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Gun Violence Focus of Meeting at Newtown High

Organized by Newtown Action Alliance, a public meeting on Feb. 19 will be attended by members of the state's Bi-Partisan Task Force on Gun Violence, School Security and Mental Health.


Exactly what direction might Connecticut's gun laws be heading? 

A Town Hall meeting hosted by Newtown Action Alliance is designed to give residents some insight into that question and others related to gun violence and possible legislative action in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook School.

As its name implies, Newtown Action Alliance is a grassroots group with origins in the town that was home to the Dec. 14 tragedy that claimed the life of 20 first graders and six educators. The group says its membership now spans the nation.

As part of its effort to facilitate meaningful legislative and cultural changes to reduce gun violence both locally and nationally, the NAA has organized a Town Hall Meeting that will take place Tuesday, Feb. 19, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Newtown High School Lecture Hall, 12 Berkshire Road.

Slated to participate in the meeting are state Sen. John McKinney, (R-28) and state Reps. Mitch Bolinsky (R-106), Dan Carter (R-2) and Lonnie Reed (D-102). All Connecticut residents are encouraged to attend, the NAA says.

“As a member the Newtown Action Alliance, I am asked quite often about the Bi-Partisan Task Force and what they are doing,” said Po Murray. “In the wake of Sandy Hook, I also wonder about the task force and I am grateful these officials are willing to help us understand what legislation may be in development and how the legislative process works. This will be a great opportunity for all Connecticut residents to ask questions and discuss the critical issue of gun violence.”

Learn More About NAA

The Bi-Partisan Task Force

Created in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook School, the task force is charged with coming up with legislative proposals relating to gun violence, mental health and school security. It has held a series of hearings, including one in Newtown, and is expected to have a series of recommendations in place by the middle of March.

Eric Poupon February 19, 2013 at 01:45 AM
IMO the NRA is disseminating and generating the fear mongering in order to make a buck and many of the simpletons in this country have bought into it. It's a simple fact that less guns = less deaths. There is nothing in any proposal anywhere that infringes on the second amendment
Richard Hooker February 19, 2013 at 02:37 AM
The 'Right to Bear Arms' Is Not More Important Than a Child's Right to life. "We stop being something to be proud of, When we love our guns before our children" --Susan Ehrens
Greg Burns February 19, 2013 at 02:46 AM
US Male, it appears the committee Bi-Partisan Task Force on Gun Violence will be there. You nor others could focus your testimony on anything you wish. I am not sure about the format. Hell we have heard enough about guns. Lets talk about protecting kids which we should have done 14 years ago after Columbine High School in 1999. We learned nothing from that except when kids are hostages getting shot you do not wait outside, you go in and kill the bad guys. It seems enough people have to die before we can effectively act. SO now it appears we will harden our security and procedures at schools and have a good guy with a gun protecting them. Not very complicated. I used to teach base camp defense and security facility defense in the military. I should have volunteered my services to connecticut schools because I would have advised just what has been DISCOVERED. But no one would have listened - Least of all the politicians and likely the police as well. SO that problem has been solved!! Correct? It is just a matter of who is going to do it and how. Also I think HOW WELL? There is a bias for using X Police officers because it is EASY, perhaps not necessarily best. It depends on the X police officer. There are many skilled people out there who could guard our children well. Being there is not enough, they must be guarded with vigilance.
Greg Burns February 19, 2013 at 03:41 AM
SO US Male, I am following your lead. Mental illness?? I will watch where this goes with great curiousity. We do not get many Lanza's. So how much resources do we spend trynig to shake them out or HELP THEM?? However, we do get many more habitual criminals, some of whom will sooner or later pick up a knife or gun to commit crime. Granted some may just beat you within an inch of your life or to death as they did the 71 year old man on the street in New Britain this summer. NICE People?? WOULLD YOU SAY THEY WERE LIKELY MENTALLY ILL ?? Sick enough to put away I would say. But much of violent crime is by repeat offenders. Much of all crime is repeat offenders. The go back to prison rate is about 70% or more within 5 years. So that is where most of the crime and violence is, except domestic violence and rage violence from bad days and alcohol. Drug related and gang violence I would just lump under crime. So where is the big mental health issue in terms of 99% of the crime committed including where people get hurt or killed. Do we hunt for the lanza's or do we deal with the 99% problem. Just a question. Oh yea protect our kids. i would also suggest armed guards for malls, large stores, hospitals, movie houses, all large public assenblies and most places open to the public. That is what it will take to stop the lanza['s. Except for citizens who carry guns.
Greg Burns February 19, 2013 at 04:17 AM
Everybody recognizes WE DO HAVE TO protect our kids, RIGHT. No way around that one, RIGHT?? Unfortunately we have to do it with a gun. We know as well the same solution is required wherever large (or small) numbers of people gather. A gun is the solution to stop the guy with the gun. Right, just like the schools, no difference -- ALL public assemblies and most places open to the public. That is WHAT IT WILL TAKE to stop the lanza's. Except for citizens who carry guns. SO where the hell is the mental health issue - see above for the 99% probllem. WAIT - We do have thousands of kids (9000+?) each year in Connecticut not graduating from high school that can not read, write or speak of fill out job applications and have NO OPTIONS, NONE. Hopefully we will have some job applications fopr them to fill out some day if taxes, run away spending and crime does not scare all the businesses away. Maybe we should do something about them before they become our next batch of criminals. Ya think?? IS THAT MENTAL HEALTH ??
Michael Cragin February 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Hey gunguys......this really isnt specifically about protecting kids...and all the other reasons you point out....this time its about the greater % of Americans just sick and tired about the public being armed with WAR WEAPONS.....We are America....and the majority of us say........end it......stop them.....confiscate them...whatever it takes. So dont use emotional reasons for keeping them......because the majorityt of AMERICANS......are emotional about banning them. THISTIME THINGS CHANGE
Greg Burns February 19, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Richard - Real name withheld: AT least I stand beside what I say with my real name! The truth or opposing viewpoints are not always taken as positive. Overwhelming viewpoint and positive message -- "love our guns before our children" , - yea for a father of two girls I find that REAL positive. I know an NRA firearms instructor who works in a school. But he can not protect the children in his school, one is his. I know he would die trying anyway. But only crazy people can go to schools with guns. That is the truth. "You choose love". The Lanza's of the worlld and most of our criminals do not know love. Love will not stop them from killing your children or you. I wish it would, It will not. WHat you hate most will stop them, A GUN. When the killers come out of their holes, the police will not be there! It is more likely I will be there with my gun than the police. The primary influence keeping criminals in their holes is guys like me, not the police. They fear us more then the police. Because they fear us, they fear you, because you could be us (a thought that may disgust you) but none the less TRUE. The discusting truth is -- it will not be laws that protect our schools --- it will be a GUN. Richard, crime is not because of guns, it is because of criminals we are not putting away from us. Criminals will get their guns. Be careful of demeaning those who choose to defend themselves and you, because you do not recognize that to be your responsibility as well.
Greg Burns February 19, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Eric Poupon: "It's a simple fact that less guns = less deaths". Is is all that simple Eric. Less drugs, less deaths. How is that one working Eric. Seems simple. Where there is a demand and a void, someone will fill it. The criminal world is not that simple Eric. If criminals want guns, other criminals will get them guns, just as they do drugs. Less guns and less ammunition magazines for who then - the good guys. I go out with 10 rounds by law and the bad guys can go out with 30 rounds because the " Law and it's results will not impact what they do or can do" - it will only impact what I can do. Eric go get your OWN gun with your OWN 10 round magazine to protect you and your family at the mall. I am not gouing to have enough bullets to protect your family as well as mine - if enough for mine. Afterall it It is your personal responsibility to protect yourself and your family anyway, not mine. You can always dial 911, IF YOU ARE ABLE and alive, then hide in a corner hoping the police get to you before the gunman does. Or you can PRAY I am there with enough gun and bullets to fight your battle for you. Us simpletons can come in handy you know. You should be more "sensitive".
Jedi Jethro February 19, 2013 at 05:04 PM
So much vitriol spewing forth from Mr. Burns here, I kinda want to take a shower. Please remind Mr. LaPierre to wash his hands when he is done using Burns as a puppet.
Donald Borsch Jr. February 19, 2013 at 05:12 PM
I'm looking forward to possibly meeting each and every person who has been involved in this debate tonight, at NHS. Long Live the Republic, indeed.
Greg Burns February 19, 2013 at 06:27 PM
In a white paper dated January 4 and obtained by NRA-ILA, the deputy director of the National Institute for Justice--DOJ's research and evaluation agency--said that the proposals before Congress are unlikely to have an effect unless they are made even more draconian. For instance, the document makes clear that the effectiveness of "universal" background checks "depends on … requiring gun registration." On the topic of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, NIJ writes, "In order to have an impact, large capacity magazine regulation needs to sharply curtail availability to include restrictions on importation, manufacture, sale, and possession." As for popular semi-automatic firearms, the NIJ notes, "Since assault weapons are not a major contributor to U.S. gun homicide and the existing stock of guns is large, an assault weapons ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence. If coupled with a gun buyback and no exemptions then it could be marginally effective." http://www.nraila.org/media/10883516/nij-gun-policy-memo.pdf
David Marchetti February 19, 2013 at 06:55 PM
So finally this clown admits that there is a viable alternative to Police Officers in Connecticut, State Licensed and Sanctioned Security Officers! Laws vary from state to state, in Connecticut a Security Officer unlike Private Civilians are authorized by law to protect people and property, they may respond to and investigate the commission of any criminal offense that occurs on property they are hired to protect, they may legally make a physical arrest or detention and use force to make that arrest, they may carry mace, nightsticks, with a blue card carry a side arm, keep a loaded shotgun or assault weapon loaded in their vehicle, they can tow an impound vehicles at will, and they can do a lot more. According to one town principal the use of deadly force to stop a school shooter is unacceptable as it's still violence? Some people need to get with the program.
David Marchetti February 19, 2013 at 06:57 PM
And they can be vested as " Special Constables " by the Chief Executive Officer for two years, meaning they are legally Police Officers.
Richard Hooker February 19, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Sorry, but extremists like yourself, are the reason I do not use my real name. I can protect myself this way(without a gun...like you keep stating we should use). I guess vigilantism is your main goal as you are just so excited and eager to have a gun pointed at someone rather than letting law enforcement do their job. Good luck with pushing your agenda on people who know better. When you can have a decent and intelligent conversation about this without pushing NRA propaganda, we can debate this...until then, good luck to you in your future.
Jedi Jethro February 20, 2013 at 04:31 AM
Mr. Burns, Apologies for the "puppet" post. As a Newtown father, the devastation I feel does not bring out the best in me. That is no excuse for insulting you. It was wrong of me and I apologize. I'll note that that my pain pales in comparison to the 28 families directly impacted by this horrific act of violence. The white paper is good to see. It shows that the Obama Administration weighing varying veiwpoints. No viewpoint is absolute, but you have to consider them all. It assserts, however, that a no exemption ban on assault weapons coupled with a gun buy back could be marginally effective. I'll take that in a heartbeat. If it"s my kid in that margin, I won't think it is marginal at all. Also, I accept you four hour walk challenge. Name the place, time and give me three days of the week to choose from. I pick the actual date. I'll document with date stamped photos and video. Will you make it a bet? If you're right, I'm dead and the Jedi posts cease. If I survive, you make one concession in the efforts to reduce gun violence. You choose between high capacity clips, assualt weapons, and universal background checks. Full Disclosure: I have survived first hand gun violence on two occassions. I attribute my success to the fact that I was not armed at the time. If I had been, I would be dead. So if the Connecticut streets are as deadly as you say, then the odds are in your favor. You game?
Eric Poupon February 20, 2013 at 04:33 AM
I think your wrong.
karen egert February 20, 2013 at 05:02 AM
Im sorry Newtown has not been spared the insane comments like we get in NJ I'm an activist from NJ and unfortunately although we are working HARD to try and keep ordinary people safe we are beset with the same type of non sensical comments Please know that like in NJ , these types of negative comments do not represent the majority Here in NJ , we are heartbroken -- but not broken We will continue our fight for common sense gun regulation and our commitment on this issue
karen egert February 20, 2013 at 05:04 AM
I appreciate the intelligent comments from Richard
karen egert February 20, 2013 at 05:16 AM
Greg -- are you serious?? Columbine had armed guards But No armed guard or teacher is equipped to handle a shooter with military fault rifles and magazine clips that fire at 30 rounds a pop let's get real!!! THERE IS NO REASON WHY ANYONE NEEDS GUNS LIKE THEY USE IN AFGHANISTAN FOR EITHER PRACTICE SHOOTING OR A GUN COLLECTION START SOMETHING ELSE LIKE A STAMP COLLECTION!!! This is INSANITY !!!
Greg Burns February 20, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Mr. Jethro, I would not have you take that walk. If anything happened to you, I would feel responsible. I must complement you for your courage in accepting my challenge, though I would caution your judgement. The national average random exposure for violent attack is 2.3 out of 100. I read in Hartford it is 14+out of 100, in certain areas much higher. However, Being a father of two girls, I can not imagine the pain and loss of families who lost children in Newtown. I fear for my children as well when they leave the house daily, both work in Connecticut cities. But as we see violence can pop it's ugly head anywhere at any time, it is mobile. I do not own an AR-15 but in some areas of the country I WOULD. I do not see a need for 30 round magazines, though criminals will have them. My pistols came with 14 and 17 round magazines as do the pistols of most criminals. There are millions more in the market and they can be easily produced. Criminals will have them. I can live with a 10 round magazine because I am very good with a gun, many average citizens are not. No one should be able to buy any gun without a background check in America, including private sale or gun shows. Any person selling a gun or purchasing for others illegally should have a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison. Any person committing a crime with any deadly weapon should suffer the same. We have to start putting violent crime offenders in prison and keep them there.
Greg Burns February 20, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Columbine High School massacre SECURITY: A Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy, Neil Gardner, was assigned to the high school as a full-time uniformed and armed school resource officer. Gardner usually ate lunch with students in the cafeteria, but on April 20 he was eating lunch in his patrol car at the northwest corner of the campus, watching students in the Smokers' Pit in Clement Park. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbine_High_School_massacre Not my idea of security. WHen the shooting started officer Gardner was joined by another police officer, both of whom remained 60 yards from the school. Neither officer entered the school. Not my idea of security. Would I have done better, you bet I would hve, especially if my child were in that school, AR-15 or not. There is security and then there is security. SO will we leave our schools undefended. Are magazine restrictions and phoney, likely unconstitutional, rifle restrictions going to protect them? Hell no. Wake up America, we have to protect our public spaces (certainly our schools) and punish those who will do violence severely. Anyone providing a gun illegally to anyone else needs to be put in prison. New Jersey, how are things in Newark. How often do you walk the streets there at night? The criminals there do not have 10 round magazines. Comment on Richard - enough already.
Greg Burns February 20, 2013 at 04:22 PM
I am tiring. I will soon crawl into my country den and fade away. Myself and two brothers fought for this country in uniform. We risked our lives to live as free men. I am enraged about the violence I see in America. I am enraged you can not walk many of our streets safely after dark, or by day for that matter. I am enraged that most cities are war zones and unsafe. I am enraged we have allowed criminals to roam among us with guns. I am enraged about Newtown and the violence we see daily all over America. People have taken up arms across this nation because they see the same thing, because they know they are not safe. Many others deny that because violence has not touched them yet, or they think violence is confined to the cities, or many just ignore it. I have armed myself because I decided my family was not safe. I know the government can not protect us. I know there is no security most places we go to protect us from violence. I have chosen to protect ourselves because I would never forgive myself if something happend and I could not. I did fight for my country to have my freedom or my life taken from me by criminals. My governmet has not protected me nor you from violence and has not protected our children. We can no longer tollerate either, especially the children in schools. However, must not be deluded by sham laws to stop criminals. We must anticipate violence, secure against it and go after those who would do violence with utmost determination.
Richard Hooker February 20, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Is the extremist done rambling yet? LoL
Greg Burns February 20, 2013 at 07:29 PM
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - The Extremist ! Are we Safe? The Police were not there. Richard - Real name withheld would not have helped. Let's see what today brings! The New Haven man arrested in connection with the killing of a store clerk back in January was arraigned in court Tuesday. The clerk was shot in the back. Police said Milton Daniels Jr., 20, shot the clerk, Abdul Ghani El- Rawas of Bridgeport, multiple times while in the Orchard Market on Orchard Street. Ghani El-Rawas was rushed to the hospital, where he later died. Police believe Daniels was attempting to rob the store when the shooting occurred. The amount of money stolen was not released by police, but told Eyewitness News that it was a small amount, unoficially reported at $70.00. Police said surveillance images, along with witness interviews, helped them determine that Daniels was responsible for the shooting. He was arrested Friday. Daniels, who police believe was responsible for various robberies and burglaries, was charged with felony murder and is being held on a $2 million bond. http://www.wfsb.com/story/21224202/arrest-made-in-connection-to-new-haven-shooting
Greg Burns February 20, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Criminal Victimization, 2011 US Bureau of Justice Statistics Michael Planty, Ph.D., Jennifer L. Truman, Ph.D. October 17, 2012 NCJ 239437 Highlights Violent Crime 2011: The rate of violent victimization increased 17%, from 19.3 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2010 to 22.5 in 2011 (2.25 violent crimes per 100 persons USA). Increases in the rates of violent victimizations for whites, Hispanics, younger persons, and males accounted for the majority of the increase in violent crime. The rate of property crime increased 11%, from 125.4 per 1,000 households in 2010 to 138.7 in 2011, (12.54 property crimes per 100 persons USA). Part of the Criminal Victimization Series. The bulletin includes estimates of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and injury and use of weapons in violent victimization. It also describes the characteristics of victims. The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) collects information on nonfatal crimes, reported and not reported to the police, against persons age 12 or older from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. During 2011, about 79,800 households and 143,120 persons were interviewed for the NCVS. Press Release PDF (1.8M) ASCII file (46K) Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 38K) Help for using BJS products About the Source Data National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) To cite this product, use the following link: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4494
cathy urso February 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM
I have a solution for the schools much better then armored guns. I love children and want them to be safe I need to address my ideas . My heart is still broken like so many and I have a solution. I just need to know the correct person to address it to.
Gary C. Malachowski February 28, 2013 at 03:07 PM
If they are going to try too Ban AR-15s an magazines that hold more then 10 rounds, then they better ban them from law enforcement using them as well.. they can go nuts just like the rest of US. the only difference is they have a Badge...
Greg Burns February 28, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Mr. Malachowski, now do not forget that the criminals are not going to obey the law on Magazines. With millions of magazines out there and bad guys willing to sell millions more to other bad guys, the criminals will have all the Magazines they want. SO, it would be a bit unfair to not allow our police to have them if the criminals will have them. Now when agerage citizens run out of bullets fighting bad guys with 30 round magazines, they will just have to die. Mr. Malachowski, hopefully they and the police are not defending you with their 10 round magazines when they run out of bullets.
Gary C. Malachowski March 01, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Mr, Burns, Now!! you seem to be getting the Point. The Criminals will not Obey this so call Law of Registering there AR-15, an not using a thirty round Magazines, an they'll find a wait to get there hands on more of them. ( POT will not be the only thing coming across that Boarder ) I on the other hand being a law buying Citizen will be required to follow the letter of the Law!!! Now do you really think the LEO'S are going to be piss at me ? nope, try Washington D C an all these people that Back this Bill an didn't have a clue. As for you worrying about the Police defending me, rest a sure I've got that covered, along with my wife, an daughter. Just one more thing, Police respond time, on the average is between 7 an 13 minutes just in time to stuff you or your wife in a body bag, an/or take your wife or daughter too the Hospital for a rape test... No Joke, Just Reality
David Marchetti March 27, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Burns you are 100% correct There is security and then there is security. When the shooting started " Police " officer Gardner was joined by another police officer, both of whom remained 60 yards from the school. That's not security at all, as far as active school shooters go, you put them down like the rabid killers they are, no warning, drop them on the spot.

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