RICAGV Press Release
The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence Condemns the Rhode Island Democratic Party’s Exclusion on Gun Safety
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9, 2018
CONTACT: Kat Kerwin, Director of Communications
Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence Condemns the Rhode Island Democratic Party’s Exclusion of Gun Safety
Providence, Rhode Island (May 9, 2018) – During Monday evening’s Rhode Island Democratic Party Platform Meeting many platform committee members, called for a Democratic Party with “traditional” and “conservative” values. Despite calls for a “big tent” party, one committee member told advocates of gun safety legislation and other progressive priorities, “If you don’t like it, peel away and create the Social Democratic Party.”
The Rhode Island Democratic party is currently out-of-step with both the national Democratic Party and the views of Rhode Island Democrats. The RICAGV drew language from the National Democratic Party platform when we wrote our ideal language for the Rhode Island Democratic Party to adopt around gun control. The national party platform even explicitly reads “keep weapons of war-such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines off our streets.” Rhode Island Democratic voters overwhelmingly support gun control and gun safety measures. A recent poll conducted by WPRI and Roger Williams University found that an overwhelming 71% of Democrats support banning assault weapons. Other polls have consistently shown strong support for gun safety legislation among Democrats both nationally and in Rhode Island. Those who paint support for gun control as part of a fringe, leftist agenda do the Democratic Party of Rhode Island a grave disservice.
“On Monday many called for a ‘big tent’ Democratic party, but their vision for the party is one in which only their conservative values are allowed to be heard,” said RICAGV President Linda Finn. “Right now the Democratic Party of Rhode Island does not have a big tent. Rather, it has a very small tent where only insiders and corporate lobbyists can gain admittance, and the rest of Rhode Island’s Democrats are locked out and kept voiceless.” Finn continued, “The vast majority of Rhode Island Democrats support gun safety legislation, and the party’s platform needs to reflect that, or the party risks losing an entire generation of young people who will see the party as not reflecting their values.”
Mass shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1% of all yearly gun-related homicides.
Blaming mental health is a convenient diversion for NRA and other corporate lobbyists.
“directly measurable cost of gun violence in Rhode Island exceeds $95 million each year, with a direct annual cost to taxpayers of approximately $19 million.”
Standing Up for Students and Teachers at the State House