“Speaker [Nicholas] Mattiello has been the person that has been standing in the way” of bills that would disarm domestic abusers, said Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts during her recent trip to Providence on Wednesday. Watts was speaking as part of a panel discussion following the showing of the Katie Couric documentary Under the Gun at Brown University.
Earlier in the day, Watts, who founded Moms Demand Action in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, was in Providence to join Representative David Cicilline as he lead a sit-in style event at the Providence Public Safety Complex. That event was to be strictly about national efforts at gun control, but Watts went off script and talked about Speaker Mattiello’s failure to lead on guns in the Rhode Island General Assembly.
“I know here, in your own State House,” said Watts, “you have a speaker, Speaker Mattiello, who has not acted in the wake of gun violence in this country and in fact there have been some domestic violence bills that could have and should have been passed and we hope that he will do the right thing.”
“Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” continued Watts, “Thoughts and prayers without action are empty and they are meaningless.” In June, members of the RI state chapter of Moms Demand Action dramatically left the House Chamber when Mattiello called for prayers and a moment of silence in the wake of the Orlando shootings.
“We are asking Speaker Mattiello to act in the wake of human destruction by gun violence,” said Watts.
You can watch the Under the Gun panel discussion here:
You watch the Cicilline sit-in at the Providence Public Safety Complex here:
And here’s the trailer for Under the Gun: