In the heat of a summer night
In the land of the dollar bill
When the state of Rhode Island died
And they talk about it still
When Gina’s greed had grown
She tried to make this state her own
And she called her gang to war
With the forces against the law
Rhode Island’s constitution calls for the General Assembly to meet on the first Tuesday in January, so on a blustery New Year’s Day on the south plaza of the State House, Gov. Gina Raimondo once again took the oath of office, beginning her second term, although I’m not exactly sure which state she thinks she’s the governor of.
For those of you who read my article A Tale of Two Congressmen, listening to Raimondo’s inauguration speech should have left you either scratching your head, laughing, angry or any combination of the three.
This is one of those all too frequent occurrences here in Rhode Island. It’s not just what she said, but what she didn’t say, or as I like to call it Ginaspeak.
“Over four short years, we have made the choices that spurred our economy to grow by leaps and bounds. We’ve changed the way we do economic development, infrastructure investing, and job training. As a result, we’ve been able to put tens of thousands of people back to work and ensure that they can provide for their families and take pride in the work they do,” Raimondo said as she addressed her audience. “We’ve created job training opportunities for the young adult at the start of her career and the middle-aged dad looking for a way out of his low-paying job. We’ve launched a once-in-a-generation investment to make sure that all children will go to schools that are warm, safe, and dry-schools that any parent would be proud to send their kids to. And we’ve made a promise to all of our young adults that they can attend community college tuition-free.”
Got it folks? The economy, economic development, infrastructure, employment and education are all doing great. Everything we’ve done is working. There is nothing to see here. Move along.
So expect more of the same old, same old.
Then came the big tell. “Our work is not done until we lift up those who are struggling the most.” Teach a man to fish Gina, teach a man to fish.
In reality though, isn’t that her and her party’s way? Not to help people to help themselves, but to do it for them. To coddle, console and make everything better. You’re a victim of society. We’ll do it for you because you aren’t capable of doing it yourself.
Ask Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (D) representing District 5 in Providence who tweeted this weekend:
“Most people who offer opinions abt teaching & learning have never been a classroom haven’t taken a course in education or educational psychology have never had a real conversation with teachers or students. Then you should just stop giving opinions U are not an expert #ITeach”
What’s the matter? Haven’t you been listening? They know what’s best for you and your family. You are not the experts. They are.
Back on the South Plaza, Gina began the “ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines” part of our show and threw in the ever popular “Our children’s future and their lives depend on it.” Pity. She should have saved that line for DCYF.
So who is an expert when it comes to our children and school safety and what actually is an expert anyway?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an expert as someone “having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.” So I would pose the same question to Ranglin-Vassell and Raimondo, who I believe have never taken any gun safety courses, been to a range, had a real conversation with law-abiding gun owners, know the difference between an AR-15 and a .22 caliber pistol, spoken to family members who have lost a loved one in a mass shooting and who’ve helped to create bipartisan legislation to actually keep our schools and children safe. All while not making them soft targets.
I had the honor of speaking with Andrew and Hunter Pollack, father and brother respectively of Meadow Pollack who was killed last year during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. Together they worked and were able to pass legislation to keep children safe in Florida schools by allowing teachers who wish to conceal carry to do so but only after rigorous instruction, training and yes, psychological evaluation.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission Report has been released and their recommendation? Armed personnel and Andrew Pollack has since been appointed to Florida’s school board by Governor Rick Scott. During my interview with both Andrew and Hunter, they surprised me by offering to come to Rhode Island to meet and work with Governor Raimondo to help create legislation that will keep our schools, children, teachers, faculty and staff safe. There it is, an offer of help. Take it. Please.
What will Governor Gina Raimondo do? I will wait and see, but I would suggest that Gina take Rep. Ranglin-Vassell’s advice and default to the experts. In the meantime, myself, members of the 2nd Amendment community and everyone else who knows that the responsibility of protecting ourselves and our loved ones is, and always has been ours. Remember that when you find yourself or your family under attack, you are the first responder. We will continue to prepare ourselves for another legislative session in which we must defend our Constitutional and God given rights and pray that shortsighted legislation aimed only at being re-elected in 2020 never becomes law.
I saw the battle with my eyes
Through the streets of the old east side
'Til the last of the good guys
Had surrendered up or died
There was shouting in the street
And the sound of running feet
And I asked someone who said
"All of our rights are dead!"
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