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Defiant Gun Advocates Rally at Capitol

by | Jan 19, 2013 5:13pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Town News, Newtown, Public Safety, State Capitol

Gun enthusiasts flocked to the state Capitol on Saturday to encourage lawmakers not to pass any laws restricting what they described as their “God given” right to carry a gun.

—More photos

The rally was in response to legislative proposals both at the state and national level to tighten gun laws in response to the shooting that claimed the lives of 20 students and six educators in Newtown. Several speakers who addressed the crowd — estimated at 1,000 by Capitol Police — wanted to make sure no gun control measures make it through the legislature this year.

But they face an uphill battle. Earlier this week, President Barack Obama proposed a plan to address gun violence, including a federal assault weapons ban and background checks for all firearm sales. In addition, Connecticut lawmakers have formed three subcommittees, one of which will look at gun violence prevention. There are also dozens bills the Connecticut General Assembly will consider, including one, SB 122, which would restrict the number of bullets a gun could fire to a single round.

“They believe they have to do something,” Craig Fishbein, an attorney from Wallingford, said in reference to the Connecticut General Assembly.

But he told the booing crowd that the legislature is not going to listen to them.

“If I had it my way, all gun owners would be judged by the content of their character, rather than the content of their gun safe,” Fishbein said to cheers. “If I had it my way, gun free zones would be outlawed across the land.”

Robert Crook, the head of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, who has been lobbying the Connecticut legislature for more than 30 years, called Connecticut a “sea of tranquility” among states with much stricter gun laws.

Crook said he has done his best in the past, as sometimes the lone lobbyist on gun issues, to stave off any harmful gun legislation. But he warned the crowd that this year is different.

He said his top priority is mental health, followed by school security, and lastly firearms.

“Unfortunately, the issue with the highest legislative priority is firearms,” Crook said. “Gun owners are under serious attack.”

Anti-gun groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence have given Connecticut fairly high ratings for its gun laws. In fact, the organization says it has the fifth strongest gun laws in the nation.

He said he has struggled to come up with anything to counter the anti-gun legislation being proposed because the state already has “good gun laws.”

“What we’re facing right now is quick fixes, do something, firearm solutions to this heartbreaking incident,” Crook said. “Again, what’s the root cause of this tragedy?” He said without the state police report they’re unable to answer that question.

But “emotion is rampant and the theme is ‘do something,’” Crook said. Somebody in the crowd shouted “No!”

Crook talked about how New York passed a package of tougher gun control measures behind closed doors without a public hearing process.

Two individuals responded from the crowd, shouting “New York Sucks!” and “Nazis!”

Crook defended Connecticut’s legislature as being better than that and asked the crowd to give them some credit for creating a public process.

He urged the crowd to make an economic argument when they contact their lawmakers. With the state facing a $1 billion budget deficit, he told gun owners to ask if they would be reimbursed for the magazines they’ve already purchased. He told them to remind lawmakers that people will start leaving the state to purchase their ammunition and firearms.

“How many gun stores will go out of business? Will Cabela’s move?” Crook asked.

Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, said his organization is happy to look at issues like mental health, but will fight any restrictions on guns.

However, that’s not to say it wouldn’t help lawmakers find ways to strengthen the length of jail sentences for “straw buyers.” Straw buyers are people who purchase firearms legally then sell them to individuals who are unable to purchase a gun under the state’s current laws. It’s those guns that generally wind up in the hands of criminals.

Many who attended the rally felt they were safer around guns than they are in areas where there are no guns.

John Beidler, president of the Connecticut Chapter of the Oathkeepers, joked that he might have been afraid to attend the rally knowing so many of the participants were carrying guns, but upon reflection decided he was “not scared at all. This is not a gun free zone, I think this is a ‘don’t even think about it zone’.”

The Oathkeepers are an organization of currently serving military, veterans, peace officers, and firefighters who promise to fulfill the oath they swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Beidler said the problem is that lawmakers think this is a democracy when in reality it’s a Republic.

“We have a right to address and redress our government and tell them to stop the crap,” Beidler said. “This is not just about guns, this is about constitution and liberty.”

Andrew Purchia, of the Connecticut Minutemen, said it’s pretty clear to him that the 2nd Amendment means the right to bear arms couldn’t be “granted or taken away, but is a God given natural right.” Purchia called the AR-15 “our modern musket.”

Attorney Martha Dean, a supporter of the 2nd Amendment who, during her campaign for attorney general in 2010, advocated firearms training for children, said “no responsible gun owner in Connecticut or in America opposes laws, firearms laws that are aimed at a true problem and that actually work to solve or fix the problem without infringing on core, core rights.”

“The risk we face is not the risk of losing another classroom to a lone madman? No,” Dean said. “The real risk we face is losing a generation of kids. The future of all kids in America to the slave chains of debt and impending despotism.” The crowd cheered.

Dean received criticism earlier this week for posting a Newtown “truther” video on her Facebook page. The video questions whether the shooting even happened and at times implies that the grieving parents featured in news footage are actors. The video bases its questions largely off confused and inaccurate reporting that was broadcast in the first few hours following the shooting.

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(34) Archived Comments

posted by: redlady | January 19, 2013  6:40pm

This is a disappointing jaded report of today’s event. But, what can one expect when they live in a state like CT?  The numbers of the crowd are off by a few thousand, of course. Great testimonials were given by wonderful speakers like Peter Lumaj, an Albanian American citizen who fled his homeland, lost his father to the concentration camp he was thrown into as Peter fled, and who earned his own college education and ran for US Congress. But, do we hear about that? No, we only get a one-sided jaded yellow piece to meet the needs of the liberals in the State of CT. What a disgrace for the THE CONSTITUTION State. Disgusting indeed.

posted by: wmwallace | January 20, 2013  1:49am

Protecting the Second Amendment is not being defiant but what all Americans should be doing. Instead we have legislators, the president, the governor and the media vilifying those who own guns legally.

posted by: Joebigjoe | January 20, 2013  9:29am

I dont think I would have had Martha Dean though and I am a full supporter of our 2nd Amendment rights. She lacks credibility with people that we are trying to convince that the fact is that its not the guns.

Do you know what is scary? Rasmussen did a poll asking people if the 2nd amendment was for protection against tyranny and 65% said yes. 17% said not sure and 18% said no.

The Senate and Congress at both the state and Federal levels need to have a vote on that one item. The vote is not about what kind of guns, what restrictions, or anything like that. Everyone needs to be on record for all the voters to see what they think. There will be some whack jobs that will vote no but for the benefit of the 35% who arent sure or say no, they need to see that.

How does that pathetic poll result happen? Yet, another example of our schools not doing their job, or doing their job for liberal causes.

That should be part of our primary message. We understand people who dont have the facts can disagree on guns, ammo, and background checks, but when one third of our country doesnt even know the purpose of the 2nd amendment, for the protection of our country we need to take a hard stand on some of these issues. That’s the biggest threat to our country, not the mentally ill person with a gun.

posted by: BMS | January 20, 2013  11:18am

At one time 26,000 people a year died as a consequence of drunk driving. Today 11,000 people a year die as a consequence of drunk driving. Did we ban alcohol? Did we ban automobiles? We did neither. Why because we went after the problem. We went after those that caused the carnage on our roads. The guns and legal gun owners are not the problem.

posted by: SocialButterfly | January 20, 2013  11:37am

The majority of these gun advocates shouldn’t have voted for Pres. Barack Obama.  Now, they have to “bite the bullet.”  They did it to themselves!

posted by: sparkplug | January 20, 2013  11:52am

“The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” (Abraham Lincoln, 17 September 1859, speech in Cincinnati, OH)

Wow. Honest Abe sure was a radical.

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | January 20, 2013  12:28pm

It is reassuring to see that the armed insurrection, protecting the 2nd Amendment, will be carried out by these fat old men.

posted by: shinningstars122 | January 21, 2013  7:42am


I stopped by the rally to hear what was going to be said. Sorry Redlady it was around a thousand people and was predominately white men. There were women and maybe a few people of color there as well.

It was alarming to hear the leader of the CCDL speak of Barack Hussein Obama but have no equal disdain for GWB for his successful efforts of squashing our civil liberties with the quick passing of the Patriot act.
IMHO its clear they are not really about liberty and freedom because it they were they would old GWB equally accountable….I wonder why that is?

These folks honestly believe there will be an armed resistance to over thrown the government and they will be on the front line of it. That is crazy talk and America remember it is the ballot box that will bring the greatest change to our country…if you all vote.
You should also check out the CCDL fb page.
Interesting would be an under statement.

These folks are the ones screaming about ” mental health” so be careful what you lobby for guys.

I am sorry I missed the gentleman from the CT sportsman group, it sounds like he was the only speaker of reason.
Too bad the NRA and CCDL could not follow suit.

posted by: sparkplug | January 21, 2013  7:44am

It is reassuring to see that the armed insurrection, protecting the 2nd Amendment, will be carried out by these fat old men.

Yeah, it was fat old men that kicked the *ss of the British empire. And it only took 5 percent of them with guns. It’s the same principle behind the little old lady who fends off a 250 pound attacker with a Smith and Wesson and the determination not to be bullied by anyone. It makes an excellent case for the second ammendment, wouldn’t you say?

posted by: redlady | January 21, 2013  8:56am

We can disagree about the numbers and what age group the attendees fell into all we want, but the reality is there were excellent speakers there, young people, off-duty police officers, women young and old, and families. 
Here is a link for a CT Teacher who advocates for the 2nd Amendment.

posted by: Joebigjoe | January 21, 2013  9:18am

Maybe I can wake up some people here.

If there was ever any type of gun confiscation, the armed insurrection part of things won’t be like Gettysburg where in a gun confiscation the government is on one side in one color and the citizens with guns in another color on the other side.

I pray that never happens, but the only people at greater risk than gun owners if that did, would be the anti second amendment people, families of the gun confiscators, and politicians that voted against gun rights. It would be just like Iraq where no one would be safe, and revenge would be a big part of things. Sorry, that’s reality of how this would play out so I would stop the sideline cheering for gun confiscation.

So let’s not confiscate, so it never gets to that. That would be horrible for all.

I’m not a Democrat, but Bill Clinton has made a great point to the Dem politicians in the last few days and that is that the rest of the country does not live like those of you passing these anti-gun laws.

In CT we don’t live like alot of the rest of the country. We’re too blue, people are leaving in droves, our taxes are too high, we need to pay businesses to stay, and roll the dice on giving money to businesses to come here that may never grow. If we weren’t between NYC and Boston and within driving distance of oceans and mountains, but were landlocked in the midwest, no one would live here.

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | January 21, 2013  12:04pm

Subtext: “I will shoot you if you try to regulate guns.”  So THESE are the “good guy(s) with a gun.”

posted by: chippy | January 21, 2013  1:03pm

Why do these grown men act so terrified. Confront your fears, men! Stand up strong. Your personal development is up to you. A gun will not help you become self-actualized. Only confronting your unconscious fears and desires will allow that. That takes the courage to go inward and integrate your dark side which you normally shield. Stop manifesting your atrophied personal growth by clutching a weapon. Be brave by yourself. You were born with everything you need to be successful. Drop the weapon and stand up tall.

posted by: redman | January 21, 2013  1:59pm

I want to thank all of you that attended the rally. You are true Americans.

posted by: AndersonScooper | January 21, 2013  3:14pm

Paranoid gun freaks thinking the government is trying to take their guns away!

Honestly, that level of ignorance is downright scary. A teensy bit of gun control will have absolutely no effect on any law-abiding citizen who decides to own a pistol or firearm.

God bless FoxNews and the NRA….

posted by: PaulW | January 21, 2013  3:40pm

If it had been different and some other disturbed young man committed the Newtown murders, I wonder if Nancy Lanza would have attended this rally.

posted by: SocialButterfly | January 21, 2013  5:16pm

AndersonScooper:  Calling gun owners “paranoid gun freaks” isn’t very nice. “Kind of raunchy of you—Scooper.”

posted by: Joebigjoe | January 21, 2013  5:21pm

No one is shooting anyone over gun regulation. We had a stupid assault weapons ban in 1994 and its impact was meaningless on gun crime so they lifted it.No one started shooting over that except the criminals and mentally ill nut jobs.

Gun confiscation is another story because there are over 100 million innocent dead people in the last century that wish that didnt happen, and alot of “historians” in this one that will make sure that it won’t happen here.

One person who will never be elected President is Gov Coumo. He has used the word “confiscation” so he’s done, toast, put a fork in him.

posted by: Joebigjoe | January 21, 2013  5:29pm

Chippy why do these grown men act so terrified? I dont think they’re the ones we need to worry about.

A 5-year-old kindergartner who told classmates she was going to shoot them,  with her pink bubble gun, was grilled for three hours by Mount Carmel school officials without her mother’s knowledge, then suspended, a family attorney said. The girl was initially kicked out for 10 days in what the school categorized as a “terroristic threat,” according to the kindergartner’s mother and confirmed by the family attorney. That suspension was reduced to two days and labeled as a ‘threat to harm others.’ Their names are being withheld to protect the girl’s identity.”

This pink toy gun shoots a stream of bubbles that kids that age like to run through. I am so glad that these liberal educators were there to save everyone.

posted by: johnnyb | January 21, 2013  5:41pm

The guns nuts always say the gun doesn’t kill people do. If you are in a war zone and you die from mortar or artillery fire we don’t say a person killed you. The guns are making it possible for people who lose their bearings to kill many more people, including themselves by suicide,than if these people had no access to guns. Look at the New Mexico murders. If someone decided to attack the family and had no gun would they do it? The guns make it all to easy to kill people with the 1/4 inch squeezing of a trigger. They are the easy way out when things have gone bad. The paranoid types that need to have a military arsenal to overthrow our government need to be ignored. Pass restrictions on magazines and type of weapon now. To all who are perpetually afraid—grow up.

posted by: sparkplug | January 21, 2013  6:00pm

To many of you, the discussion of gun rights seems to be nothing more than an abstract exercise in forensic skill development. Things like gun restrictions and gun confiscation don’t mean anything to you because you don’t believe anything bad will ever happen to you. The police will always be there for you to keep you from harm, right? The government would never confiscate weapons from law-abiding citizens, right? Intellectually you know that the police don’t always get there on time. And intellectually you know that the Holocaust would never have happened if Hitler had not first confiscated the guns of law-abiding Jews. But on an emotional level you just won’t let yourself believe that bad things like that can happen to YOU or someone you love.

Well suffice it to say bad things do happen to good people, despite the best efforts of our men in blue. And governments DO go rogue. Just read all the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence! There are very good reasons why our founding fathers went to such great lengths to put sufficient safeguards in place to prevent a tyrannical government from ever taking over. It has happened over and over again in history and their hope was to stop it once and for all.

But their hopes rely upon a diligent citizenry that never take their freedoms for granted. Sadly our country, because of a long period of relative peace and prosperity, has lost sight of the need to stay diligent and to jealously guard our freedoms.

In the last 20 years we’ve given away so much. Things like the Patriot Act, SOPA, FISA and extra-constitutional gimmicks like signing statements and executive orders (as they apply OUTSIDE of the executive branch) have already stripped away so many of our rights. In the end I guess we get the government we deserve.

Nevertheless, I am still hopeful we can turn things around IF the left and right can stop bickering over minutia and start working together to restore our constitutional republic.

It won’t be easy, though, given the fact that 50 percent of Americans are on some form of government aid. To these folks, liberty doesn’t matter as long as the check keeps coming in the mail every month.

posted by: ISR | January 21, 2013  6:52pm

“At one time 26,000 people a year died as a consequence of drunk driving. Today 11,000 people a year die as a consequence of drunk driving. Did we ban alcohol? Did we ban automobiles? We did neither. Why because we went after the problem. We went after those that caused the carnage on our roads. The guns and legal gun owners are not the problem.”

Yes, but in addition to going after to going after drunk drivers we mandate seat belts in cars and hold tavern owners responsible for drivers who leave their establishments drunk. Going after the drunk driver doesn’t prevent us from making your car safer in case you get hit by a drunk driver. Going after the so-called mentally ill shooter shouldn’t deter us from reducing the amount of carnage caused by the weapon. It’s virtually impossible to do a mass killing with a blade or even a revolver.

We didn’t follow the “guns don’t kill, people kill” logic after the Oklahoma City bombing, which was caused by a fertilizer bomb. We made it impossible to obtain the amount of fertilizer McVeigh had. The result? No more Timothy McVeighs—or, at least, no more Timothy McVeighs with 4,800 pounds of fertilizer.

posted by: sparkplug | January 21, 2013  7:04pm

The guns nuts always say the gun doesn’t kill people do.

Sorry Johnny,

It’s been scientifically verified. Guns don’t kill.

See link below.


posted by: Joebigjoe | January 21, 2013  8:25pm

Sparkplug good points. I’m going to get off track of guns for second to respond to your point about government assistance.

I have a friend who is an oral surgeon with a private practice. They are required to handle a certain number of medicaid patients where they basically make no money or lose money treating them. Damn those evil rich!!!

One patient this past weekend went to the ER on Friday during the day claiming a tooth ache. They were admitted and put on IV’s for infection. He got a call today that there was a need for him to see a medicaid patient in the hospital. He went, saw that two teeth needed removal, got an OR, and removed them. Had this person gone to him or any other oral surgeon in the state on Friday, they would have dealt with the issue right then in the office due to the infection at a cost of 1000 dollars for medicaid. This hospital stay cost us taxpayers over 25000. Hmm 25,000? You can get two people associates degrees to make them marketable for a lifetime with that amount.

However the left tries to make us feel bad for these poor people that need our help. They need to use their brains first and stop ripping the rest of us off, and then I’ll feel bad.

posted by: ALD | January 21, 2013  9:11pm

“Honestly, that level of ignorance is downright scary. A teensy bit of gun control will have absolutely no effect on any law-abiding citizen who decides to own a pistol or firearm.”

Yeah as if a “teensy bit” of gun control would have any effect on the problem we are all concerned about.  It’s clear just writing laws does nothing to stop those who are intent on breaking them.  Sooner or latter we are going to have to admit the problem goes far deeper, but I guess that remains an ” inconvenient truth” to many who wish the problem was much simpler.  So just who is being ignorant? 

But if all it takes is a “teensy bit” of gun control to make those who believe that is the solution to then look deeper, then I say let’s get it done!

posted by: David Streever | January 21, 2013  11:44pm

You let Martha Dean speak?
The woman who believes that Sandy Hook was a Federal agent on PCP shooting up kids because Obama sent him to?

What is wrong with you people?

posted by: wmwallace | January 22, 2013  3:17am

I have read some of the bill proposals because limiting to one round per gun. That is one of the ridiculous bills before the legislators.
We have plenty of laws on the books, but need to enforce them.
Some of the comments here so the hatred towards law abiding citizens by the so called tolerate one’s.

I for one have been around guns since I was a child. I am glad my Dad showed me to respect guns and to use them wisely. I think many on here should take a gun course and see that they’re not bad but can protect you and your family from harm.

posted by: sparkplug | January 22, 2013  8:32am

This hospital stay cost us taxpayers over 25000. Hmm 25,000? You can get two people associates degrees to make them marketable for a lifetime with that amount.

BigJoe, even a child with an allowance knows that spending $50 on a candy bar is an insane waste of money. That child had to perform a certain amount of work to earn his money and therefore does not want to squander it on something that will only provide about 60 seconds of joy. But when it comes to OTHER people’s money it’s not such a big deal anymore, is it? That same child would gladly accept a $50 candy bar if it was handed to him by a government agency. That’s the world we live in now. At least half of us now are getting $50 candy bars for “free”. And the government is happy to give it to them as long as they’re willing to pull the correct lever on election day. It’s just disgraceful.

posted by: dano860 | January 22, 2013  11:10am

“...It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds..”
Samuel Adams
Giving a little leads to taking a lot.
In England the following is a loose chain of events to their lose of rights.
1903 The Pistols Act implemented a crude background check.
1920 Firearms Act required all firearms be registered except shotguns.
1953 & again in 1967 they forbid persons carrying firearms and required registration of shotguns.
1987 they mandated total handgun confiscation.
After another mass murder shooting they came and confiscated all firearm because they were registered they knew where to go. People were threatened with 10 years in prison if they didn’t hand them over.
Just remember - the reason the Japanese didn’t invade the USA is because they knew that most of the citizens were armed.
If the regulations they intend to place upon us cannot prevent, eliminate or guarantee that another Newtown won’t happen again then they are just making themselves feel good knowing that they can remove the rights of law abiding citizens.
They really need to attack the root of the problem and it isn’t the firearm.
That mentality would also remove children from cars.

posted by: David Streever | January 22, 2013  12:46pm

that is a popular story invented by the American army propaganda machine.

Japan had absolutely no plans to invade America at any point, because it held neither strategic nor tactical value for them.

Land invasion casualties are high no matter how the citizens are armed. Japan did not have an army sufficient to fight a 3 front war (China, Russia, America), and did not have the naval capacity to transfer troops and supplies into America for a long-term land war.

Economically and strategically, it made no sense at all. It had nothing to do with fears of armed citizens.

posted by: dano860 | January 23, 2013  9:35am

You mean they’ve lied to me AGAIN!
The first time they told me to join the Air Force for four years and I wouldn’t end up in Vietnam…well that didn’t pan out the way they claimed.
Now you tell me the government, my government, has been feeding us propaganda!
This is a first, I’m sure.
I think the people coming up with these proposals to eliminate violence are going down the same path. Tax on ammo? How will that prevent anything? All that will do is reduce the sales at firearms dealers and reduce the revenue (tax) that the State will see. All we need to do is look at the lose of revenue that the last tax hike brought us.
These knee jerk reactions are not going to resolve the real problem. The unstable owner of a firearm, match or car can cause terrible harm and carnage at any give time.
The answer won’t be monetary in nature and it won’t be easy but once again it will fall on the shoulders of the responsible, law abiding citizens that own and respect firearms, matches and cars.

posted by: Walt | January 23, 2013  10:55am

While I would agree with Streever’s main comment that Japan was not equipped to invade the U.S.  mainland , if they could have, they would have.

It was our Armed Forces which protected the nation,  not fear of the local gun lovers .

They did successfuly invade U.S.  territories (Philippines)  and prepared to invade Hawaii but fortunately were stymied by our armed forces.

Streever’s blaming   the US Army   for producing this theory is asinine, and would be directly contrary to the Army’s own interests

As a WW2 Navy vet, I never heard of this so-called “popular” theory before.  If it has just been made up by some group,  blame the N.R.A.  which would benefit from the theory, not our Army

posted by: David Streever | January 23, 2013  12:24pm

I actually didn’t say that the American Armed Forces invented it, but rather, it is “army propaganda”. I meant this to be a commentary on our militarized notions of life, not an attribute to the actual military forces of our nation, but to the “army” mentality of citizens and NRA members. I apologize if I offended you. I did not mean that.

posted by: Walt | January 23, 2013  2:03pm


Capital A or small a, I do not see how   anyone would really read your   note differently.

No offense, though.

Thanks for the clarification.

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