I got a heads-up from Teny Gross of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence that Rep.Baldelli-Hunt has invited the NRA to present at the State House so she can be better informed about guns. I sent her this letter so she won’t forget the other side of the issue. The Providence Journal has an article about this with comments running in favor of Rep. Baldelli’s invitation- with the exception of this writer.
It would be helpful for readers of this blog to visit ProJo.com if you feel the NRA will not give an unbiased report. Here’s a letter I sent to give more information than you will get from them–
Dear Rep. Baldelli,
I read in the Providence Journal that you have invited the National Rifle Association to present an information session at the State House today.
The NRA will not discuss an important truth about the cost of gun violence to Rhode Islanders. We are all paying.
Each day I drive past a roadside shrine to Joseph Hector, a teenager in my neighborhood who was murdered in a drive-by shooting several years ago. He is one of many young men we have lost. He was a good kid, his family will not get over it. The school children who pass his picture are reminded what kind of world the adults have made for them. This is one kind of damage we all carry from gun violence.
As a nurse I cared for young men who were paralyzed by gunshot wounds. That they will never walk again is not the worst of their suffering. Relentless pain, bedsores down to the bone, urinating through a tube, loss of independence are some consequences of this awful kind of injury.
The cost of care falls on Rhode Island Medicaid. If we could close our eyes to the human tragedy and just count the dollars we could see that a man who should have been working and paying into our state is now going to require lifetime support. And it’s hardly an easy life– it’s just enough to get by.
The first person I met who survived a shooting was a young woman, a rape survivor. She was not too disabled to work- just had half her face paralyzed and a glass eye. She was glad to be alive.
Rhode Island has demanded accountability from the lead paint industry, from the cigarette industry, for the harm they have done to our citizens. Every driver is mandated to pay into the liability that auto accidents incur.
The NRA will lobby hard to make their case that guns are a social good that make us all safe. I urge you to look beyond the marketing and consider the awful cost that is carried by bereaved parents and people harmed by guns. They are in plain sight, if we know to look. The gun manufacturers and gun owners need to take their fair share of the responsibility.
I am not advocating for banning gun ownership, but for responsible and sensible gun laws and accountability from the people who profit from selling guns and enjoy owning them.
Thank you for your consideration,
Nancy Green, RN
I sent a shorter version of this to The Providence Journal and they put it online here. Got flamed for being ’emotional’. Yes, I am.