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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

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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