My name is Emma Gauthier and I am writing to you on behalf of The Womxn Project. We are a statewide organization focused on leveraging the power of art, activism, advocacy, and education to advance the principles of reproductive justice, which demands that we all have the right to determine when and how we build our relationships, families, and futures and that we have the ability to live and raise our children with dignity.
As a member of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, The Womxn Project is in strong support of S2653 which would limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds; S2825 which would prohibit open carry in public; and S2637 which would raise the age to 21 to buy long guns and ammo.
According to a study by the American Journal of Public Health, between 1990 and 2017, large-capacity magazines were used in a minimum of 64% of high-fatality mass shootings. We know that high-capacity magazines are responsible for more deaths during mass shootings and that states that limit magazine capacity experience fewer incidents and fatalities. Rhode Island is well overdue to join the states that take action against gun fatalities and mass shootings.
Additionally, passing S2825 would close a legislative loophole in Rhode Island law that allows citizens to openly carry loaded rifles and shotguns in public. Open carry is often used as an intimidation tactic by white supremacists and hate groups. Keeping loaded guns away from the general public will keep our communities safer.
Research overwhelmingly shows that raising the age limit to 21 to purchase long guns and ammunition will help protect not only our communities but our young citizens as well. We know that 18 to 21-year-olds are more likely to engage in risky and aggressive behaviors, and are at a higher risk of suicide. According to an article in the New York Times earlier this month, six of the nine deadliest mass shootings in the United States since 2018 were by people who were 21 or younger. It’s time to keep weapons of war away from those under 21.
Reproductive justice demands we protect our bodily autonomy and the right to raise our children in safe communities. We deserve better than a government that politicizes our access to healthcare and bullies transgender children, but refuses to take action on gun control. The right to parent without fear your children will be killed by gun violence is reproductive justice.
We will always grieve the senseless loss of life to gun violence like the lives taken in Uvalde, in Buffalo, and across our country. A core component of Reproductive Justice is that everyone deserves to live and raise children in safe, healthy environments. The Womxn Project overwhelmingly supports S2637, S2653, and S2825 to implement gun safety reform measures in our state. We urge you to vote YES on these bills.
Contact: Emma Gauthier, [email protected], (401) 400-0061