Last May I went to the Rhode Island State House to lobby for legislation that I believed might help to protect our school children from the atrocities of gun violence plaguing our nation’s schools. One piece of legislation that I supported was the repeal of concealed weapon carry on school grounds by those with a permit. I was able to contact my local state representative for District 30, Mr. Anthony Giarrusso, who met me with a congenial manner.  

When I explained my objection to Rhode Island’s then being among the few states which allowed concealed weapons carry into schools, he responded that none of these states had so far experienced a school shooting incident. I was surprised at what I considered an illogical application of cause-and-effect relationships.

He went on to say (as I paraphrase) that some of the finest people he knows in this building (referring to the State House) carry concealed weapons.  I must admit that my response now went beyond surprise to mild shock.

I believe it is my duty to inform voters about Mr. Giarrusso’s perspective concerning gun safety and to remind them that his opponent Justine Caldwell’s stance on gun safety in schools strongly supports recommendations of the Rhode Island Coalition against Gun Violence.

John Hennedy
Emeritus Professor of English, Providence College, and USMC veteran