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Letter: Connecticut Must Set 'Gold Standard' for Gun Regulation

'There's no reason and no excuse, in the wake of Newtown, and with the world watching, for Connecticut's lawmakers not to show the boldness and courage,' the letter writer states.

To the Editor:  

I'm sick of hearing the tedious complaint from opponents of new common sense stricter gun regulations in Connecticut that "Connecticut already has some of the toughest gun-regulations in the nation." True, when you compare Connecticut to say, Alaska, Arizona, Utah, and indeed most of the other states, where gun regulation is either virtually nonexistent or totally feckless, some people may be deluded into thinking that we do have tough gun regulations. But to declare that Connecticut's gun-regulation laws are already tough is like saying we have the best-looking car in the junkyard.  

Here's the real picture: The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issues a scorecard which ranks states on the basis of laws that can prevent gun violence, with 100 being the top score. California ranks best with an 81. Next is New Jersey with 72, followed by Massachusetts and New York with scores of 65 and 62 respectively. (I expect New York will rise dramatically the next time the rankings come out.) Connecticut is the fifth best state, but because our current gun regulations are ineffective and flawed our score is a pathetic 58. Last time I was in school 58 was an "F".  

There's no reason and no excuse, in the wake of Newtown, and with the world watching, for Connecticut's lawmakers not to show the boldness and courage to enact new gun regulation legislation that sets the "gold standard" for gun regulation laws in the nation. Anything less would be unacceptable and an embarrassment. With the gun lobby, and people who think that doing nothing is just fine breathing down the necks of our legislators, we'll soon see if there are any "profiles in courage" in Hartford.  

And to opponents of tough gun regulation, please don't start screaming "Second Amendment!" No one wants to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms. It's just that in order to do all we can to curb gun violence, common sense regulation is, well, common sense.

Richard Ross

Susan February 18, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Sen Ed Meyer of Madison wants to ban all guns that hold over ONE round.
Susan February 18, 2013 at 06:22 PM
http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/14322-gun-owners-refuse-to-register-under-new-york-law New Yorkers are non complying with illegal gun laws by the millions. Heres the link; Our politicians must remember WE THE PEOPLE give them power. And we will surely take it away. A law that is looked upon as unconstitutional and ignored by all is not really a law.
Thomas Paine February 18, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Here's my review of the proposal so many in CT consider to be the "gold standard" which turns out to be as valuable as lead: http://wilton.patch.com/blog_posts/cagvmarch-for-change-legislative-proposal-a-critical-review
Thomas Paine February 18, 2013 at 06:41 PM
And yet Susan, that would have NO IMPACT on the leading cause of gun death, SUICIDE.
Ajack February 26, 2013 at 09:32 PM
It is a fact that governments can and do go rogue. I am for forcing our insurance companies to better treat the mentally unstable and ill in this state. The young man who committed this crime was flat out crazy. People knew about him and did nothing. He was a ticking time bomb. If he had used a knife or a bomb, would that have made it any better? Get our insurance industry to treat people better. Anyone who works for the medical industry knows how difficult it is to get someone treated ( don't want to pay costs) and why. Weapons are a necessary fact of life. If our government ever went rogue , and it could ( drones allowed in the killing U.S. citizens?) I for one would want the citizens of this country to be able to defend themselves . I am for giving up these style weapons the day the U.S. Government agrees to mothball all weapons like this on U.S. territory. Then and only then should anyone ever give up there right to bear arms. We fought a war over a tyrannical government , why do we want to set ourselves up for another? Identify the crazy people , stop allowing guns in their hands and watch the people who are 'supposedly' our servants in government . You don't want them sipping the power too much. It'll get them drunk.
Ajack February 26, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Well thought out. Nice point.
Winston Bernard IV February 27, 2013 at 12:36 AM
A LITTLE GUN HISTORY: In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. >From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated. China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated. Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million. The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.With guns, we are 'citizens'. Without them, we are 'subjects'.
R. Ludlowe February 27, 2013 at 02:26 AM
I think you could also cite 'exterminations' in history when gun control was not present, right? Native Americans? In your examples above you use the term 'gun control'. Can you elaborate? Does that term in your examples mean 'collections' and 'banning'? Or does it mean that one might have to register their legal firearms and follow rules similar to the ones today that are not being effectively executed?
Abe Froman February 27, 2013 at 02:37 AM
Ludlowe, you state that current laws aren't being "effectively executed." Four questions for you: 1) What do you mean by "effectively executed?" 2) What current laws aren't being "effectively executed?" 3) What makes you think that new laws will be any more likely to be "effectively executed?" 4) Have you ever tried to purchase a gun in CT?
John Jameson February 27, 2013 at 02:54 AM
I think a large part of the problem is that every state's regulations are different. Read up on what law enforcement refers to as the "iron pipeline" aka I-95. Straw buyers go down the highway to southern states with looser regulations and legally buy guns --multiple guns -- and come back to Connecticut, or New York, or New Jersey and sell those guns on the streets. So, wouldn't uniform regulations regarding background checks and waiting times help reduce this? This is, according to law enforcement agencies, the way the majority of criminals get their guns. Also, allow the ATF to conduct annual inspections of gun dealers and manufacturers to make sure their inventory on hand matches up with their sales. How would either of these things infringe on your 2nd amendment rights??
R. Ludlowe February 27, 2013 at 03:47 AM
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I don't think the current ATF processes and procedures are even close to being sufficient when it comes to sales regulation. I should have said that.
R. Ludlowe February 27, 2013 at 03:48 AM
You'll never get an answer to that question I bet.
Abe Froman February 27, 2013 at 12:37 PM
John, correct me if I'm wrong, but the Brady Bill already requires background checks for gun purchases. As a national law, it covers all states the same. As for straw purchases, those are already illegal, so do you think making them more illegal will solve any issues? The problem is that criminals will always be criminals. As for your inventory check question, that would depend on how the ATF would conduct those searches. But how can anyone take the ATF seriously after their checkered past? Look how they handled Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the more recent Fast & Furious program--which actually encouraged straw purchases of guns that they knew would be handed over to Mexican drug lords. That program alone flies in the face of what you said the main problems are.
Abe Froman February 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM
So what do you suggest then, Ludlowe? Please spell out your suggestions.
John Jameson February 27, 2013 at 01:28 PM
Do all states have a waiting period? Why is it easier to buy guns in some other states? Can I go down to, say, Virginia, and buy 20 handguns legally right now? Who's to say I'm not buying them for myself? If, at that point, I'm following VA laws, there's nothing VA can do, is there? It would be up to CT police to catch me when I return home and sell those guns, because until I do, no laws broken, correct? I could do this every week, because those national background checks cannot, by law, be kept in a data base for more than 24 hours. No one would know that I was going and buying guns every week. There was a very in-depth, and interesting article on Fast and Furious in, I believe, Fortune magazine. What I took away from it was not that the program was to "encourage" straw purchases but rather to track them. However, AZ law did not allow the ATF to actually make arrests of the straw buyers, if I recall correctly.
R. Ludlowe February 27, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Sausage King, you pretty much spelled it out. ATF is a joke, but only because we have let it become one. It needs a revamp, it needs to be empowered, it needs an actual leader that both sides will agree on and work with. The ATF needs to be empowered to check the inventories and curb the illegal channels of gun distribution. Don't you agree? Or are you saying we don't need it at all, because guns are not a problem?
Edmund Burke February 27, 2013 at 02:13 PM
John, -Federal law prohibits the sale of a handgun to a non-resident of the state of sale -Most firearms sold across state lines must pass through a licensed dealer in the final buyer's state -Virginia does not have a waiting period or licensing/registration for guns So you can not legally purchase handguns and resell them in CT or any other state. Federal law requires a criminal record check, I believe Virginia has stricter no-sale rules than Ct
Alrick H Man IV February 27, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Remember Donald Ben Franklin was a traitor
Edmund Burke February 27, 2013 at 02:35 PM
John, I dont know where you that article on Fast and Furious but it is completely wrong. The ATF actively encouraged straw sales( the gun dealers were told to allow the sales which they knew were illegal) and supposedly were going to track the weapons into Mexico. They failed to track the weapons. AZ law cannot protect you from Federal Law which the ATF enforces.
Donald Borsch Jr. February 27, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Here's the official stance on assault weapons per CT law, and the list of banned assault weapons as of 1993. http://wr2a.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/the-official-ct-assault-weapons-ban-1993/
Alrick H Man IV February 27, 2013 at 03:43 PM
if this is the case how are they selling bushmaster rifles in the state?
Thomas Paine February 27, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Alrick - The 1993 bill named many full-auto &some semi-auto rifles and pistols. This list originated in California's Roberti-Roos Assualt Weapons Control Act of 1989, the "patient zero" of such restrictive gun laws. Candidly, these lists were nonsensical exercise since all manufacturers had to do was change a model's name and it MIGHT then be legal. That is why they included the evil features language so that they can try to capture a broader array of firearms. Except, these cosmetic features do not change the functionality of a semi-auto firearm. The full-auto weapons listed were NOT even legal then given they were restricted by the 1934 NFA. It remains a mystery as to what "Bushmaster Auto Rifle and Auto Pistol" were supposed to be since Bushmaster never used such names in a production firearm. This is likely a sign of ignorance on the part of the Democrat staffer who first penned such a list. If you care, prior to Bushmaster making their own version of the Armalite Rifle (AR=Armalite Rifle, the original designer of this mechanism), Bushmaster offered another rifle to the military that came with a wood stock that was painted black (you know, because black is scarier than walnut). Some versions were available with a folding stock and there was a short-barreled "pistol" which shared the same basic design as the rifle. In today's world, it would have looked like a short bull-pup style rifle, not a AR-15. Lanza used a Bushmaster XM-15 which was legal in CT.
Donald Borsch Jr. February 27, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Alrick, Thomas Paine answered well enough, but I would like to point out that the anti-gun rights advocacy groups have been screaming about the Bushmaster AR15 so loudly for so long that people are simply believing it without researching it. The thing is, I have no problem with linking the CT laws for all to see because they only strengthen and bolster the pro-gun position in this current debate. Nancy Lanza broke no laws as written thus far. Obviously her demented so did. But up until the moment he killed her, everything about her situation was above board and within the wholeness of legality according to CT law.
Donald Borsch Jr. February 27, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Sorry, meant to say, "...her demented son..." Dang these fingers.
Donald Borsch Jr. February 27, 2013 at 04:19 PM
TP, Yes, black is scarier than walnut, until the time someone uses a walnut-stocked .308 to shoot someone with at a great distance. Then walnut stocks will be vilified. Of course.
Thomas Paine February 27, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Also, CT has some of the toughest background check requirements in the USA. The state has its own system that ties into the federal NICS as well as other systems. CT also keeps those records for 20 years while the Federal system deletes the check data after several days. As you likely know, the gunshow portion of the "gunshow loophole" also does not exist in CT as all transfers that take place within the confines of the show have to take place through a FFL and after a check. Sadly, CT and no other state has a formal and effective system for LE to look into anyone who fails a retail background check. If such a system existed, Lanza might have been deterred from his horror since he failed a check when he wanted to buy a gun a week or so before the attack. If there were a requirement that detectives have to knock on the door of anyoen who fails a background within 48 or 72 hours of such a failure, maybe Mrs. Lanza would have been put on guard to her son's plan. Maybe not but such a system can deter some who are faced with a badge. Since the Brady Act was put into place, over 1.6mm people have been prevented from buying firearms due to a failed federal background check. No data on how many more failed more stringent state-level checks as in CT but I am sure there are plenty. The point is, the current system can work if allowed to.
Alrick H Man IV February 27, 2013 at 07:18 PM
well thank you for the clarification. I do remember sometime in the late nineties that if you had a "assault weapon" already you could send a picture to the state police of you holding it as proof of registretion under the grandfather clause. I did not
Alrick H Man IV February 27, 2013 at 07:20 PM
well thank you for the clarification. I do remember sometime in the late nineties that if you had a "assault weapon" already you could send a picture to the state police of you holding it as proof of registretion under the grandfather clause. I did not
Abe Froman February 28, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Ludlowe, no I don't believe that guns are the problem. I believe that lack of morality is the basis of our problems. In other words, you can't legislate morality. As for the ATF, as a government agency it's inherently handicapped from functioning efficiently from the start. Since it's a government agency, there is always going to be a political element involved in it and therefore instead of acting efficiently and effectively, it will operate to meet the desires of the politician(s) of the day.
R. Ludlowe March 05, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Moving in the right direction: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-senate-gun-measure-20130304,0,5616625.story

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