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Editorial & Opinion

Representative Joe Almeida: The violence must stop



I want to condemn this recent tragic loss of life in this most recent shooting in Providence. A 15-year-old boy named William Parsons sadly lost his life outside of a high school, of all places; somewhere that should represent comfort and security. My prayers go out to the victim’s family.

There is absolutely no excuse for such a horrific event. This is another family that has to grieve for a child whose life was cut short far too soon. This happens all too often in Providence as of late, and this must stop! Violence begets violence. We must overcome senseless tragedies like this by working together and shunning such viciousness which is ripping our community apart.

Prayers and heartfelt condolences are simply not enough though; we need action. I will continue to work together with the federal, state, and local leaders in my community to enact comprehensive reforms that make Providence and Rhode Island that much safer, to ensure that this type of violence is a thing of the past!

There is no magic solution, but we need action. The time has come to for Rhode Island to enact a comprehensive package that disincentives all types of gun violence. I support increasing state funding for after-school programs, an assault weapons ban, increased mental health services, expanded mental health screenings, and laws that make it mandatory to keep firearms under lock and key in a household. Also, we need to be able to quickly detect where criminals are getting their guns and hold whoever gives them these weapons accountable too.

While all these are important, it also falls on all of us to take care of our brothers, sisters, and children. We cannot allow violence like this to continue unabated. We are one community, a diverse community, but a community nonetheless that needs to prevent this tragic loss of life.  We are all in this together and I will not stop fighting to ensure every person in our state is safer and these senseless shootings no longer occur.

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As a father, a member of this community, and Providence’s state representative, I will not stop until this horrific violence ceases!

Mr Joe Almeida is the Rhode Island State Representative for the 12th District representing South Side and Washington Park in Providence.