Rhode Island Faces Renewed Anti-Gun Attacks

Rhode Island Capitol John Peterson
With the 2022 Midterm Elections coming, the new wave of anti-gun legislation has begun. IMG John Peterson

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- With the 2022 Midterm Elections coming, a new wave of anti-gun legislation has begun. If you aren’t from or don’t go to Rhode Island, see below why this affects you as a gun owner. Once again this state has been chosen by national-level anti-gun groups as what they see as one of their ‘easy targets’.

I got to view twenty-three new firearms-related Senate bills in progress there, many of them very anti-civil rights and one of them a new Assault Weapon Ban and gun registration scheme for any grandfathered firearms. Another bans bringing shotguns and rifles anywhere in public.  In the House of Representatives, a similar slate of anti-gun bills are in play. The number of these bills and their specific language should alarm everyone.

As has been said by a famous republican and former NRA member, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

I ventured to Rhode Island on Wednesday and Thursday this week to investigate this.

Many hundreds of citizens came to the state capitol to both show support for their rights and testify in front of their House and Senate Judiciary Committees in their ornate state capitol. A movement was organized a few years back in Rhode Island to unite pro-Second Amendment citizenry back when the knee-jerk reactions to the 2017 Las Vegas Massacre and 2018 Parkland shootings occurred.

Rhode Island Capitol interior John Peterson
Pro-gun group members from Rhode Island (dressed in yellow) made an impressive showing at the Capitol IMG John Peterson

Rhode Islanders began a historic Second Amendment Sanctuary Town movement for which they had a very high success rate in getting a large percentage of their towns to vote in favor of it. 100 to 300 citizens would show up for town meetings to testify, for towns that had only enough room for 20 people in their town hall. It was quite the sight to behold!

Others around the country followed their lead.

This week, they swung into action again, appearing at the State House in Providence in a sea of yellow shirts, emblazed with all things 2A. The umbrella organization for this event is the Federated Rhode Island Sportsmen’s Club. They organized the other pro-2A groups and manned an information table at the State House, giving out the needed paperwork so that attendees could be heard by their elected officials. This is how you are seen and heard when defending your rights. This approach was very effective from 2017 to 2019.  Back then, thousands of them swarmed the State House in peaceful protest. And to be heard by their elected officials.

When this latest round of bills came, the Rhode Island 2A community was ready to react.

I was very proud to hear so many hours of testimony by so many gun owners who love their country and their freedom.  It was inspiring.  Many did much research and showed up “armed” with compelling information to provide to the senators and representatives.  The testimony of myself and others can be viewed here.

I interviewed a number of the participants in this large showing at the statehouse. So many pro-gun Rhode Islanders showed up, that there was not enough room in the hearing rooms. So, there were large rooms set up with live video feeds and hundreds of chairs so that all could see the testimony.

Rhode Island Politicans John Peterson
Rhode Island politicians discuss pending anti-gun bills. IMG John Peterson

One of the most compelling and impassioned testimonies was given by a patriot named Eric B. Bieler of East Greenwich, RI.  He had witnessed a murder committed by an offender with a criminal past and who had recently been in custody. Yet, this offender had been arrested at a party in possession of an illegal firearm and was not charged. He was let go free inexplicably, to then kill someone in Rhode Island less than two weeks later.   We got to hear more than five hours of this type of testimony.

Why is this important to all American gun owners?

What they do in one state, they try to repeat in others.

Rhode Island has been one of the states usually chosen by the national level anti-gun groups to attempt new legislation and infringement.  The anti-gunners see Rhode Island and a group of other small states as “easy targets,” the first “dominos” that they can make their gains in as part of a nationwide wave of anti-gun laws.  What these highly funded national-level groups do, is provide precise bill language and other information to legislators in the states that they target, coordinating with their operatives in other states, using the same bill language and goals.  This is not state-level activism and lobbying. This is highly funded, centralized, national-level coordination by anti-civil liberties organizations. They recruit operatives & activists to testify.

This is why you need to watch what is happening in Rhode Island.

Bloomberg backed Moms Demand Action speak John Peterson
Bloomberg-backed Moms Demand Action was outnumbered by pro-gun attendees. IMG John Peterson

Because it is likely coming to your state this year. You can count on that happening especially if the anti-gunners do as they have done for decades, waiting for the next mass shooting to exploit, blaming and creating legislation that punishes those who are innocent while achieving their goals.

A threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere.

The upcoming 2022 Midterm Elections are the anti-gunners last chance.

The democrat party, much of which is virulently anti-gun, is very scared about what could happen this fall in the U.S. Congressional elections, especially as the margin of Republicans vs. Democrats is one of the smallest in history, and they are dead scared about losing their majority. They know if that happens, it will render them in a very weakened state to pass any legislation that they want.  Therefore, they are now in the midst of gearing up for what could be the largest assault on firearms civil rights and the Second Amendment that we have seen from 1993 to 1994 when the Federal Assault Weapons Ban came to be. Many states attempted to mirror this.

It is important to know that nearly all of the language in those anti-gun bills, misleading and fictionalized talking points, and propaganda techniques used all come from the same few national-level anti-gun groups. Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg vowed to spend 500 million dollars on gun control.  Guess where that money is being spent now?

The anti-gun group that he founded, Everytown For Gun Safety, as well as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, were there and prepared.

I met some of them at the Rhode Island State House this week.  Although they were small in number (maybe 10 to 15 total in the building), there was a presence and much testimony given by them.  They came ready. To include some of the same previously debunked and misleading talking points used for many years. They will also conduct gaslighting, projection, and other propaganda techniques in testimony and advocacy.

overspill area Rhode Island John Peterson
So many pro-gunners showed up that they had to create three over-fill areas. IMG John Peterson

This includes the claim by one member of Moms Demand Action who testified last night. She made a claim that she had been harassed by the pro-gun folks in the yellow shirts. I did some asking around, and no one knew anything about it. The entire event in the State House was very peaceful and orderly. Albeit, the good guys outnumbered the bad guys by about 30 to 1.

But, don’t let numbers fool you. They came ready.

In fact, the ratio of anti-gun testimony versus pro-gun testimony was alarmingly high, despite the high number of pro-gun attendees at the capitol. This is because the highly funded national-level groups send in their same few operatives to testify.  They are very well organized and funded, no doubt about it.

Although there were some who testified were supposedly “pro-gun,” a few made some statements in their testimony that was alarming to me, as they were in favor of certain restrictions.  We should all be on the lookout for those claiming to be pro-Second Amendment, who could in fact be agent provocateurs or working with or for the other side.  There are some in the firearms industry, believe it or not.  There are some forming supposedly pro-2A groups that have hidden agendas that include compromise and much more.

What I have seen on my fourth trip to Rhode Island to watch their true patriots rising up to defend their rights, is quite remarkable and an example for all American gun owners to follow.

Many of you might think that such a “deep blue” state, in New England albeit, was “gone for dead” as far as firearms civil rights are concerned. But, not so.

This was the first of the thirteen colonies to step up and denounced the British Crown. They were the first to oppose with force tyranny before the Battle of Lexington and Concord occurred.  They have signers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution who lived here.

“Little Rhoddy” has led the way in our country’s history before, and they are back at it again.

Watch what is happening in Rhode Island. Is it a sign of what is coming?

About John Peterson:

John Peterson is a retired US Army Special Forces combat veteran who is now a contractor and instructor and Chief Instructor of IPI, teaching self-defense firearms, instructor development, and other skill sets all over the USA. His firearms background includes working full-time for three years each as Firearms & Tactics Instructor at the Smith & Wesson Academy, then as the full-time Senior Instructor of the SIG Sauer Academy, then for the federal government. He has served many times overseas in the national defense sector.

He has also been a Private Investigator, Antiterrorism & Driving Instructor, and in various intelligence assignments in the Global War On Terror.

He is a board member for two national-level organizations focused on terrorism and patriotism.

He is a member of twelve 2A/RKBA pro-gun organizations, with five of those being life memberships, nine at the state level, putting his money where is mouth is. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Army Sniper Association, Special Forces Association, and Special Operations Association.

He can be found on most social media. IPI is at @SaferAmericans on Instagram, Twitter, GETTR, and Facebook.