On May 26, 2022 Sue Larson, from Cumberland, had her rebuttal to a pro-gun letter published in the Valley Breeze. Here we republish her article:

Larson: More guns result in more deaths

In response to “It’s time that Rhode Island adopt Constitutional Carry” (May 19, 2022)

It appears that this writer is parroting the NRA’s favorite talking points, and is unaware of the overwhelming research that shows that more guns in more places result in more gun violence and deaths.

“Constitutional Carry” is a misleading marketing phrase invented by the gun lobby to give a veneer of legitimacy to lax regulations and provide political cover to politicians beholden to the NRA. It is more accurately known as “permitless carry” – a dangerous policy that some states have passed that allow anyone to carry a gun without a permit or a license, a criminal history check or safety training. Research has shown that expansive permitless carry laws are linked to an increase in violent crime. A 2017 study by researchers at Stanford University found that, 10 years after enacting these laws, states experienced a 13 percent to 15 percent increase in violent crimes.

The writer points to Vermont as an example of permitless carry – but that state’s lax gun laws mean that Vermont has the highest rate of gun deaths in New England. Is this really the future we want for Rhode Island?

Due to our strong regulations, Rhode Island ranks 49th in gun death rates in our country and that number means safer R.I. grocery stores, safer R.I. schools and safer R.I. churches and synagogues. But that still means 46 families lose loved ones to gun violence in our state in an average year.

We can and must do better by passing the package of gun bills currently before the R.I. legislature that include the prohibition of high capacity magazines, a mandate for safe gun storage and raising the age for long gun purchases from 18 to 21. The phrase “well-regulated” is a fundamental part of the Second Amendment and the majority of Rhode Islanders and Americans support common sense gun laws.