Ellen Kellner had an opinion piece published in the Valley Breeze on April 21, 2022, supporting the bills that would ban assault weapons. Here we republish her piece:
Ban assault weapons to reduce gun deaths
Louis Klarevas, a University of Massachusetts researcher, studied incidents and deaths from mass shootings before, during, and after the Assault Weapons Ban, a federal law in effect from 1994 to 2004. His data revealed that the number of gun massacres dropped 37 percent and the number of gun massacre deaths fell by 43 percent for the 10-year period that the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect.
When the ban was lifted in 2004, the number of incidents and deaths tripled in the next 10 years. Although Rhode Island has yet to experience a mass shooting, recently an armed perpetrator fired an assault weapon with high-capacity magazine on a Providence police officer. With more of these incidents occurring, police officers are forced to upgrade their arsenals to match the fire power of criminals. How will it stop? We can stop it now by urging our legislators to pass S2224 and H6615 in Rhode Island this session.
By enacting these laws we will join our neighboring states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, which banned assault weapons 27, 23, and eight years ago respectively. In November we can also vote into office candidates who support common sense gun laws to improve our chances of enacting legislation in the 2023 session to keep our community safer.