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Gun violence prevention in action at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence

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The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV) partnered with the Cranston Action Network to host two speakers on preventing gun violence on Thursday evening.

Dr Megan Ranney, is the founder of AFFIRM, a coalition of leading United States medical associations working to curb the tide of indifference to the normalization of gun violence in America through research. Ranney is an emergency room doctor and served as co-chair of Governor Gina Raimondo’s commission on gun violence.

Ranney spoke on her perspective of gun violence as a public health problem rather than as a criminal problem.

“Who’s at risk of being shot?” asked Dr Ranney. “We have young minority men, 15 to 34, firearm injury is the second leading cause of death or children and adolescents in this country, and the leading reason for adolescents to die in this country. It is a disease process that disproportionately affects minorities, and it’s something that we must talk about as such…”

Cranston resident Lisa Pagano, founder of the Lieutenant Jim Pagano Foundation, will speak about how she helped her family rebound after the devastating murder of her brother in 2008 by his neighbor, a concealed carry permit holder. Pagano’s story is heartbreaking.

Lisa Pagano

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After her brother was murdered by a neighbor in full view of the children and parents attending a family birthday party, “the neighborhood children were questioned about all that they saw that day. Five year olds, seven year olds, ten years olds… Kids were traumatized that Sunday and until this day struggle and try to find ways to cope with what they saw…”

Those interest in hearing more from Dr Ranney might want to check out this video of her answering questions from the audience.

Linda Finn, President of the RICAGV

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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