I am a Newtowner

I wrote this the day after traveling to Hartford for the March for Change demonstration at the capitol.

This is a post from February 15, 2013 from my blog Six Loose Cannons


Those words used to mean nothing to most people, except the few of us that enjoy the pastoral New England countryside and chose to live in Newtown and its surrounding communities. “Newton, Connecticut” is what President Obama mistakenly called our town the first time he uttered the words on television.That was December 14th, 2012. He has not mispronounced it since.The shock of the Shooting at Sandy Hook was felt throughout the country, indeed throughout the world.

Today I piled into an old-fashioned school bus with fellow Newtowners to March For Change at the capital. In the time since the shooting things have quieted down and we, as a community, have started to act out the routine of our lives. In the beginning, the horror story consumed us. We worked hard to make sense out of a senseless act that cost so many people so much. Each day it felt like we would never recover. We all just wanted to do something to help the grieving families that lost loved ones, the children and teachers that survived, the first responders, our fellow Newtowners… The truth is we will never truly recover the old selves we were before 12/14.

Today was about moving forward and what we can do to help.Call your elected officials and demand change. One suggestion I heard today was to call every Friday at 9:30. Ask them what they are doing to make sure that legislation to require that all guns must be registered (we have to register our cars) and that handgun owners must pass a handgun safety test in order to be licensed to own one.Don’t vote for someone unless they support the effort to make our cities, states and country safe.Finally, choose love in any given situation. How does this relate to gun control? Without it, we are doomed. It is the opposite of fear and that the person who pulls the trigger is riddled by some form of fear. Maybe it sounds like a bunch of fluff to you but give it a try.

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Jeff February 28, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Sam, please excuse any reference to Dogs. I'm a big fan. I'll admit that Pit Bulls used to make me uncomfortable. The media painted an ugly picture of them. When I became more educated about the breed, that changed. An American Staffordshire Terrier is a wonderful dog and looks just like a pit. My nephew has one and he's one of the sweetest dogs I've ever meet. Wouldn't hurt a flea.
Jeff February 28, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Dear Ann, Thank you for the kind wishes. Hopefully you took a moment to investigate my claims that a safety course and test is required along with the NICS check and form 4473. It took me over 3 months to obtain my CCW. I never complained about 3 trips to the Newtown police office, the class, submitting to two sets of fingerprints and finally a trip to the state police barricks for my photo id. I understood your commentary. As a middle age, college educated, white male, I had never experienced prejudice. That all changed after the horrific events that transpired on 12/14. It's not a pleasant feeling. I admit I'm frustrated how the media has framed this issue. Guns, hunting, fishing and the outdoors are a passion of mine, along with my son. All I can do is try to point out the facts and hope people don't rush to judgement. I commented to Sam about dogs. In an effort to back away from the gun issue, let me stick with that subject. "There is no such thing as a bad dog, only bad owners." I believe this to be true. I feel the same about guns. Good luck with your book
Paula Antolini March 01, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Anne Marie it is not as simple as you are making it and to focus only on the Gun Violence issue and not the Mental Health, or School Safety and Security Issues is like asking to learn to drive a car but not how to use the brakes. You cannot demand full speed ahead without including all issues at hand. It is three complicated issues (or more) that need focus, not just one. The gun issue itself is also completely complex and requires intelligent conversation to weigh all the views, pros and cons etc. and plan a sensible solution towards safety. Let's start with how to get the guns away from criminals, how to stop illegal guns from being sold or entering the country, how to prevent mentally deficient individuals from having access to or using guns, how to insure people keep guns safely stored, how to make our schools more secure, and how to best protect students and faculty in an emergency. These are just some issues, there are many. By the way, to suggest people jam the legislators' phone lines every Friday at 9:30 is not a good approach. Please know that legislators are usually very willing to meet with an individual or group to discuss all sides of an issue. Have you tried contacting any?
Anne Marie Cannon March 01, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Paula, Thanks for the comment. I'm not sure where you got the idea that I think this is a simple problem. I agree that gun control is only one aspect of it. Your analogy about the car is perfect. You obviously have a lot of desire to see things change. that desire multiplied by the action you appear to be willing to take to tackle the issue gives me hope that things will change for the better and we will see our gun death statistics start to come down.
Paula Antolini March 02, 2013 at 02:49 AM
@Anne: "make sure that legislation to require that all guns must be registered" "handgun owners must pass a handgun safety test in order to be licensed to own one." This is what made me "get the idea." (Both good ideas but I think you already must prove you are knowledgeable about gun safety before they issue a permit, meaning just taking the course is not enough, there's more.) Also...In this entire article mentioning a "March for Change" these are the only two things you mentioned. "Change" needs to address all three issues I mentioned earlier. All three need fixing.


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