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Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Gets Gun Lesson

by Hugh McQuaid | Mar 1, 2013 3:06pm
(21) Comments | Commenting has expired

Hugh McQuaid Photo

Trooper Joseph Delehanty

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s gun violence task force heard testimony Friday from a state trooper and gun enthusiast with a “more is better” philosophy on firearms.

The committees and task forces charged with making recommendations in response to the Newtown murders have heard from a number of law enforcement officials over the past few months. Some have been hesitant to give their personal opinion on firearm regulations.

However, Trooper First Class Joseph Delehanty of the Firearms Training Unit said he was an avid gun collector. He showed the commission a wide variety of weapons, including assault rifles, guns with attached grenade launchers, and revolvers that can fire shotgun shells.

Answering questions from the panel, Delehanty said many of the firearms were used for home protection. He pushed back against suggestions that the availability of certain types of ammunition should be limited to firing ranges.

“This is America—more is better and I can’t put it any other way. I mean, I collect guns,” he said.

Delehanty told the commission that he preferred to collect weapons manufactured prior to the 1990s, like lever-action rifles, muzzleloaders, and double-barreled shotguns. He said he didn’t want to tell the group how many weapons he owned.

“My wife will say ‘Do you need all those?’ and I say ‘Yes.’” he said. “... Some people collect cars. Jay Leno collects cars. Does he ever drive any? I don’t know. It’s a collection.”

Delehanty said many of the weapons he showed the group had also sporting applications. Some of the ammunition is designed not to ruin the pelts of animals shot by hunters, he said.

“There are uses for all of these guns,” he said, motioning to the firearms on the desk in front of him. “Deer hunting for this one, or boar hunting.”

Yale psychiatry Professor Ezra Griffith admitted to being ignorant of the subject and asked why anyone would want a 30-round ammunition magazine or the application for other gun-related equipment.

“Any cocktail party I go to and we’re talking about this stuff we want to know, why does a sportsman need ‘X?’ That comes up a hundred times during the cocktail party and most of us who are in this can’t answer it. We can’t conceptualize what people do with this,” Griffith said.

Delehanty said people like to buy weapons after watching action movies.

“Have you seen ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ yet?” he asked. Griffith answered that he had not.

“After that, you might want to go out and buy a gun that looks like this,” he said, referring to a military-style weapon.

“When ‘Dirty Harry’ came out in the 70s, we all had to go buy a .44 magnum because that was ‘the most powerful gun in the world,’” he said, impersonating Clint Eastwood. “You had to have one.”

Delehanty said people often buy weapons that appear in movies and video games.

“It’s like advertising. You’re paying to go see an advertisement,” he said.

Griffith asked whether the he was suggesting that the media was to blame for the fascination some people have with firearms.

“I mean, where does it come from, this fantasy?” he asked.

Delehanty said he had no idea.

“I don’t know when it became OK in our households to let our children play those video games,” he said.

Later in the day, Dr. Brendan Campbell of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center testified before the group regarding the types of gun trauma injuries his hospital sees among children. He said if members forgot most of his presentation, he wanted to drive home two points which were supported by statistics.

“One, is that guns are more dangerous than protective,” he said, adding that gun violence deaths are preventable.

The commission continued to hear testimony Friday on firearms in spite of the governor’s own recommendations, which he released last week after expressing frustration with the pace of legislative action on the subject.

Though Malloy charged the commission with making careful, deliberated recommendations, its chairman, Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, said he didn’t blame the governor from acting before his group had a chance to report.

“I certainly didn’t feel put off or taken aback in anyway. I think it’s his job and the job of the state legislature to make their recommendations as well,” he said. “I wouldn’t ask anyone to sit on their hand and wait for us. This is a critical issue in the state of Connecticut.”

Jackson said he expects the group will maintain its timeline and make recommendations by March 15 so they can be included in emergency certified legislation. He said it was impossible to say how the group’s recommendations might compare to Malloy’s proposals, which include a prohibition of the sale of some military-style weapons and high capacity magazines.

“We have the governor’s recommendations and we understand the governor’s recommendations. But what we’re doing here today is getting baseline information and what the current state of law it,” he said.

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(21) Comments

posted by: Chien DeBerger | March 1, 2013  3:33pm

Thank you Trooper Delehanty for your candor. You voice of the vast majority of the on-the-street cops not the CPCA. Connecticut has some of the most restrictive laws on the books. NO MORE!

I know that his testimony fell on the deaf ears of the democrats unfortunately.

posted by: Chien DeBerger | March 1, 2013  3:38pm

Once again, can we see some unbiased coverage of the 800,000 to 1 million lawful uses of firearms to protect citizens from becoming victims of crimes? Can we acknowledged that accidental firearm deaths are at their lowest level even though we have more guns in society? Can we acknowledge that the majority of young men killed is the end result of gang related activity? Can we acknowledged that violent crime is at the lowest levels since the mid-1960’s?

posted by: Fisherman | March 1, 2013  3:38pm

Finally, some LOGIC without all the DRAMA and EMOTION….

posted by: John East Lyme | March 1, 2013  5:20pm

Well its nice to see a State Trooper explaining to the committee why people enjoy owning these firearms. I only hope they were paying attention instead of going on their Facebook accounts like Sen Bye. Also liked how they have Yale psychiatry Professor Ezra Griffith testifying at a firearms committee when he knows nothing about them. I’m sure this is the first time he has ever admitted being ignorant of anything. The story about him and his Yale elitist friends taking at their cocktail parties about why us uncivilized people would need a 30 round magazine. Priceless. Some of the country smartest people and they can’t come up with one reason. Guess they’re not so bright. He can call the police to protect his and his families lives. I would rather protect my own. Have we forget the Petit family already.

posted by: Santa | March 1, 2013  5:22pm

Good report by this trooper.  Now he needs to skip donuts for a few years.

posted by: Joebigjoe | March 1, 2013  6:08pm

Good job Trooper.

Now I need to go hide my magazines.

OH, by the way. Did any of you see Sarah Palins comments the other day about the purchase of a billion rounds of ammunition by DHS? Now you may not like Sarah Palin and I wont argue with that, but the fact you cant argue with is that she has ties to people in government at very high levels and think tanks.

She said that the reason for the ammunition in numbers that would allow us to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan for 30 years, is that DHS wants to use them against Americans in case of civil unrest should there be an economic collapse.

Yeah, I’ll be happy to turn in my magazines all because Obamas henchmen/women put pressure on Malloy, to circumvent the reasonable compromise that was probably coming from this committee.

posted by: Joebigjoe | March 1, 2013  6:53pm

This is all they need to see for 2 min 30 sec of their life, to get educated and to know that the people on the side of the 2nd amendment, are more serious than they could ever be, if they’re playing party leftist politics with this issue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sujnvIV4g4

posted by: ASTANVET | March 1, 2013  9:41pm

“Any cocktail party I go to and we’re talking about this stuff we want to know, why does a sportsman need ‘X?’ That comes up a hundred times during the cocktail party and most of us who are in this can’t answer it. We can’t conceptualize what people do with this,” Griffith said. - Seriously??? does anyone want to tell the good professor how pretentious they sound?  But this is how law is formed in CT, at a cocktail party… with uppity socialites not understanding what we, the unwashed masses would possibly want to do with our guns, with our ATV’s, with a fishing pole, old cars - why some of us like farming, or barn raisings - The point is that the constitution of our state, and that of the nation is there not to tell us what we are granted, it is there to tell the government to mind their own damn business.  Good for this trooper - but i’ll bet FB was burning up a storm.

posted by: Joebigjoe | March 1, 2013  11:15pm

The CT and US constitution has nothing to do with hunting. They could ban that tomorrow and I know of no constitutional argument related to hunting that could be applied.

It’s about tyranny so when they skoff at that ask them what makes us so different from other people in other countries. After they give a lame answer then have them tell you all they know about how we appeased or conducted trade with most of the governmental mass murderers of the twentieth century except Mao.

posted by: sofaman | March 2, 2013  3:42pm

Reality check: Trooper Delehanty made absolutely zero argument for why extraordinarily loose laws on these killing machines should continue. His reference to Dirty Harry is nearly childish.

Banning these weapons has nothing to do with the second amendment. There is an over abundance of facts that show that our lax gun ownership laws, not the second amendment, make the US the most dangerous modern society in the world to live in.

These weapons make society less safe.

posted by: dano860 | March 3, 2013  9:19am

I like watercolor paintings, I spend a lot on them.
Do I NEED them? No.Do I want them so I can enjoy them? Yup.
I like to paint in watercolor, I buy brushes that cost between $100 and $200 each. Do I NEED them? No. I like the way they hold the paint and the feel. Can I get the same results from a $50 brush? Yup.
Banning anything only means you come up w alternatives. In Vietnam we didn’t have 30 round mags, we made them. The same can be done with a 10 round today. 
I came up with a switch out mechanism that allows for 50 to 70 rounds to be utilized.
This is all reactionary, feel good legislation that will not stop a person intent on causing harm from doing it.
Look back over the past year at the bombings in other countries. What were the targets? Schools and market places, soft targets.Look at the latest report on terrorists amount us, they are your neighbors.
Guns are not the root of the problem.

posted by: Joebigjoe | March 3, 2013  8:36pm

No, criminals, evil people without regard for the pain they can inflict on others, and mentally ill make society less safe.

When you leftists allow law abiding people to fix this ,then if the violence is not reduced after we do it our way then we can talk guns.

You continue to make excuses for dirtbags and sickos. I don’t agree with you sofaman on most things but if we met I would never settle our disagreement with hurting you in any way. Let’s deal with the people that don’t think like me and stop making excuses like they had a bad upbringing, they have no hope, they were hungry and any number of leftist garbage excuses.

posted by: gutbomb86 | March 3, 2013  9:09pm

gutbomb86

Yeah Joe that’s just more bad logic. I haven’t chimed in for a while here but now you’re suggesting that it’ll be better to allow “allow law abiding people to fix this” ... which is precisely the problem. You and your “law abiding” pals have made sure that every nutjob in America has easy access to firearms. You’ve made us less safe - far less safe - by proliferating guns everywhere. And now you want us to re-endorse a ridiculous, failed status quo. It’s been a total failure. That’s not going to happen. You’re outnumbered by a 5-to-1 margin on this stuff. Get ready for more restrictions and more paperwork to make sure your guns are still in your possession and they are secure.

posted by: Joebigjoe | March 3, 2013  9:21pm

Wow are your facts wrong. I don’t know any gun owner that doesn’t want comprehensive background checks for non family transfers IF mental illness is part of the background check. If it’s not it’s just part of creating a gun registry. We dont register guns in the USA.

Who doesn’t want mental health info that’s less than a court determination of incompetence? The ACLU

posted by: sofaman | March 4, 2013  2:40am

JbJ: “we don’t register guns in the USA” . . . once again, you haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

posted by: Joebigjoe | March 4, 2013  10:53am

Sofaman how is my comment wrong?

Other than fully automatic guns that require special licensing, background checks, and gun registration there is no central database of who owns what gun? I’m saying a central database or gun registry would never occur in this country. We dont do that, and we wont do that without a civil war. Trust me on that one. We live in La La Land in CT and there are other states that will secede if we ever did that.


What are you saying?

posted by: ASTANVET | March 4, 2013  11:55am

SOFAMAN-and GUTBOMB - come on guys, you know we have VERY restrictive gun laws here in the State - it isn’t like we can go to a 7-11 and pick up a fully auto UZI.  Get over yourselves.  Come to think of it, the gun laws we have in place prevented Adam Lanza from purchasing legally firearms.  What did he do, Killed his own mother to get hers.  As for your mental health comment.  You would propose to strip someones rights when they have committed no crime.  in the case of a committed person, or someone who has to have a legal guardian, I agree - but if you’re going to willy nilly say “I think that guy is nuts” and take his guns, or the right to have them, you sir are flat wrong.  Many of my friends who fought for this country have seen a doc for PTSD, or adjustment issues - would you take their guns?  Good luck…

posted by: Reasonable | March 4, 2013  2:46pm

As long as Barack Obama is our leader, we will continue to have a gun problem in the USA.
He keeps dividing our once great country.

posted by: sofaman | March 4, 2013  3:02pm

JbJ, you answered your own question on how you were wrong on “we don’t register guns in the USA” and once again, I see expanding this (in your mind) would lead to you supporting a violent uprising. This is at least the second time I’ve seen you suggesting a violent uprising is the answer. And you are the ‘voice’ of unrestricted gun ownership?

posted by: Joebigjoe | March 4, 2013  5:04pm

Let me be blunt as possible.

1) I am not for criminals and nutjobs having guns.

2) If they come for the guns of law abiding citizens then it is our constitutional right to put them six feet under.

Read this:

http://dcclothesline.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/if-they-come-for-your-guns-do-you-have-a-responsibility-to-fight/comment-page-20/#comment-9043

posted by: avenge69 | March 6, 2013  7:04pm

The Affordable Care Act:
“Sometimes you have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it,” to paraphrase former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Senate amendment 3276, Sec. 2716, part c.
that amendment says the government cannot collect “any information relating to the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.”