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RI Rep William O’Brien wants to arm campus security

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Rhode Island Representative William O’Brien (Democrat, District 54, North Providence), who once introduced a bill to bring back the death penalty, abolished in Rhode Island in 1852, is back with another terrible idea:

“The terrible reality that our society currently faces is that active-shooter situations are a persistent threat and as we have seen, schools are frequently targeted for such vile and tragic acts,” said O’Brien. “It is because of this that I believe police officers at both Rhode Island College (RIC) and Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) should be allowed to carry firearms in order to protect students, faculty, staff and the public. Most, if not all, of these men and women are former law enforcement officers, and all are required to go through the training of the police academy. If the worst were to happen on either campus, I would much prefer that the campus police officers be trained, prepared, and equipped with firearms rather than having to approach an active-shooter with a pair of handcuffs and a prayer.”

When I launched a petition to tell O’Brien how bad his death penalty idea was, O’Brien took to Facebook and claimed that I was promoting violence. Fortunately one of his own constituents set him straight:


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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com