Newtown Voices a Top Priority At Tonight's Hearing

The Full Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety will hold its last scheduled hearing Wednesday night at Newtown High School.


Newtown and Hartford will meet head-on tonight at Newtown High School.

Tonight's full hearing of Connecticut's Bipartisan Task Force will bring a 48-member panel of elected officials from around the state to the school. It's the last in a series of hearings designed to solicit public input on the state's response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"The state of Connecticut is coming to Newtown," said Rep. Mitch Bolinsky, a member of the task force, in an interview with Patch on Jan. 17. "[W]e'll come out to the community and let them ground us -- and correct us, correct us, correct us."

Organizers are making the voices of Newtown residents a top priority, according to a release from Newtown's legislative delegation on the task force -- made up of Bolinsky, Rep. DebraLee Hovey (R-112) and Rep. Dan Carter (R-2).

The event will run from 6 p.m. to midnight, with testimony reserved from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. for local officials, local first responders and families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School system, according to a task force release. For the remainder of the event, a lottery will be held on site to determine speakers. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. Officials warn that anyone arriving before that time will be turned away by security. Space in the auditorium is limited -- once the 850-person capacity is reached, the main entrance will be closed.

 Some representatives have expressed concern about the level of discourse in discussions so far, including Rep. Dan Carter (R-2.) Carter, who represents the southwest portion of Newtown. Carter serves on the Gun Violence Prevention panel and was among those who heard testimony on the issue in Hartford Tuesday.

"[E]veryone is concerned about gun violence, but those with opposing ideas find it difficult to relate to the opposite point of view," said Carter in a statement released Wednesday. "I’m concerned we may be moving forward with this process without having complete information on the unspeakable massacre that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary."

The task force launched a web site earlier this month to profile its efforts. The hearing is the last one scheduled by the task force, but it won't mark the end of Hartford's involvement. The task force is expected to report its findings this spring. Meanwhile, Gov. Dannel Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is also investigating the causes and reaction to the Dec. 14 shooting.

For those who aren't able to attend, the Connecticut Network will stream the event online at their web site.

Jim Galda January 30, 2013 at 01:41 PM
I would like to see something happen with video games and the entertainment industry.I believe this is part of the problem.Also I believe what North Branford did is the correct response.They are hiring retired police to man the schools and they say this could scare the kids having a police presence there.My daughter goes to SHS at chalk hill and she loves and befriended the police at the school.Now I believe she feels safe and can have a calm learning experience.
Mary Thomas January 30, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Aside from the serious issue of gun control, one of the core issues I don't see enough coverage about is the issue of identifying people with serious mental health conditions and attempting to give them preventive care before they lose control. As the news stresses over and over, Nancy Lanza had guns that were legally owned. She chose, apparently, to keep them in an unsecure area. With a young male in the house who was isolated and seemingly had social problems, one has to wonder what could have prevented this horror of 12-14. I have nothing but admiration and sympathy for the first responders in this country who have to go into homes and establishments where there is no assurance whatsoever that a person not in his right mind is free of dangerous weapons, be they guns,bombs or knives. I wish mental health professionals who know what can be done about this problem in this state, which has abandoned places like Fairfield Hills, and never implemented mental health facilities that were supposed to be in place, would speak up and help find solutions to these terribly important issues.
West Hubbard January 31, 2013 at 06:04 AM
With all due respect to those that lost or witnessed loss at Newtown, I don't see why they are being tasked with giving the speeches in regards to new gun legislation. It seems the purpose of this hearing was to evoke emotion. We should have experts, on both sides, delivering the majority of testimony, not emotion and grief stricken parents.
Gary C. Malachowski February 02, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Ok people, the line in the sand has been drawn, there are Thirteen states that will be passing laws including one aimed at nullifying some of the new federal gun restrictions proposed by the Obama administration. Look For Wisconsin too follow if all goes well, too.
Gary C. Malachowski February 02, 2013 at 02:47 AM
Wyoming is one of several states where legislators have proposed laws seeking to nullify new federal gun restrictions, said Jon Griffin, a policy associate with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Among the other states where such laws have been introduced this year are Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia Cody, Wyoming (Reuters) - The Wyoming House of Representatives passed two bills on Friday geared toward protecting or expanding gun rights in the state, including one aimed at nullifying some of the new federal gun restrictions proposed by the Obama administration
Gary C. Malachowski February 02, 2013 at 02:48 AM
Gary C. Malachowski February 02, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Ok, Icould watch this over an over again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KvO-8IvoCI
Gary C. Malachowski February 02, 2013 at 02:56 AM
BEIJING (AP) — A man wielding a knife wounded 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes on Friday, the police said. Most of the attackers have been mentally disturbed men involved in personal disputes or unable to adjust to the rapid pace of social change in China, underscoring grave weaknesses in the antiquated Chinese medical system’s ability to diagnose and treat psychiatric illness. In one of the worst attacks, a man described as an unemployed, middle-aged doctor killed eight children with a knife in March 2010 to vent his anger over a thwarted romantic relationship. We are the only Country that airs our dirty Laundry in Public, China, Japan, Russia, Britain, won't tell you about thing like this.


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