Skip to comments.[CT] Coalition to take on gun lobby
Posted on 09/24/2013 7:21:37 AM PDT by ModernDayCato
A day after President Barack Obama visited the Washington Naval Yard, site of the nation's latest mass shooting, local and federal officials called on citizens across the country to form a coalition large enough to battle the powerful gun lobby.
At a roundtable discussion at the Margaret Morton Government Center in Bridgeport on Monday, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he and other senators will only be able to take on the gun lobby and pass stronger gun laws if people throughout the nation speak up.
"What makes the NRA strong is that they can mobilize tens of thousands of people on a dime," he said. "They can make it sound like a majority because of the echo effect. We need to match that kind of grass-roots coalition."
"Any change we can make that can save just one life, be it a child or an adult, would be worth the effort," said Neil Heslin, father of Jesse Lewis, one of the 20 first-graders killed in the Sandy Hook School massacre in Newtown last December.
Heslin has been a public presence at gun violence hearings and forums all year.
Sitting beside him was Jackie Pettway, who brought nearly everyone to tears when she described the pain she still feels after losing her son, LaChristopher Pettway, just two weeks ago during a shooting incident.
She said when her son was shot he had been trying to move younger people at the scene out of the area.
"I would never want this kind of pain I feel sitting here right now inflicted on another mother," said Pettway, who buried her son last week.
She said she was relieved, but received little comfort, when Bridgeport police quickly arrested a city man and charged him with the shooting.
"No one is a winner here," Pettway said. "That child is an 18-year-old that killed my 26-year-old. The only difference is his mom will visit her son in jail and I will visit my son in a cemetery."
Although Connecticut passed stricter gun laws months after the Newtown shooting, a federal attempt to get expanded background checks for all gun-buyers died in the Senate earlier this year, in large part due to opposition from the National Rifle Association, its lobbyists and supporters.
Robert Crook, director of the Connecticut Coalition of Sportsmen, who was not invited to the roundtable discussion, said he doubted the restrictive gun laws, like expanding background checks and banning assault weapons, would pass even if an opposing coalition is formed.
"The gun people are way more active than the non-gun people," he said. "They have no documentation. Show us the facts, not emotion. Legislators look at votes and they look at money and they look at citizens' opinions."
Restrictive gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens anyway because criminals aren't known for adhering to laws, said Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League.
He said the NRA provides safety training and is just trying to protect citizens' Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The senators were just using the discussion on gun violence to deflect attention away from Congress' failure to address the nation's economic woes, Wilson said.
But local lawmakers and their allies argue the federal gun laws will make a difference.
Ron Pinciaro, of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said the state has the fifth fewest gun deaths in the nation. He attributed that to the fact that Connecticut also has some of the strictest gun laws.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said mass shootings have become the new normal in the nation in the last few years, and the country had been too complacent.
"What we are here to say today is we intend to build a political movement that lasts years and decades," Murphy said. "We are here to tell the gun lobby that we are not going away."
Monte Frank, a member of the Newtown Action Alliance, said gun lobbyists shouldn't underestimate the impact of activism in the state.
"The Connecticut effect has emerged into an American effect because gun violence has no borders," he said.
But Crook said those pushing for new laws are making a mistake: they are not focusing enough time and effort on the underlying issues behind gun violence, especially mental illness.
It was the one thing the roundtable participants and gun enthusiasts agreed on.
The Rev. Richardo Griffith, an East End activist, said local church leaders need to play an active part in guiding local youth away from violence and providing services to the community.
"It is time for us to take control of our streets," he said.
Bridgeport Assistant Police Chief James Nardozzi said many of the shootings in the city are caused by conflicts between members of opposing gangs.
"This gun culture and lack of conflict resolution skills also calls for an educational component," Nardozzi said.
Blumenthal said he believes national gun reform is possible if people across the nation unite.
"It will take time and it will take a sustained effort," he said.
#4 Obama’s line, Biden’s line, etc. “If it would save one life..” while killing other unprotected innocent people as “collateral damage”.
The libs never think of anything but power.
Blumenthal - a proven liar. He’s a good one to talk but he’s a nut, typical of Conn. Democrats.
a once literally crime-free state (I used to visit relatives in Bridgeport and Trumbull over the past 50 years). Last time I was in Bridgeport it looked like Puerto Rico, Sons of Anarchy, and Philadelphia (where I also lived in the 60’s).
That’s nothing to brag about, Blumenthal, you ahole.
The number of people killed in mass shootings hasn’t really changed much in decades, despite stricter laws. The population has increased, so the potential for being a mass shooting victim has gone down.
How come we don’t have a gang control lobby?
You know they had heavily armed police at that event, most likely with eeeeeeevil SBR’s.
I hate Connecticut Nazis (and the rest of them, too).
Ron seems to be pretty SLOW. Comparing Connecticut with Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, etc. is something only retards would do. The metrosexual city boys can have all of the gun control they want. They just don’t need to bring that crap out west. We don’t need it.
That explains why the other places with the strictest gun control laws in the nation - Chicago, New York City, New Orleans, Washington D.C. - have virtually no shootings at all. Well, some. Well, a lot.
Is there an accurate list of what nations have the highest and lowest gun death rates, i.e. the highest and lowest numbers of gun deaths and gun murders per capita? If we can see an accurate list and compare and contrast their gun control policies, maybe that can help defenders of the 2nd Amendment crush the opposition on this.
It would be great to have a complete collection of this material since this is getting grating and tiring and I want the arguments of the gun grabbers to be crushed and shredded and obliterated so badly that nobody with an iota of common sense would ever, ever believe them.
While we are distracted, he moves to have this signed!!!!
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/09/24/kerry-to-sign-un-arms-treaty-Kerry to sign UN arms treaty, despite senators’ opposition
Published September 24, 2013 FoxNews.
Secretary of State John Kerry plans to sign a controversial U.N. treaty on arms regulation on Wednesday, a senior State Department official told Fox News — despite warnings from lawmakers that the Senate will not ratify the agreement.
A State official said the treaty would “reduce the risk that international transfers of conventional arms will be used to carry out the world’s worst crimes,” while protecting gun rights.
“The treaty builds on decades of cooperative efforts to stem the international, illegal, and illicit trade in conventional weapons that benefits terrorists and rogue agents,” the official said.
U.S. lawmakers, though, have long claimed that the treaty could lead to new gun control measures. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., one of the most vocal opponents of the treaty, sent a letter to Kerry declaring it “dead in the water,” since a majority of senators has gone on record against the agreement.
“The administration is wasting precious time trying to sign away our laws to the global community and unelected U.N. bureaucrats,” he wrote.
Kerry, who is in New York attending the U.N. General Assembly session, announced earlier this year that the administration planned to sign the treaty.
The treaty would require countries that ratify it to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and components and to regulate arms brokers, but it will not explicitly control the domestic use of weapons in any country.
Still, gun-rights supporters on Capitol Hill warn the treaty could be used as the basis for additional gun regulations inside the U.S. and have threatened not to ratify.
Over the summer, 130 members of Congress signed a letter to President Obama and Kerry urging them to reject the measure for this and other reasons.
The chance of adoption by the U.S. is slim. A two-thirds majority would be needed in the Senate to ratify.
What impact the treaty will have in curbing the estimated $60 billion global arms trade remains to be seen. The U.N. treaty will take effect after 50 countries ratify it, and a lot will depend on which ones ratify and which ones don’t, and how stringently it is implemented.
The Control Arms Coalition, which includes hundreds of non-governmental organizations in more than 100 countries that promoted an Arms Trade Treaty, has said it expects many of the world’s top arms exporters — including Britain, Germany and France — to sign alongside emerging exporters such as Brazil and Mexico. It said the United States is expected to sign later this year.
The coalition notes that more than 500,000 people are killed by armed violence every year and predicted that “history will be made” when many U.N. members sign the treaty, which it says is designed “to protect millions living in daily fear of armed violence and at risk of rape, assault, displacement and death.”
Many violence-wracked countries, including Congo and South Sudan, are also expected to sign. The coalition said their signature — and ratification — will make it more difficult for illicit arms to cross borders.
The treaty covers battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons.
It prohibits states that ratify it from transferring conventional weapons if they violate arms embargoes or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. The treaty also prohibits the export of conventional arms if they could be used in attacks on civilians or civilian buildings such as schools and hospitals.
In addition, the treaty requires countries to take measures to prevent the diversion of conventional weapons to the illicit market. This is among the provisions that gun-rights supporters in Congress are concerned about.
Fox News’ Nicole Busch and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
I haven't stopped laughing. It's going to be a while, this one's the best I've heard so far today....and there was another very good humorous thread about AR-15s, too. This is funnier. "Conflict resolution skills??" Is this guy that leftist, or gay? Both?
Guns save lives.
I spoke with Chris Murphy’s office yesterday.
They DO NOT want to hear from pro-gun people. My blood pressure has barely recovered from the convo.
I am of the opinion that those who really, really believe that getting rid of guns will make the world safer are of the distinct minority in this debate, despite their juvenile reasoning. Others seek to disarm the populace for far more nefarious goals, and willingly use those few 'true believers' in their battle to enslave the rest of us. It is part and parcel of their secular Darwinistic worldview which holds that only might makes right, and the absence of their belief in a deity or afterlife only whets their desire for power and its trappings.
They've already spoken up, senator Bloomberg... ...I mean, Blumenthal...
Your side is on the minority.
Murphy is a putz. And I'm ashamed to have him as my senator. Even more ashamed then I was when he was my rep. He's a union hack and an idiot to boot.
They frequently have some women “victim” running around in addition to him.