A March 18th confrontation in the State House rotunda in which Rhode Island Senator Josh Miller (D-Cranston) told off Dan Bidondi, a disruptive and intimidating gun-rights advocate, was caught on tape, with a weirdly edited version now up on YouTube. Senator Miller has issued this statement concerning his choice of words during the exchange;
“At the end of a press conference in which I participated, an individual representing a website notorious for conspiracy theories started berating members of the coalition and intimidating elderly veterans, members of the clergy and victims of violence,” Miller said.
“It quickly became a highly charged atmosphere, which required the presence of the Capitol Police. The individual in question is not new to the State House and is known for his aggressive and intimidating manner. He also was interrupting legitimate members of the media who were attempting to conduct interviews.
“After watching him antagonize an elderly veteran, he swung his camera my way, which produced a very human and guttural reaction. I respect both the Second Amendment and the First Amendment. It is important to note that the individual in question was physically removed from a committee room by the Capitol Police later that evening.
“Regardless of the emotions and atmosphere of the moment, it does not justify the language I used that day. Out of respect for the decorum of the State House and the constituents I represent, I offer my apologies.”
Channel 12 has a report with an edited down video of the exchange, and frankly, Miller comes off as one cool customer. This is what he calls “emotions?” Those years of club management are really paying off. (Channel 12 Reporter Walt Buteau also gives us some background on Bidondi.) The Providence Journal reports that Miller has been receiving death threats.
Go here to learn more about R. I. Senator Josh Miller. Even if you don’t live in his district you benefit from his leadership.
(Photo courtesy of Ryan T. Conaty.)