Newtown CT

Mark Barden

Mark Barden, the father of one of the schoolchildren killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings will address the Rhode Island Coalition against Gun Violence on Thursday, as the coalition marks its first anniversary.

Barden has become a national advocate for reducing gun violence. He says he still struggles to deal with the death of his son, Daniel, nearly two years after the Sandy Hook tragedy.

Rhode Island's Department of Education says it has reviewed school safety plans from every district in the state, after legislation passed in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings.

RIDE Spokesman Elliot Krieger says there was a fairly wide range of quality among the plans.

In the year since the Newtown tragedy, RIDE has worked with the State Department of Emergency Management on recommendations for school districts to beef up their security procedures. The Rhode Island Association of School Committees says they are reviewing the report.  

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Voters in Exeter will go to the polls this Saturday to decide whether to keep or kick out four of the five members on the town council. The recall election was sparked by a request from four councilors who voted to ask the General Assembly to change how gun permits are issued in Exeter. Although the legislature never took up the request, advocates for gun rights responded by organizing the recall. The fight in Exeter shows how attempts to change local gun laws face sharp opposition.

In the aftermath of last year’s Newtown school shootings, Rhode Island politicians leaped on the gun control bandwagon. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what’s happened since.

After last December’s horrific school massacre in Connecticut, political leaders from the White House to the Rhode Island State House vowed to crack down on gun violence. Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed all advocated measures to advance gun control in our state.

A legislative task force on gun safety is slated to hold its first meeting this afternoon Thursday at the Statehouse.

Assembling the gun safety task force was one of the few steps taken by the General Assembly in response to the school shooting last year in Newtown, Connecticut. But all the members weren’t named until last month, shortly after media reports that the task force hadn’t yet met.

The Obama Administration has released new advice about school safety procedures in the wake of the mass shooting at Newtown Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Rhode Island lawmakers will consider legislation Wednesday aimed at increasing safety measures in public schools. The bills, now in the House and Senate Education Committees, would require school and law enforcement officials to work together to look for weaknesses in building security and craft new school safety plans.

North Providence High School

The town of North Providence is planning a major upgrade to school security. It’s the result of the schoolroom massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

State Police Cpt. James Manni and NRA Lobbyist Darin Goens taking part in a briefing with lawmakers at the Statehouse
Ian Donnis / RIPR

A National Rifle Association lobbyist says Rhode Island already has enough laws to prosecute gun-related crimes.

School safety procedures dominate the agenda today at the State Senate Education Committee. Lawmakers say the discussion will feature State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, State Police Superintendent Col. Steven O'Donnell and officials from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.

The oversight hearing follows the shooting last month at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school that left 26 students and teachers dead.

Connecticut’s legislature is also slated to review school safety standards in the wake of the tragedy.

In a statement dated yesterday and released to the media today, University of Rhode Island president David Dooley has disassociated the university from a series of tweets made by history professor Erik Loomis -- including one saying he wanted the NRA president Wayne LaPierre's "head on a stick" -- in the aftermath of Newtown:

December 18, 2012

University Community:

Governor Lincoln Chafee, as part of a statement following today’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, says RI officials have offered their assistance to Connecticut. Here’s the governor’s full statement:

The word “tragedy” is used often these days, but it is difficult to think of a more truly tragic turn of events than what occurred in Newtown, Connecticut earlier today.

On behalf of all the people of Rhode Island, our most sincere condolences and sympathy are with the families of the victims of this horrendous crime.