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This is part of a multi-part reflection I've been doing following the death of my friend, Mark Baumer . There's nothing graphic i...

Don't Take Your Guns to Town, Boys (On the Bus).

What are some of the quality-of-life issues that lead people to not take transit? 

This RIPTA ad explaining the rules of being on the bus offers a minor example of how transit agencies disrespect their riders. A little respect is worth three streetcars as far as I'm concerned, in terms of turning around the negative image of buses:

Now look, I don't mean to be contrary. I would appreciate if my fellow RIPTA riders left their guns and knives at home, thank you very much. But is it necessary to say so? I'm pretty sure that state laws would apply here. Saying so in the bus rules is overkill.

By the way, just a point of information: Rhode Island is the safest state in the country for gun violence on a per capita basis. (Fuck Yeah! We're Number 1 for something good!) But we suck in the realm of drunk driving, especially as compared with other Northeastern states. Could convincing some of those lushes to take the bus help? Maybe don't send subliminal messages about how they'll get shot (and/or blown up) on the bus and they'll think about it.

Do you walk into a coffee shop and get reminded to please put your guns away, sir?

Do you go to a shopping mall and get that treatment?

On the one case when I went to the DMV in Rhode Island, I recall feeling surprised that I wasn't virtually frisked up and down as I entered the building, because I have to empty my pockets like a criminal when I go to update my food stamps information. So is it safe to say that we don't remind drivers to keep their guns (and flammable materials) at home (some of them don't)?

New rule: RIPTA should only remind us of courtesy suggestions that aren't covered by the criminal code. Anything else is rude.

Now let's lighten up the mood.



  1. "I'm pretty sure that state laws would apply here." You would think so. But actually, no. Rhode Island has some pretty nutty gun laws--largely because the NRA controls our gun policy. As long as you have a license, it is actually totally legal to carry a gun on a public bus. It's only administrative rules stopping you.

    You could even open-carry an assault weapon with a 100-round magazine if you wanted to.

  2. That's a good point, Sam, and I stand corrected.

    (We should fix that law).