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A Proud, Card-Carrying Member of the “Connecticut Effect”

Patch columnist Heather Borden Herve reflects on the passage last week of CT’s stronger gun laws.

I couldn’t have been prouder to be a resident of Connecticut after this week’s history-making events.

Wednesday, I stayed up into the wee hours of as the morning turned to Thursday to watch as both chambers of the CT General Assembly voted to pass the bipartisan-drafted gun violence prevention legislation. The bill, crafted in the wake of the Dec. 14 shooting massacre in Newtown, was signed into law by Gov. Malloy later the same day as it was passed by the legislators.  

It’s not perfect legislation. Its detractors say it will be ripped apart on appeal and that it violates constitutional gun rights. Many supporters of stronger gun laws (like me) were relieved that it covered as much as it did—a background check requirement, an expanded assault weapons ban, a ban on the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition, registration of large magazines sold prior to the law, and a weapons offender registry, among other changes. There are also provisions regarding mental health, including training for teachers about mental health issues, and additional funding.

There were some that felt the legislation didn’t go far enough—there was no ‘grandfathering’ for any types of weapons or magazines above 10 rounds, which would have compelled gun owners to turn in or sell certain guns or ammunition. But the relief came from seeing the support for this legislation from such a vast majority of the elected officials.

In the state Senate, the vote passed 26-10; in the House the bill was decisively supported by the ‘yeas’ 105-44.

It might have not happened. With the headquarters of NSSF, one of the larger national gun lobbying organizations, headquartered in Newtown; with the number of firearm and ammunition manufacturers based in the state; and with the organized, vocal presence of gun owners steadily present in Hartford every time there were hearings, I wouldn’t have been surprised if nothing changed in the law. Given how political, how emotional, how angry the debate got before the legislation was even introduced, I’m grateful with the result.

I’m grateful that legislators clearly heard from a majority of their constituents that stronger gun laws had voter support. This had to be true or else the vote wouldn’t have gone the way it did.

I’m grateful that the voice of Connecticut voters counted more than what was heard from gun manufacturers and industry lobbyists. The democratic process worked here.

I’m grateful that support for this legislation came not only from those who typically push for stronger restrictions on guns and ammunition, but also from gun owners.

I’m grateful that the legislators representing Wilton—Rep. Gail Lavielle, Sen. Toni Boucher, and Rep. Tom O’Dea—all voted ‘Yea’ on this legislation.

I’m grateful for the courage of the parents and relatives of those killed in Newtown, and for the families who lost loved ones during other times of gun violence, who came forward to share their stories of why such legislation was so important.

And I’m grateful to have been part of a something dubbed the “Connecticut Effect.” The phrase was coined by an NRA lobbyist who said that efforts to change gun laws would die down once more time passed following Newtown. The words were meant to deride the amount of attention supporters of tougher gun legislation were getting following the awful massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. The words belittled the groundswell of effort that arose after the day when 20 children and six educators were brutally killed by a gunman using the type of gun and ammunition the law addresses.

Instead, the words became a rallying point, motivating thousands to continue to press for change.

To have been in Hartford on Feb. 14 for the March for Change, to know that the emails, calls and rallying had an effect on our legislators, to know that our voices were heard and that we changed the course of right and wrong in the state where we live, is profound. To have been part of a group of people who woke up on Dec. 15 to the realization that they could not be silent about this issue after never having been part of a movement to speak up before, was remarkable.

To know that these laws are now considered the toughest gun laws in the nation, that it helps strengthen national efforts to make gun laws more of a reality, is empowering. And instead of "packing heat" to feel that way, I have something else: 

I now call myself a proud, card-carrying member of the “Connecticut Effect.”

Concerned Parent & Gun Owner April 10, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Steve - If I may, many gun control advocates not driven by pure ideological disdain for gun rights supporters (not sure about Ed) believe that any gun or gun owner could be the source of the next horrific event. They believe all gun owners & our family members are one "snap" away from becoming homicidal mass killers. Hence, we have to be deprived of our firearms and those scary 11+ round mags because we are wanton death waiting to happen. I do not mean to mock but that is the only possible conclusion from all of this "what if", "if it only prevents" & "you never know when" rationalizations to justify restrictions that have never been proven to work where implemented. Worse, there is no appreciation or value placed on the suppression of our rights or the "inconvenience" being laid on us in the HOPE of stopping something in the future. Those who have no gun experience have nothing to lose and can not appreciate the value others place in something that is being taken away, whether physical or conceptual. Thus, our entreaties to these people look selfish, narcissistic, even craven to people who have never handled a firearm and are "certain" they will never be in a position to wish that they had one available to them. Mother Jones massacre database is interesting http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data I disagree w their conclusions but note the "Mental Health" column. Also, note only 3 AR15 events (AKs banned in CT)
RW April 10, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Calling this a "bi-partisan" effort is a joke for two reasons: the CT GOP who voted for this are cowards, infected with the same lack of principals or spine that the liberals in this state have. The second is that if we are to believe what some GOP legislators have told us, this was the 'compromise' bill (even though no one really had time to read this one either). Malloy and his minions supposedly threatened to ram through a confiscatory bill which would have been much worse (and as a result probably would been thrown out on a constitutional challenge) if the GOP didn't support this bill. Democrats in this state do not need republican support to pass anything, but leftist a like heather don't seem to care or see the significance. Malloy was just looking for cover, and our republican cowards took the bait. Again. Cafero for governor? NEVER! McKinney for ANYTHING? Not a chance.
Eustace Tilley April 10, 2013 at 04:25 PM
If I were vs. if I was... Please use them correctly or Sister Mary Josita will rap your knuckles! http://mleddy.blogspot.com/2007/03/if-i-were-if-i-was.html
Concerned Parent April 10, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Donald...Since you playing the role of scribe for your cause and taking notes...you should capture this fellow...He obviously got his gun for the purpose of self defense. "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q362H-xg0ZA"
Steve April 10, 2013 at 07:49 PM
@Edmund Burke: Apparently it depends on which numbering scheme your particular religion follows if Wikipedia is to be believed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments#Texts_with_numbering_schemes
AZ April 10, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Ed, Actually, US forces were conducting operation in Vietnam as early as 1955 under the CIA direction. How do you think Diem comes into power? Kennedy continues policies begun with Eisenhower and sends "special military advisors" peaking at 12,000. Johnson actually makes Vietnam a war and introduces formal military operations. See Gulf of Tonkin resolution (1964). Marines deployed 1965. War escalates to troop deployment over 500,000 by 1968.
Alethiologist April 10, 2013 at 10:45 PM
That is a real concern.
porter gladstone jr April 11, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Stonewall says: "Read the bill, Ed. Your reckless opining is tired and shows only your ignorance, and not ours. " Lets file that under concepts 3 and 4 (the oft used tedius and the oft used ignorant ) thanks Donald--like I keep saying, I check in on your comments. You honesty need to look up the word tedium and consider your approach. Tedium is repeating yourself. Hope you don't think you have broken any new ground today or in any of your 5,000 posts that reiterate the exact same thing. Come on man-- if you are gonna employ the term tedium, can you please be less tedious? Please.
porter gladstone jr April 11, 2013 at 04:43 AM
Here we observe the concept of the 2nd Amendment and gun-owner rights. I forgot about fascism . Sorry, that should be filed either under the 2nd amendment or perhaps a whole concept. But that term is used pretty much 10 times a day. Thanks don for never saying anything new. I dont like to be wrong, and you havent let me down.
porter gladstone jr April 11, 2013 at 04:45 AM
Toomey and Manchin present: The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act- More 2nd amendment. thanks man...keep up the tedium , to use your terminology.
Alethiologist April 11, 2013 at 09:36 AM
Let's cover this story... http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/04/10/monstrous-abortion-trial-that-media-dont-want-to-know-about/?intcmp=trending Socialist media won't cover simply because it does not fit their agenda..How sad, how corrupt
Alethiologist April 11, 2013 at 09:59 AM
Very practical and useful information... Participating in a gun buy back because you believe that the criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you believe that the neighbors have too many kids.
Edmund Burke April 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM
Steve, Interesting, did not know that.
Concerned Parent April 11, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Very simple question; Do you believe that anyone looking to purchase a gun should go thru a background check? If not, please explain why..
Alethiologist April 11, 2013 at 01:30 PM
I believe anyone who has a DUI should be barred from owning a car. (they committed a crime) and such should be recorded on a suspended driver's license. I believe anyone having had an abortion should be barred from owning a gun (pre-disposed to murder) and that should be annotated on their driver's license. I believe anyone wishing to vote must show proof of citizenship and photo driver's license. Such ID to show list of crimes, mental instability etc that may prohibit voting Once that is in place, I will consider background checks for others.
AZ April 11, 2013 at 10:04 PM
You should run for public office and speak your mind in public.
porter gladstone jr April 11, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Stonewall You are welcome to post the same stuff over and over again. But Im pleading with you to recognize what tedium really is. You and Thomas Paine boldly declared that you would no longer post on this forum. Did you stop? Did he? Would you describe that as integrity? As a man of your word? What is your defintion of being mentally disabled? Mine would certainly include delusional behavior, lack of responsibility. Unfortunately you fail each of those tests. Now you can come back with some clever , witty retort. But what I am simply trying to expose here is that you should never speak about integrity if you lack it. You should never speak about tedious posts, when each and every one of yours says the same thing. And you should not think of yourself in any way superior , intellectually to others, when you cant identify tedium, integrity and responsibility. It is delusional. Continue posting ignorantly about the 2nd Amendment and how court decisions are in your mind set in stone (is Roe V Wade irreversible? Weird how it seems possible to a good number of people). Its up to you. Im not engaging in adhominem attacks or looking to employ ridicule. Im pointing out the weakness in your debating points. You and Thomas both try to put your logic on a pedestal--then have your logic and reasoning torn apart time after time. (for example tom talks derogatorily about posting under multiple pseudonyms -and does it himself---lame)
Lucy McGrath April 11, 2013 at 11:20 PM
more completely shameless rhetoric from the usual narrow-minded bigots.... http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/celeb-news/ann-coulter-jokes-meghan-mccain-murdered-mccain-family-200011447.html
porter gladstone jr April 12, 2013 at 12:10 AM
I believe that people should have the right to own bazookas and short range missles. (Im for the 2nd amendment that guarantees me that right, man!) Im for walking into grocery stores with no restrictions on being able to carry a howitzer as its my right man!. I believe there should be no restrctions and I am will not recognize the difference between a car, fertilzer and a gun. If I keep pretending to put them all in the same category--maybe people will just grow tired and stop speaking forthrightly. 10k people are killed a year by guns, but I'll bring up Timothy McVeigh from nearly 20 years ago, as evidence that other forms of killing exist. Thats right when you agree with me on all these insipid points, then I'll move on to background checks.
Cliff Cuming April 12, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Alethiologist...you missed this one. Amazing it is just now being considered! http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/11/north-carolina-house-approves-bill-requiring-background-checks-for-welfare/?test=latestnews
Local Parent April 12, 2013 at 04:12 AM
"Martin Bashir suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed" What??
Alethiologist April 12, 2013 at 05:19 AM
I agree. Martin Bashir is a bigoted nut case. How dare he advocate the killing of American politicans. But what do you expect from NBC and their socialist perspectives? Between Bashir and Piers Mogan, they tout a foreign perspective alien to American values. And how dare Coulter parody their recommendations! Colbert or Stewart can do it but not Coulter... she is a woman on every socialist's hit list, of course. Cheers and Masalama too.
Alethiologist April 12, 2013 at 05:24 AM
AZ The RTC and DTC cannot handle different opinions. They want little people who will line up in rigid obedience to their respective leaders. They want donations, not debate. What an easy way to keep citizen sheep at bay...suckers eh?
Alethiologist April 12, 2013 at 09:07 AM
HBH Are you aware of this horror? Are any of the socialist/liberal/"progressives" aware of this? Where the devil is the editorial outrage!? Does it fit the "Agenda" http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/04/10/monstrous-abortion-trial-that-media-dont-want-to-know-about/?intcmp=obnetwork
Concerned Parent April 12, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Steve...I understand, but first allow me to let you know where I stand so we are clear....I support gun control but not gun bans...However, I support the limitation on magazine size and broader background checks. So with that being said, here's my point when it comes to magazine size. I continue to hear about the time it takes to change a magazine, but in Lanza's case, whatever the specific circumstances, the the time it took for him to reload enabled children to leave to avoid getting shot. As far as background and registration, this is not a 2A issue more than a privacy issue. I continue to hear from gun owners, and I emphasis "owners" because they currently possess firearms and any supporting magazines and ammunition. No owner is being mandated to turn in anything, however, need to register those firearms. The limitations come when you take your weapon outside of your home which basically means you can configure your gun anyway you wish at your residence (no change if you are talking self-defense of your home). To diminish the capacity of your long gun would mean to impose some level of confiscation, which it does not. The only impact is towards the purchase of any guns who wish to own a gun in the future. So honestly, how are your 2A rights being violated.
porter gladstone jr April 12, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Stone? Why wouldnt she approve? If its new stuff, by all means email me at willylands@aol.com. If its to tell me im ignorant or that i must be a facsist if i favor some restrictions on guns, you need not bother.
Thomas Paine April 14, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Even Saturday Night Live is mocking the ineffective universal background checks: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/gun-control-cold-open/n35538
porter gladstone jr April 14, 2013 at 07:50 PM
No. They're mocking politics. But your interpretation of the show is telling. Every commentary is an opportunity to misinterpret in your favor. It reminds me of how the media portrays politicians and immigration. Over the last generation, Republicans have opposed immigration as unlawful and as an economic burden. Democrats have opposed immigration while protecting labor unions from an onslaught of cheaper labor sources. You heard about opposition from both in the past, but as Hispanics have become such an important voting bloc, all those Democratic opponents seem to have been forgotten by the media. I look at both sides and evaluate. You seem capable of only digesting things you interpret favorably. What's wrong with background checks that extend to gun shows and private sales? I have to register my car--presumably you are for Government I.d's to vote? Whats wrong with looking to put in place measures that make gun owners more accountable?
Edmund Burke April 14, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Porter, Republicans have opposed illegal immigration, which is unlawful.
porter gladstone jr April 14, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Edmund. Not all republicans have. There is a republican in Montana that doesn't. I think you know what I mean, as I do you. but if you want to quibble--fine-

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