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Mothers Organize Against Gun Violence, Unveil Ambitious Agenda

by Christine Stuart | Jan 23, 2013 6:30am
(13) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Town News, Newtown, State Capitol

A day after the Newtown shooting, two mothers who live in Fairfield County felt compelled to do something. They spoke to five other mothers and pretty soon the group mushroomed to 250. It now includes more than 1,500.

The two mothers, Nancy Lefkowitz and Meg Staunton, then teamed up with Connecticut Against Gun Violence to organize a March for Change, which they describe as a grassroots, bipartisan effort in support of the gun-control group’s agenda.

Lefkowitz, who attended the Million Mom March on May 14, 2000, said gun enthusiasts have been organized for a long time and it’s time for them to experience the opposition.

An estimated 1,000 gun owners turned out for a rally this past Saturday at the state Capitol to oppose any sort of restrictions on their right to carry a gun of their choosing. The turnout puts pressure on Lefkowitz’s group to turn out an even larger crowd at their state Capitol rally on Feb. 14.

“We do feel pressure because we have been bullied by the opposition long enough,” Lefkowitz said. “We need to be louder and come out stronger to ensure that our legislators understand that we mean business.”

That’s why they’ve teamed up with Connecticut Against Gun Violence, a group dedicated to making communities safe from gun violence.

“We told them we can bring you noise. We can bring you passion,” Lefkowitz said Tuesday in describing why the group teamed up with the gun-control organization.

She said there is a heightened sense of urgency to get gun control legislation passed when “20 babies” are killed. She was referring to the 20 first graders gunned down in their classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.

Lefkowitz expressed confidence that the group will turn out more than 1,000 people for its rally.

“We have reached a tipping point and it’s time we let our legislators know where we stand,” Staunton said in a statement. “March for Change will be respectful but relentless in the pursuit of safer gun laws in Connecticut.”

The legislative suggestions put forth by the group Tuesday are “the most ambitious” in the state’s history, according to Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence. The suggestions are as follows:

—Strengthen the assault weapons ban by requiring that all weapons having military features be banned and that existing weapons defined as assault weapons be destroyed, turned in to law enforcement, or removed from the state.

—Ban large capacity ammunition magazines of more than 7 rounds and that existing magazines of more than 7 rounds be destroyed, turned in to law enforcement, or removed from the state. New York State has just adopted law that established the 7-round limit.

—Require permits and universal background checks on ALL sales and transfers of guns, including long guns.

—Require registration of handguns with annual renewal; require annual fee and annual background check for all handguns owned; require that the owner stipulate that the guns are still in their possession or explain how the gun was transferred to another person; require safety inspection every three years.

—Make gun owners liable for negligent storage if any person gains access to firearms and injures himself or another person or causes damage to property. The violation would be a Class D felony.

—Ban the right of way for transportation of firearms and ammunition bought over the Internet.

—Tax ammunition sales and require a license/permit to purchase any gun or ammunition.

—Restrict handgun sales to one gun/month.

Some of these suggestions already have been incorporated in legislative proposals from lawmakers, while others will be discussed by both Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, which meets Thursday, and the bipartisan legislative task force, which will hold its first public hearing on Friday.

“We hope that our elected officials will act swiftly on these measures because the horrific tragedy in Newtown compels Connecticut to pass the most comprehensive legislation in the nation,” Pinciaro said in a statement. “Extended delays will endanger passage of the type of gun violence prevention measures that will make our communities safer.”

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(13) Comments

posted by: Noteworthy | January 23, 2013  8:48am

According to organizers, they bring noise and passion. That’s for sure. The claim of being bullied is well, just bogus. The word bully is so over-used it is in danger of meaning nothing which is precisely what it means in this context. The louder noise goal - who can be louder than 1500 women? With all that noise, how can they hear?

As for the specifics of this proposal - as a general comment, it is extreme. From the taxes to the fees to annual review of permits - all extreme. But the idea that the state can come and take away something you have lawfully purchased, without your permission, without paying for it is really extreme and shrill which is in keeping with a goal of all that noise.

Where is the support for better mental health access? For easing the laws on civil committments? Our healthcare advocate just released a report that says mental healthcare is at a crisis level and requires action now. All this proposal does is attack guns and gun owners. The root of the problem in Newtown is not the gun, it is the twisted mind of the shooter. Why does this group ignore it?

posted by: sparkplug | January 23, 2013  10:45am

The proposals listed here are geared toward making communities more vulnerable, not less. It guarantees that bad guys with guns will outnumber good guys with guns, and assures that bad guys (who will not obey the new laws) will have greater fire power. Rest in peace, common sense.

posted by: NoNonsense2013 | January 23, 2013  10:50am

There is NO one solution. Reasonable, sensible regulations regarding gun ownership can and must go hand in hand with improved access to mental health care. Period.

posted by: ALD | January 23, 2013  1:29pm

The comments above mine here each contain far more common sense logic than the article they are commenting on.  I do not own any guns. Nor do I ever intend to. But as far as I know law abiding gun owners are no less law abiding than non gun owning liberal Democrats are. 

That being the case have we become so naive so as to believe that we can solve this problem by only passing more laws that only the law abiding will follow?  Or do we get serious and start having the more politically inconvenient conversations regarding the roles mental illness, the Hollywood and other entertainment culture of violence, and the moral decay of our society also play? 

This is almost as foolish as believing we can solve our budget problems by raising taxes alone. Clearly that has not worked because like this matter we only dealt with one part of the problem, and not the real root cause of the problem.

posted by: Joebigjoe | January 23, 2013  11:17pm

I really don’t give a rats you know what, what New York does. Their governor just announced he wants unrestricted abortion after 24 weeks.

Let’s deal with new gun laws like this. If you vote for a gun law and a situation comes up where because of your law, an innocent person cannot defend themselves and is harmed then you get a mandatory five years in prison. Now go vote…

posted by: Joebigjoe | January 23, 2013  11:32pm

I have a question for the anti gun people.

For most of our nations history it has been unthinkable that the government have lists of gun owners and what weapons they own. Let’s say that this has been more of a push in the last 15 years than the previous 200 which is factually accurate.

Why do you think that this was never done before by generations of politicians of both parties?

Every poll shows enormous distrust of government regardless of party affiliation. Again this is factual so why would you push for government to have this information now?

posted by: sparkplug | January 24, 2013  8:22am

<<
If you vote for a gun law and a situation comes up where because of your law, an innocent person cannot defend themselves and is harmed then you get a mandatory five years in prison.
>>

An interesting point. How is leaving citizens defenseless NOT criminal negligence? But of course our liberal friends will tell us “Oh don’t worry, we’ll take everyone’s guns eventually and you’ll be safe then!” Well how did that work out in England? Gun murders went down after the confiscation but overall murders went up! Same deal in Australia when they confiscated everything but single shot rifles (which their government is now trying to take). The bottom line here is that collectivists cannot have their subjects running around acting like free men. THAT is what this new wave of gun control is all about. “We’ll take some of the guns now that the Newton incident occurred, then when the next tragedy occurs we’ll take a few more, and eventually we but totally free from the threat of a peasant uprising! Oh how wonderful it is to be an elitist and hold all the power! As for you, little people, just shut up now and let us take care of you”.

posted by: sofaman | January 25, 2013  12:34am

More nonsense and lies perpetuated by the gun lust crowd. It’s simple folks, every nation that has put reasonable and responsible gun laws into effect has a murder rate a tiny fraction of the USA. Australia and the U.K. are no exception.

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/05/gun-control-in-australia/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jul/19/falling-murder-rate-domestic-violence

posted by: Joebigjoe | January 25, 2013  9:03am

I thought liberals were supposed to be real good at math Sofaman.

Just look at the federal def…  or the state budg..
OK maybe not.

Now follow me for a moment Sofaman.

Take these numbers and extrapolate out their population vs. our population. We are still higher in number of gun deaths, but not that far off.

Now as you look at that number, I want you to look at the dramatic increases in violent crime against law abiding citizens. Personally, I would rather there be a check mark in the death by gun column against a violent criminal, then have a check mark in the column for having my head bashed in with a pipe. Just my opinion though.

OK back to the numbers. I will list a few locations which dramatically increase our numbers of gun deaths. South Chicago, South Central LA, East St Louis, Washington DC, Overton area Miami. I could name more but let’s stop with that.

Now I want you to tell me locations in the UK or Australia that are just like that. After all aren’t we comparing apples and apples?

posted by: sparkplug | January 25, 2013  2:02pm

sofaman,

You’re evidently unaware or unconcerned about the fact that FactCheck.org is a creation of the far-left Annenberg Public Policy Center. It is hardly an objective source for gun statistics or any other issue the far left doesn’t like.

A much better source would be:

http://www.gunsandcrime.org/aussiegc.html

At the very least they provide credible sources of information about Australian gun stats.

  1. S. Mukherjee, et.al. A Statistical Profile of Crime in Australia
    (Canberra, Australia: AIC, April 1993) RPP07, Table 4.5
  2. Crime and Safety part of “Australia Now” series at Australian
    Bureau of Statistics (ABS) web site, Table 11.12
  3. “Income and Welfare:  Income support programs - Dept. of
    Family & Community Services” p/o “Australia Now”
    series at ABS web site.
  4. “Crime and Justice:  Expenditure on public order and safety”
    p/o “Australia Now” series at ABS web site.

posted by: sparkplug | January 25, 2013  2:26pm

Here’s another article entitled “RESULTS OF THE ‘96/‘97 AUSTRALIAN GUN LAWS & “BUYBACK”

http://www.gunsandcrime.org/auresult.html

posted by: sofaman | January 25, 2013  3:35pm

Joe and SP.
For guys spouting about stats, you are sorely missing them. SP,that tired old nimrod trick of only showing 96/97 Australian stats? You must be used to debating children.

Murder Rate by Country:

USA: 4.8%
UK: 1.2%
Australia: 1.0%
and for good measure
Canada: 1.6%

AT LEAST MORE THAN FOUR TIMES OUR MURDER RATE. In most European countries, the gap is far greater.

In Australia, before the 1996 gun ban, there were 13 Mass Shootings. SINCE THE BAN THERE HAVE BEEN ZERO.

This issue impacts the safety of children. You guys should take the time to get educated.

posted by: sparkplug | January 25, 2013  7:38pm

Sofaman, you have not educated me one bit. You’ve just listed statistics that are not even mentioned in either of the sources you provided earlier. Furthermore, you throw out these numbers without providing any context whatsoever! For instance, what type of murders do these numbers represent? All murders? Firearms only? Firearms + baseball bats? Hammers + tire irons? Non-firearm deaths only? What time period do these numbers represent? What demographics do these numbers apply to?  The bottom line here is that you have not been able to produce even one piece of relevant data to contribute to this discussion.

I think the bottom line here is that you’re a typical liberal guy (not that there’s anything wrong with that) that believes “in his heart” that guns are bad because they kill people, so they must all be banned. But you can’t make the mental leap that cars kill even more people, yet you would NEVER suggest that cars should be banned also. Why? Because while you understand the tradeoff between personal safety and the necessities of life in the modern world,  you are not able to do the same when it comes to firearms because 1) you’ve been trained to have a viseral reaction at the mention of the word “gun”, and 2) you don’t understand the importance of guns in the hands of the average law-abiding citizen.
 
That said, you did say one thing today that’s actually worth repeating (and that you should probably take to heart yourself):

“This issue impacts the safety of children. YOU should take the time to get educated.”