To find the balance between protecting civil rights and the public when it comes to solving the puzzle of how to prevent mass shootings or excessive gun control, we advises a multi-level solution--- including a cultural discussion of the breakdown of the family.

Center Cautions Against Gun Control Focus of Pending Legislative Hearings


March 6, 2018

Center Recommends Comprehensive vs Narrow Approach to Mass Shootings Puzzle

Cultural Implications of the Breakdown of the Family Must Be Part of the Conversation

Providence, RI — In seeking to find a balance between protecting civil rights and protecting the public when it comes to solving the puzzle of how to prevent mass shootings, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity advises that such a multi-level problem requires a multi-level solution, including a cultural discussion of the breakdown of the family.
“It is obvious that the slate of bills to be heard today are largely intended to restrict the capacity of – and access to – certain firearms,” said Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “If we are truly interested in protecting the lives of students, rather than advancing an extreme political agenda, such a focus on guns will not solve the puzzle.”
While the it supports common-sense reforms as well as the underlying concept of proposed new “red flag laws” in Rhode Island, the Center is concerned that civil rights protections may be far too lax and that the bar for the seizure of private property are being set too low, and that cultural considerations are being ignored.
Any new law must set a high enough bar to justify the nullification or restriction of an enumerated constitutional right. “The clear agenda of the progressive-left is for firearms to be regulated as much as possible and confiscated from as many people as possible. This approach will solve little, and they should be called out for seeking exploit recent tragedies to advance their extreme political agenda.”
The Center suggests that a rigorous and comprehensive public debate ensue. It recommends a multi-phase approach that includes:
  • Securing school buildings and classrooms.External and internal physical security should be funded, potentially by public and private dollars, as well as armed personnel, whether professional law enforcement professional or teachers who volunteer. To lessen the burden on tax-payers, the Center recommends consideration a tax-credit program for corporations or individuals that wish to donate money or security devices to public and private schools.
  • Family Prosperity Angle: One clear takeaway from national Family Prosperity Index is that family stability impacts economic and criminal outcomes. What must be openly debated is how the social and cultural implications of a lack of family structure and paternal influence, may lead too many unstable young men free to roam in our society. As a society, how the family unit has become so marginalized, and how we medically or psychologically care for troubled young people, must be re-analyzed.
  • Limiting Access to Firearms for Unfit citizens. Many individuals who suffer from mental illness or who have a criminal background should be permanently or temporarily stripped of their right to legally own a firearm. “Red flag” laws can help to address one aspect of this issue, so long as fair due-process provisions are co-established. Transparency and penalty provisions should be strengthened to discourage individuals from presenting false or overtly frivolous evidence during the process of filing of the petition.
  • Intensified background-check process. A more thorough background-check and permitting process should be conducted when purchasing certain firearms by certain people. Some police reports that do not result in an arrest or conviction should be flagged to appear on such background checks. Similarly, government agencies must be made to share related information with each other.
  • Medical “red flag” Process. Mental health professionals should also be able to “red flag” patients, for background-check purposes only, who are deemed to be a potential risk to themselves or to society, without fear of violating doctor-patient confidentiality laws. State and federal governments should also consider if the re-institutionalization of certain mentally ill patients should be revisited.
  • “Green Light” provision for law enforcement. Law enforcement officials should be afforded greater latitude to preemptively investigate, question, and potentially detain individuals who have threatened to perpetuate public harm, without fear of civil rights violations.
  • Restriction of certain firearms accessories. Devices such as “bump-stocks”, or other devices that gratuitously increase the firing capacity of any firearm, should be  banned.
  • Media Lionization of Murderers. While no new law is suggested, public pressure should encourage media outlets to voluntarily agree not to inadvertently glorify mass murderers by pasting their name and image all over their news feeds.
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