A Step in the Right Direction


As our nation attempts to make sense of the many missteps that occurred at both the federal and local levels in the wake of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Governor Gina Raimondo should be lauded for her executive order establishing a “red-flag” policy with respect to firearm access. The order is a common-sense, practical step in the right direction, preventing people from obtaining firearms who are deemed a danger to themselves or others. The Rhode Island General Assembly is also expected to consider a bill that would aim at a similar end. These steps constitute necessary and long-overdue measures in advancing reasonable regulations on firearms. There is no doubt that the problems which lead to a devastating tragedy like a school shooting are many. From access to health care for those who struggle with mental health needs, to the pervasive violence in films and video games, to the availability of high-capacity weapons, among many other factors, the problem is no doubt a complex one. But we must insist, as believers and as responsible citizens, that all interested parties refuse to justify inaction on the basis of complexity. As students who survived the shooting in Florida return to school this week, we must resist a return to the status quo and take concrete steps now to ensure the safety of the innocent. Hopefully, Governor Raimondo’s leadership on this pressing issue will be imitated in Florida and throughout our nation. And hopefully, this will signal only the beginning of a new cultural commitment to the keeping of peace and the eradication of violence.