Gee for Senate 35
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Dana Gee | RI Senate District 35
Dana Gee | RI Senate District 35
Dana Gee | RI Senate District 35

Gun Control (cont.): I have three kids in the public school system. We have a community that can afford to share three resource officers at two of our six schools. Our town is starting to embrace ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) for active shooter drills. Teachers do not need guns, they need technology. Our kids need to be taught correct pre-emptive measures. RI has already allocated $2 million for SROs which cost around $100,000 each, so that is 20. We have over 300 schools in RI. Our schools need SRO's, but they are expensive so we need to work on the Safe Schools Act to allow for security officers, which would be much less money, to protect our students.

The shootings in Newtowne, Parkland and Aurora, were carried out by mentally unstable individuals who then found guns. What one earth motivates a mass shooter? We have a gun issue, but bigger than that we have a mental health and parenting issue. Social media and the technology of the internet and gaming has fractured communication in the family unit. When was the last time you sat down with you kids, and asked them what was going on? I am as guilty as the next person. "What are you posting, are you being bullied, are you getting in too deep?"

What happened in Providence at the Career and Technical Academy on the second day of school this past September was horrific. I know that building as I ran by it for years when I lived in the city, and more recently have been there for athletic events with my eldest child. An innocent teen, a bystander, was shot outside his school by another Providence student who purportedly carried the $200 hand gun with him at all times. The school SROs were too late to prevent the shooting. The Safe Schools Act could not have prevented it. Metal detectors would have done nothing. A ban on assault weapons could not have prevented a high-school sophomore from being shot while waiting for his dad to pick him up after school. The gun issue is very complex and we need to address it slowly and smartly, listening to both sides of the aisle.

Cost of Living: Lowering taxes is mission critical for all of us, and here's where we need to be more creative in how we are generating monies to pay for our services. We rely too much on gambling revenues, and now truck tolling. Here is a small, local example of creative financing. The Plum Beach Lighthouse Association in North Kingstown needed to take care of the lighthouse, and came up with the brilliant idea of selling license plates to support that effort. Each plate sold generates $20 toward the upkeep of the Plum Beach light which now sits magnificently to the north of the Jamestown Bridge, fully restored, maintained, and lit because thousands of you have purchased the plate. I worked with this non-profit as the designer of the plate.