Cranston Herald: www.cranstononline.com
To the Editor:
On March 28 the Cranston City Council in a 7 to 2 vote decided to put the safety of our children and grand children in harms way. That night seven councilmen stood with a minority of gun rights advocates and against 10,500 students who attend our schools everyday thinking they are safe.
Current law prohibits anyone from carrying a weapon into our schools and on school grounds except for people who have concealed weapons permits. Before the council was a resolution to support bill (H7243), which would restrict residents, who feel that they have a need for a concealed weapon permit to carry their weapons into our schools, on school property, on school buses, to football and basketball games and to your child’s graduation without the permission or knowledge of the school professionals who have the responsibility for safety of students.
Currently a person with a concealed gun permit can carry the gun anywhere except in our courthouses, airports, State House, and most government buildings. If it makes sense to prohibit carrying concealed weapons in these places, why not in our schools where our most vulnerable citizens come together to learn? Why is it unsafe for politicians, but not for students?
These seven council members decided to vote against what most police professionals believe is a dangerous practice and what the majority of our teachers and school administration believe is dangerous and unnecessary. Why do these seven council members believe that they know more about our children’s safety than our police and school professionals?
Yesterday I asked my neighbor, a retired teacher, if she was aware that teachers, support personnel, visitors, parents and strangers could carry concealed weapons into the school. She thought I was joking and then said, “That’s frightening.”
I hope, despite the lack of caring and wisdom on the part of these seven council members, that H7243 and S2761 will get a fair hearing and pass. If it doesn’t our children will have one more unseen danger to contend with. I want to thank council members Steve Stycos and Richard Santamaria for their support of the resolution and their wisdom and concern for our children.