because of concealed permit holders or off-duty officers with guns, but she did point to the 1999 Columbine attack and the 2012 attack on Sandy Hook. It is interesting to note that both of these incidents happened in gun-free zones, where law-abiding citizens were disarmed in the same way that Ajello wants Rhode Islanders to be disarmed in her state.
According to the Providence Journal, Ajello’s push is supported by the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, doctors, Moms Demand Action, and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, among others.
Groups concerned about Ajello’s push include the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association and the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers, neither of which likes the idea of off-duty officers being disarmed on campuses.
Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence President Jerry Belair spoke in favor of Ajello’s push, saying, “A lunch lady with a Glock isn’t the same situation as a guard here in the State House.” The integral aspect of the argument that Belair is missing is that the children the lunch lady might protect are of no less value than the occupants of the State House.
Why are Ajello and Belair concerned about protecting the one but not the other?
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