Governor Gina M. Raimondo signed a proclamation officially declaring today as Gun Violence Awareness Day in Rhode Island. She was joined by Erica Keuter, a survivor of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting and Diana Garlington, who lost her daughter to gun violence in 2011. “Gun violence has taken thousands of innocent lives, destroyed families and devastated communities across the country,” said Governor Raimondo. “It’s past time for our leaders to act, and I’m continuing to fight for common-sense gun safety measures here in Rhode Island.”
Governor Raimondo has long been a champion of gun safety efforts. In 2017, she partnered with activists and community leaders to pass a bill that removes guns from the hands of domestic abusers. Last year, she became the first governor to sign a Red Flag executive order after the horrific school shooting in Parkland, and subsequently worked with the General Assembly to pass corresponding Red Flag legislation.
“I knew I had to speak up and tell my story. It’s hard, but it would be a hundred times harder to sit back and stay silent,” said Diana Garlington of Providence in a press release, whose daughter Essence was a victim of gun violence in 2011.
“I saw things that I never want anybody else to see, especially my children,” said Erica Keuter, an East Greenwich native and survivor of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. “Thoughts and prayers are not enough for survivors and victims anymore.”
Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey unveiled a new strategy Tuesday that she said will help the state’s 78 coastal communities work together to better cope with the challenges brought on by climate change.