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Gun Hearing Shaping Up to Be Showdown

Organizations and individuals on both sides of the gun control debate are rallying to have their voices heard at a public hearing in Hartford on potential gun law changes in the wake of the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown.


Connecticut's gun control debate is about to kick into high gear.

Groups on both sides of the issue are rallying their supporters to travel to the state capitol today for a public hearing of the Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety. The hearing, the first of the task force's gun control subcommittee, starts at 10 a.m.

The task force was formed earlier this month in response to the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the life of 20 first graders and six educators.

Rhetoric has become so loaded in the oft-divise gun control issue, and so many people are expected to attend the hearing, that police have put added safety measures in place at the Legislative Office Building, including metal detectors.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, has put out an action alert to its members, urging them to make every effort to attend the hearing in Hartford.

The foundation, which is based in Newtown, writes:

"This Monday might be the only chance for your voice to be heard before legislators craft legislation that will seriously affect not only your Second Amendment rights, but also rifles and magazines you currently own."

According to an article published by the Hartford Courant, NSSF plans to hold a press conference in the Legislative Office Building prior to the start of the hearing. The foundation will be joined by Connecticut-based gun manufacturers Colt and Mossberg & Sons, among others, the Courant reports.

On the other side are organizations like Connecticut Against Gun Violence (CAGV). The nonprofit says it is dedicated to making Connecticut communities, families, and children safe from gun violence through a common sense approach to public education and legislative advocacy.

In addition to organizing a rally in Hartford on Feb. 14, CAGV has proposed legislation that:

  • Requires that all weapons defined by law as assault weapons must be destroyed, turned in to law enforcement, or removed from Connecticut
  • Does not grandfather existing weapons
  • Large capacity ammunition magazines of more than seven rounds are to be destroyed, turned in to law enforcement, or removed from the state

“The eyes of the nation are on Connecticut. We hope that our elected officials will act swiftly on these measures because the horrific tragedy in Newtown compels Connecticut to pass the most comprehensive legislation in the nation," Ron Pinciaro, executive director of CAGV, said in a press release. "Extended delays will endanger the passage of the type of gun violence prevention measures that will make our communities safer.”

Today's hearing will be the second of four the task force is holding. The first covered school safety.

The next one, on mental health, will take place tomorrow in Hartford, and the final hearing, featuring all 50 members and covering all topics, will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30 at Newtown High School. Turnout is expected to be high for the final hearing, too.

Ell January 29, 2013 at 07:52 PM
SH DAD-Read carefully what I last wrote. You obviously have a comprehension problem or again are in a serious state of ignorance, denial.
Joe January 30, 2013 at 12:52 AM
Great point 26. Seems to me the advocates of freedom and liberty are the level-headed ones. Here's some food for thought..... Nobody is less safe if I have a weapon but I am certainly less safe if I don't. and ps. to Ell, I was at 13 of the wakes so no need to preach to me.
G January 30, 2013 at 02:45 AM
To 26Yrs and SH Dad - Are either of you LEO? Will a 9-1-1 call come to your phone? Are the police going to call you to the next school shooting to take out the bad guy(s)? I don't think so. Automatic and semi-AR are designed and built for offensive purposes for the military. They are not designed for non-military or non-LEO. An automatic assault rifle will do squat if "the gubmint" decides to take over. They have drones, tanks, an Air Force, attack helicopters, RPGs, nuclear weapons, and many other weapons to take over its citizenry should they decide to do so. Keep your handgun(s) to protect your family. Register your assault weapons and keep them at the range for target practice. Or turn them in. You don't need semi- or automatic weapons to protect your home or your family.
Randy Pineau January 30, 2013 at 02:46 AM
LongTime - how we handle mental health issues is certainly where I would like to see change. I'm thinking that both sides likely feel there most definitely WILL be changes in this area. And as such, probably think less effort is needed on their part to move that along. Just a theory.
Ell January 30, 2013 at 03:22 AM
SH Dad-I have no weapon and I feel very safe. Especially in my own home. Do you know what the number one deterrent is for stopping criminals from breaking into your house? Dogs. I have a very loud one. People also have alarms, survailiance systems, auto flood lighting etc. In response to your "nobody is less safe if I have a weapon", well we are all a lot safer if weapons are out of criminals hands, mentally unstable hands. I am an advocate for freedom and liberty as much as you. The first amendment addresses freedom and liberty and the right to life and the pursuit of happiness also. I feel less safe for my kids knowing that there are too many guns in this country, too many weapons that can be purchased without background checks-40% of all weapons bought do not go through any background checks. To easy for guns to get into the wrong hands. Not enough restrictions on how to safely store guns and keep them away from the wrong hands. Not enough medical reporting to authorities about mentally ill pateints-so they do not get a hold of guns. Not enough vigorous enforcement of existing laws especially guns obtained by criminals... There are so many things that can be done-BESIDES JUST ARMING CITIZENS!! Bloomberg has done a fantastic job in NYC-because of his gun laws and vigorous enforcement. Your NYC stat is wrong, New York City had the lowest homicide rate ever last year-guns included. I am speaking of all guns-hand guns too.
Ell January 30, 2013 at 03:43 AM
26 years, again you make some though provoking arguments. The only major disagreement I have is where you talk about "do you think banning these weapons for one minute won't stop the bad guys from using them." Yes, the will and they do. Not totally, but much better: I have a friend that has been NYC Police-narc division for 17 years now. He loves the strict gun laws. It is important that he emphasized that they must be coupled with strict enforcement. Here is a true example. They do these (I think it called) step up patrols-which are done in high crime or drug/gang violence areas. Years ago, the gangs would make the newbies go out and get guns-when hand guns were legal. It made it easier for gang members to cruise the street-and there were so many gun deaths and drive by gun deaths. But now, he tells me, they walk the streets much less-because when they frequently patrol if they see the "bulge"-they have probably cause to search-if they find the gun-to jail they go-hand guns 2 year mandatory. Result is simple and proves you argument false-gang members do not cruise as much and do not pack guns as much in public for fear of being arrested therefore so many innocent lives have be saved. Drive bys have gone down 90% in the past 16 years!! So you see, stricter gun laws IS NOT to take away your gun..it is to take away the criminals gun. In this NYC case it really works. Think of it that way-we are taking the guns out of criminals hands-that's a good thing. Good argument indeed!
Joe January 30, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Ell, again I'll point out a fair argument can be made that the lower homicide rate in NYC can be attributed to the increase in gun permits and sales. In NYC, last year was the lowest rate since 1963 yet there are more permit holders and more legally acquired guns than ever before. Although you may not, I think a relationship exists. Your argument about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals is sophomoric. It's already illegal for criminals to be in possession of guns. You seem to think by limiting my rights, fewer guns will trickle down to the hands of criminals. Again, I disagree. How are these criminals getting these guns but by stealing them or acquiring them illegally? If I have fewer, there are less to steal? Your 40% number includes transfers between family members, gifts, inheritance, etc. It's a headline number only. If you did more research you'd find that a NICS check takes place for just about every legal gun transfer in America. Why don't you try to buy one and see? Go to the DPS website and educate yourself. It is extremely difficult to get a gun in CT - and it should be. Gov. Malloy has said, and I agree 100%, that all states should adopt CT's gun laws. They are thorough, reasonable and effective. Of course some improvements can be made but I feel they are all on the mental health side. A greater degree of data transfer should occur between the Dept's of Public Safety and Mental Health. HIPPA stands in the way of that. I have a dog, she barks a lot.
Paul Alexander January 30, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Ell Said..."I have no weapon and I feel very safe." Bill Petit and his family felt safe in waspy Cheshire, CT...until they weren’t. If a potential outcome would be calamitous, not matter how remote the possibility of that outcome, then that outcome must be anticipated, planned and prepared for. It is BASIC risk management. You are a fool.
Joe January 30, 2013 at 01:57 PM
G, I am not LEO but what difference does it make? A 911 call? Take out the bad guys? What does that have to do with the discussion? I'm not a Law Enforcement Officer so I can have no opinion on my right to own weapons for sport, hunting or self defense? I have been a responsible gun owner since 1992. Aside from my shotguns, I have a standard capacity (15) S&W 9mm handgun and a Ruger 1022 that uses aftermarket 25-round magazines. CAGV would have me handover or destroy them. The absurdity of their arguments is scary to say the least. That you would agree with them is compatible with the ignorance of your post. I don't expect to 'fight back' against the government nor have I ever said so. The 1022 is maybe the most widely owned rifle in America and it's been semi-auto for it's entire existence. Do you know what you're talking about or just unsuccessful at being funny? Maybe the patch should require a simple intelligence test in order to post to keep forum on topic.
Randy Pineau January 30, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Truthteller - my comment about Cuomo was not about his "decision". Oh, he showed leadership alright ... sadly, not Democratic leadership. Rule by decree is not anything anyone should take lightly, even if you support the agenda. There is a larger issue of legislative process that's broken here. And if our leaders can do it for this, then they can do it for anything. This was all about "Cuomo for President in 2016"
Oldtimer January 30, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Having a gun in the house is just a really bad idea. It means you are more likely to die than the rest of us. About 30,000 Americans die in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. More than twice as many are hospitalized. That is 100,000 people every year. Having any firearm in the house increases by three times the chances that you, your spouse, your children or other family member will be shot. If you are confronted by an intruder you are five times more likely to be killed if you are armed than if not. There is three times the chance you will commit suicide if there is a gun in the house. If you do attempt suicide you are 30 times more likely to succeed if there is a firearm in the house. Don't own a gun. You will live longer.
Randy Pineau January 30, 2013 at 03:46 PM
G - Nope, not in Law Enforcement. My goal is to be a first responder for my immediate vicinity, not a second responder. Of course no single person could defend against our own military, so you're right - don't bother planning for THAT scenario. But, you can say with CERTAINTY that under no circumstances will I EVER need a semi-automatic weapon to protect my family? You're SURE that me, my wife, or anyone else in my family will only need say, a shotgun (Non semi-automatic) for defense? That's it ... two, maybe three shots will stop any possible aggression I could ever be up against? You're asserting there simply will never be a situation that requires multiple, sequential attempts to stop an attack. Sorry G, I don't believe you. I've seen how our society behaves when the power goes out for a week, and our government fails to deliver necessities to their citizens (not referring to "charging and comfort" - Llodra has done a FANTASTIC job for us!) ... I can certainly imagine what would happen if we go without power for eight weeks. Hey, I'm no doomsday planner ... just someone who recognizes real possibilities.
Randy Pineau January 30, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Ell - For the most part, I think you and I are on the same page. Might be fun to sit and chat over a beer some day <grin>. That being said, I'm not sure how I feel about your NYC conclusions. I can certainly understand your police friend's position on strict gun laws - given the population density and overall history of crime in that metropolis. A city of that magnitude has their own "crime ecosystem" as far as I'm concerned. Big city dynamics that may or may not play into the types of scenarios I can wrap my head around. I do agree that STRICT enforcement of EXISTING laws is KEY to deterring violent crime. Very important indeed - everywhere. And in NYC, if strict enforcement means that thugs are caught with guns they shouldn't be carrying - and those guns get taken off the street, I'm a happy man indeed! Bravo! I'm just not yet convinced that new laws preventing me from feeling safe and capable are in order.
Ell January 30, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Paul Alexander- to quote what you just said-"If a potential outcome would be calamitous, not matter how remote the possibility of that outcome, then that outcome must be anticipated, planned and prepared for. It is BASIC risk management. You are a fool." I agree with you 100% risk management. Did you know there were 12,000 suicides last year in the U.S. using guns. How many lives would have been saved if a gun was not easily available to them-500, 1000, 2000, more?? Do not say none, because you would sound like an idiot. How many guns were used in domestic violence last year-over 6,000. If there were not a gun in the household how many lives would have been saved 100, 300, 1000, more??? Your risk management theory WORK BOTH WAYS. Having a gun in the house is risky too-as my figures above show-I did not even talk about accidental shootings! People get killed by guns. Plenty of people protect themselves with alarm systems, flood lighting, barking dogs, pepper spray, beside being armed. A police officer told me dogs are the number 1 deterrent of criminals in home invasions. Having a gun can be for protection I agree with you... but is also "risk" too because of situations mentioned above. You are the fool who does not see both sides!!!! In the case you mentioned above..let's see, that was one case. Now look up, cases of domestic violence, accidents and suicides using guns in your state.... Open both your eyes.
Ell January 30, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Oldtimer, thank you for your post. I hope Paul Alexander reads it carefully, as he tried to tell me NOT carrying a gun is a "risk"..so Paul Alexander...Oldtimers post tell you what a risk you take CARRYING A GUN.
Paul Alexander January 30, 2013 at 04:41 PM
In this world there are sheep...and there are sheep dogs...I have no intention to even attempt to change your position. I just think you are a fool...but that’s why the world needs sheep dogs..to watch over the fools.
Randy Pineau January 30, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Ell - Interesting that the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention does not list guns as being a "Risk Factor" for suicide. Those they list are: Psychiatric Disorders, Past History of Attempted Suicide, Genetic Predisposition, Neurotransmitters, Impulsivity, Demographics (Sex: Males are three to five times more likely to die by suicide than females. Age: Elderly Caucasian males have the highest suicide rates). Now what AFSP statistics do reveal, is that 52% of people who commit suicide, do so with a firearm. I can't help but feel however that in the absense of a firearm, the individual will choose a different method. In other words, it's the "illness" not the availability of a firearm that is the cause. (I don't feel like I am backing my way into these statistics ... do you?) Bottom line (for me): identify these people, and get them some desparately needed help.
Joe January 30, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Longtimer and Ell, The suicide rate for those not taking anti-depressants is 11 out of 100,000 - or about 1/100 of 1%. Not something to be overly alarmed about. However, once on anti-depressant drugs, the suicide rate jumps to 718 out of 100,000. This is fairly close to 1% and a 65X greater risk of committing suicide. Very disturbing to say the least. You both should worry more about the Prozac and Paxil in your medicine cabinets than guns in my house. In a violent confrontation, you both will be victims 100% of the time. Why would you accept those odds? But the good news is if either of you are being robbed/mugged or carjacked or having a rape attempted or your child abducted, I might be nearby to assist while you hurl worthless statistics at the criminal.
Thomas Crafts January 30, 2013 at 06:08 PM
"Having a gun in the house is just a really bad idea. It means you are more likely to die than the rest of us." We are all likely to die. "If you are confronted by an intruder you are five times more likely to be killed if you are armed than if not." Not having a gun increases the intruders chances of not being shot to 100%. It is a game of skill. Most homeowners with a gun are completely unskilled, so its no wonder that they get shot a lot. Just having the gun isn't enough, you need to know how to use it or you will be overmatched by somebody who has already killed 4 or 5 people and would like to kill you. The jailhouse confession of convicted criminals is that their worst fear is being confronted by a homeowner with a gun. That's good enough for me.
Ell January 30, 2013 at 06:43 PM
If you are confronted by an intruder you are five times more likely to be killed if you are armed than if not. Your gun will save you sometimes and many more times likely the gun will kill you.
Ell January 30, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Paul Alexander-whose the fool? The one who you say is or the one who calls the other one the fool? Ignorance of all the facts will keep you in the dark. One day you might grow up and learn to study the whole picture.
Joe January 30, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Five times more likely than what? Your points are ridiculous. If you had any idea what you were talking about, you'd be dangerous. I am rated 'Sharpshooter Bar-5' for Pistol by Winchester/NRA. If an intruder gets through my locked doors he is leaving with holes in him. And if you're my neighbor, I'll take the chance of killing myself while I save you too. No need to reply, this thread has reached an unsurpassed level of stupidity.
Ell January 30, 2013 at 07:11 PM
26 years, yes of course is not a "risk factor". The psychological factors that you mentioned are the risk factors. But you then said 52% who do commit suicide do it with a firearm..that's the point!!!..the mental illness causes them to WANT to commit suicide, as you point out..the guns make it much easier to as you say "do it"... again as the stats point out.."If you do attempt suicide you are 30 time more likely to succeed if there is a firearm in the house...30 times more likely! Simple math, not having a gun in the house when someone attempts to commit suicide save lives. Out of the 12,000 suicides last year by gun how many lives could have been saved? I am not great in math..but if it is 30 times more likely they would die while having the gun then not having the gun..that would be 30 divided by 12,000..how many people would have been saved?..3000-4000 lives? I like going back and forth with you because you make valid points and I hope you will see that I make them too-this one included. As "Oldtimer" on these post point out, taking everything into account, you are a lot safer without a gun. It is not absolute, there are cases where you are safer with a gun, but the evidence weighs much heavier toward being safer without a gun. But that's why we go back and forth!
Veritas vos liberabit January 30, 2013 at 07:34 PM
another gun loving sheep dog. MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) — Neighbors of an Alabama man accused of killing a school bus driver and taking a child hostage in an ongoing standoff say he was paranoid and combative.
Ell January 30, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Actually SH Dad, I agree with you totally about the suicide thing and drugs..it is a major problem that needs to be addressed. Getting back to guns...If you have a gun in the house and you try to commit suicide you are 30 times more likely to kill yourself having a gun in the house..30 times more likely!!! Wow. So if there were 12,000 suicide death last year in the U.S. by gun death..that mean 30 times less the 12,000 is what saving 3-4000 lives if the gun was not in the house. My point is this is a mulit faceted problem..it is as you rightly point out a drug problem and those people should not have guns in their houses...so many lives would be saved with either point made by you and me. Is that not what this is about- making it safer and saving lives?
Veritas vos liberabit January 30, 2013 at 07:36 PM
and another.............. PHOENIX -- Police have confirmed that three people were shot at a business complex near 16th Street and Glendale Avenue in Phoenix Wednesday morning.
Ell January 30, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Sh Dad, YOU may be a sharp shooter...but is everyone? Does everyone know how to properly use a gun? You are getting testy, but may I point out the stats used are not made up...do you own research and find out.
Michael Cragin January 30, 2013 at 08:08 PM
COMMON SENSE....not how many of this and the % of that.....COMMON SENSE...add these death machines to the already list of weapons the public Cannot own.....Just because you are a good guy with great gun ethics etc etc etc....you still cant own a machine gun.....COMMON SENSE....ban them and their ammo....offer to buy back the ones already owned for double what he paid....end the madness
Oldtimer January 30, 2013 at 08:14 PM
"If an intruder gets through my locked doors he is leaving with holes in him." The only way that would even be remotely likely is if you have a loaded weapon to hand at all times - and if you do, then the most likely person to be killed in your house is you or one of your family, by you or one of your family.
Joe January 30, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Ell, I think we can agree somewhere between CAGV and Wayne LaPierre lies the most sensible resolution. I am not a 'gun fanatic' but I do place a high degree of value on might rights and freedom. Take a look at this article, I think you will agree this is a sensible step in the right direction. If CAGV adopted this attitude, this thread would have died long ago...... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/opinion/bipartisan-hunting-buddies.html See you tonight!

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