In light of the latest killings this week - three Black individuals were murdered by a racist in Florida, and eight people shot in an urban melee outside Boston - it’s time to talk, once again, about gun violence. More than 25,000 people have been killed by guns in America so far this year. At least 170 of them were children. Death by suicide made up the majority of gun deaths.
So, I am proud that once again Connecticut is a leader in gun violence prevention.
One of the most significant pieces of legislation we passed this last session was HB 6667: An Act Addressing Gun Violence. This bill, passed with bipartisan support and signed by Governor Lamont earlier this summer, strengthens Connecticut’s gun violence prevention laws in significant ways. It includes provisions to prevent community gun violence, stop mass shootings, avoid firearm-related accidents, add protections for domestic violence victims, and avert suicides. Click HERE to read the bill.
As always, I realize I will not have pleased everyone by pushing the green button. But I stand firmly behind my “yes” vote, for while I know responsible gun owners will decry this as government overreach, I believe it is the government’s responsibility to protect people, including, at times and unfortunately, from one another.
One of the provisions in this new bill will ban the practice of openly carrying firearms in public. This will rile Second Amendment rights advocates. But this practice is usually meant to intimidate others - at one public hearing a few years back, I watched as a dozen members of the CCDL (open carry) advocacy group - decked out in their black t-shirts with pistol logo - deliberately sat behind a young woman who survived the Sandy Hook slaughter. (I refuse to call it a “tragedy” - which implies something inevitable.)
This brave young woman, only six when her classmates were murdered before her eyes, had the courage to come to the Capitol and testify before the Judiciary Committee on a proposed gun bill. Her knees were shaking. Her father stood silently beside her. But she had more guts than all the men behind her combined, who sniggered and mumbled sarcastic remarks as she spoke. Imagine if we allowed them to openly carry guns in the Capitol! Now, people like this will be banned from this flagrant, pointless display outside government buildings, too.