A good start

FI-EditorialConnecticut is poised to act on needed and sensible gun control, and while that is wonderful to see, there is more to be done.

Greenwich’s legislators have said they will vote for the package, and this is a bipartisan approach that has worked. The pressure has been on to act since the massacre in Newtown, but this was something that had to be done right, not just quickly. There’s a lot to like in the regulations that were announced Monday night and were due this week for a Wednesday vote.

The vote on the actual package of new laws did not take place until after deadline for this week’s edition of the Post, so it’s unclear what, if any, changes or amendments were made to what was agreed upon Monday night. But with the eyes of the nation watching Connecticut and Gov. Dannel Malloy waiting to sign the legislation, to not have this pass would be beyond shameful.

This is a good agreement. It’s not a perfect set of laws, but it does a lot of good. Broadening the state’s definition of assault weapons to include 100 extra models is long overdue, as is banning the sale of magazines that carry more than 10 bullets at a time. Universal background checks is another big step forward. And Connecticut is right to act in toughening its penalties for gun trafficking, as those who continue to illegally make a profit from death and violence must be punished severely. If only we could do even more to punish those who legally get rich from gun violence.

One thing the package does not address but should have is getting rid of the high-capacity magazines that were used so brutally in the Newtown shootings. These magazines serve no purpose but to kill quicker and should be banned outright with no grandfathering of the ones already in the state. This was proven by the reports of people throughout Connecticut stocking up on these magazines to be able to still possess them after the new laws go into effect.

Do they need them? Nope. But you never know when you’re going to need to machine-gun down something. After all, there could be invading hordes from Rhode Island, and Connecticut’s well-regulated militia would have to jump into action and do a lot of shooting in a short period of time. Or perhaps they would be used for hunting. Because nothing says “sport” like blowing an animal to pieces.

Sarcasm aside, allowing these magazines to be grandfathered in is a mistake that must be addressed.

But Connecticut was always going to act. There are simply too many smart, capable people in the legislature for the gun manufacturer shills at the NRA to win here, and Mr. Malloy has shown strong leadership on this issue from day one. Now the attention of every person in the state who has fought to end these senseless killings with gun control must renew the focus on the federal laws.

These laws will do a lot of good in Connecticut, but Connecticut is not the nation, and the federal level is where the work is most needed. Thanks to the NRA, the weapons manufacturers and too many swaggering cowards who think arming yourself to the teeth and acting like Ted Nugent makes you a real American, sensible gun control is meeting too much resistance. The kind of assault weapons ban that would save many lives is very much in doubt, and even the badly needed universal background check that can keep a psychopath from walking in to a gun show and buying weapons is being vehemently opposed.

When President Barack Obama comes to Connecticut next week, he will undoubtedly remind us of that, but this is a case where the lobbying efforts of the kind of people that make up strong groups like the Greenwich Council on Gun Violence need to be heard along with ones from across the nation. Connecticut has done what needs to be done, but the fight will not end until the U.S. Congress does it as well.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress