Ending Gun Violence for All

Patch Back's Lisa Bigelow wonders, will the results of Connecticut's gun control legislative efforts help all of our citizens, or just some?


The bipartisan task force on gun violence held a public hearing on Monday in Hartford during which Newtown victims’ family members, gun rights advocates, members of the public and elected representatives testified on upcoming legislation.  

The testimony was sobering. And it revealed an audience of constituents tired of violence, frustrated with the slow pace of legislative change and deeply, deeply divided over the rights of citizens to own (or not to own) assault-style weapons.

As I watched, what struck me most were not the heartbreaking words of the victims. It wasn’t the guarded words of the gun club member or the angry words of the control advocate.

Instead, it was the gentlemen from the high populations centers who deal with the slow, bloody drain of handgun violence every single day. They said, where have you been, Bipartisan Task Force? We’ve been begging for help for years.

They rightly stated that these current efforts, though certainly well intended, won’t do a thing to help victims of violence in the communities of Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford. Therefore, I will repeat what needs repeating: any gun control legislation must address more than what is versus what isn’t an “assault” weapon.

It must be about more than just magazine capacity, too. It must even be about more than figuring out a way to incorporate better psychological care into our current health system. Instead, let us strive to end gun violence in all its forms so that our friends in urban areas win the same right to safety that those in quieter locales usually enjoy.

Alert: I’m going to ask the question that no one in the media seems to be asking. Many of you will disagree. And for once, I truly hope you do. And I not only hope you disagree, I hope you write in and tell me why I’m wrong (respectfully, of course … I didn’t enjoy being called a “stupid” “leftist” last week, even though my kids got a huge kick out of it).

Although many gun violence statistics can be twisted to suit a variety of needs the data on urban areas with high crime rates are clear: the victims are most often minorities. These minority victims are far outnumber the victims of mass shootings, who tend to be white. To me, it is disappointingly clear that the nationwide effort to “do something” about guns has everything to do with affluence and its favorite cousin, race.

Tell me, where are the marches when young children are murdered on the streets of Chicago, or New Haven, or Washington, or Detroit? Let me be clear: I do not question for one moment the sincerity or intent of the folks from March for Change or CAGV or hell, even the NRA. When an event such as Newtown occurs in our own backyard it is only natural that the local response should be strong and heartfelt and pure.

But I do have serious questions about the value we as a society place on human life. Or, at the very least, I question the validity of developing a legislative response to a societal threat that is directly proportional to the consequences of one action, as occurred in Newtown, versus developing a legislative response to what occurs every day to people of all colors.

Let’s work together to make all forms of violence end, as one reader so aptly wrote to me several days ago. Let’s help our legislators craft a bill that will regulate private gun sales so common criminals can’t get them easily. Let’s make universal background checks strict and repeating. Let’s develop and enforce safe storage laws and train administrators and teachers in effective self defense tactics.

Most of all, let us remember the words written in the hearts of every American: all men are created equal.

Bill Hillman January 29, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Lisa, what hearing did you see? over 1000 common sense supporters of the Constitution showed up demanding the State leave their lawfully obtained property alone. With facts and figures to dispute any effectiveness of magazine size or other restrictions resulting in ANY meaningful difference to what had occurred at Sandy Hook, this was clarity on one side, and emotion on the other. Fact: A sick, deranged psychopath with a set of 10 round clips can do as much damage in an undefended venue as with fewer magazines that hold more. Laws limiting size: FAIL Banning modern sporting rifles from law abiding sportsmen? FAIL as well, the ergonomic features are cosmetic. To say that as much damage could have been done with something else would be too obvious, the Bath school disaster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster) , worst ever in US history was perpetrated not with firearms. No one denies the heartfelt grief of the families and victims of CRIMINAL violence... the deranged, the criminal, the bad guy was at fault. The 100's of millions of law abiding gun owners were not responsible. Laws that do not address the real problem and if in place would not have changed a thing are anything BUT common sense. You ask "But I do have serious questions about the value we as a society place on human life." While I've been strongly pro choice (so far), I'm forced to ask the same question you ask. What about that?
Jimmy Pursey January 29, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Maybe it's not a good idea to remind us how many "pro-lifers" have shot and killed abortion doctors with their "baby savers"...uh, I mean "guns". Nice try, Borschty!
Most Popular Poster January 29, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Sometimes his Munchausen gets the best of him, Don. For those readers not familiar with it, Munchausen Syndrome is an attention-seeking personality disorder which is more common than statistics suggest. Munchausen Syndrome, named after a German soldier renowned for exaggerated tales, is a disorder in which an emotionally immature person with narcissistic tendencies, low self-esteem and a fragile ego has an overwhelming need to draw attention to himself and to be the center of attention. In Munchausen Syndrome, this is achieved by capitalizing on, exploiting, exaggerating or feigning illness or injury or personal misfortune. The opportunities for being the center of attention can be increased if feigning victimhood through alleged victimization, isolation, exclusion or persecution is added to the equation; the Munchausen person can then depict another person as a victimizer or persecutor and himself as the victim. Presenting himself as a false victim is also a Munchausen trait.
Jimmy Pursey January 29, 2013 at 04:03 PM
"number of babies killed" No "babies" have been "killed" by abortion on demand, sociopath. The Bible makes it pretty clear, that life begins at birth. And even then, God has no problem spilling the blood of the innocents. If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. -- Exodus 21:22-23 And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. -- Leviticus 27:6 Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. -- Numbers 3:15-16
Jimmy Pursey January 29, 2013 at 04:05 PM
You can't get enough of me, little man. I blame your daddy issues.
Lisa Bigelow January 29, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Guys. Really? Let's keep comments on-topic and insult-free. Much appreciated. Thanks for reading. Lisa
Lisa Bigelow January 29, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Bill, Please explain to me where I state here, or in any prior article I've written about gun control, that I support confiscating weapons, stopping production of certain rifle models or anything else of that nature? Thanks for reading and commenting, though! Lisa
Jimmy Pursey January 29, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Lisa, Donald is a sociopath. Don't be fooled by his fake "gentleman" routine. For instance, notice that under his "Most Popular Poster" account, every single of his 20-something comments are about me. This immaturity wastes time, and should be deleted.
Bill Hillman January 29, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Lisa, my impression of the tone of your article was that it did not recognize that 90% of the speakers at the hearing wanted no more infringements and rejected any efforts to limit magazine sizes or ban modern sporting rifles that have been wrongly labeled "assault weapons". Sure, in the hands of a criminal, any firearm can be used by them to do great harm. But the testimony was clearly and heavily weighted in favor of the second amendment and not infringing on that. The label "Gun Violence" is inherently biased. Criminal violence is the issue, and you address that in your article to a degree, but it was an impression that I took away that the article tended to favor one side. If wrong, I apologize. There is a very real risk laws will be passed in CT that abridge freedoms guaranteed in the US and CT Constitutions, that valuable property will be taken without compensation. If that's deemed "acceptable" by the left, what will next be seized without compensation. These are also serious matters that are separate from and linked to the violence issue by emotion more than reason. Perhaps you have not called for that, some have. And, that ought to be a central point of the debates.
Jimmy Pursey January 29, 2013 at 04:49 PM
I assumed you wouldn't have a suitable reply, Donny. God sometimes approves of killing fetuses. And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. -- Numbers 31:15-17 (Some of the non-virgin women must have been pregnant. They would have been killed along with their unborn fetuses.) Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. -- Hosea 9:14 Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. -- Hosea 9:16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. -- Hosea 13:16
Jimmy Pursey January 29, 2013 at 04:50 PM
God sometimes kills newborn babies to punish their parents. Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. -- 2 Samuel 12:14 God sometimes causes abortions by cursing unfaithful wives. The priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. ... And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. -- Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28 God's law sometimes requires the execution (by burning to death) of pregnant women. Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. -- Genesis 38:24
Jimmy Pursey January 29, 2013 at 06:28 PM
"There is a very real risk laws will be passed in CT that abridge freedoms guaranteed in the US and CT Constitutions, that valuable property will be taken without compensation. If that's deemed "acceptable" by the left, what will next be seized without compensation." God forbid they pass laws protecting our freedom to not be killed by military grade weapons, Bill. And don't try to shift blame to your precious "leftists" for what your Messiah Reagan himself did with the Mulford Act.
Michael Shea January 29, 2013 at 06:51 PM
There are many things that can be done to decrease the number of murders. New York City is a good example. Giuliani's methods resulted in a much lower homicide rate. Last year Aurora, Illinois, a real city with gangs and with a high murder rate in the past, had no murders at all - none. This was a result of better police work, more community involvement, more focus on at risk boys in schools etc. . New gun control laws did not play a part at all. Chicago, adjacent to Aurora, had over 500 murders in 2012. Aurora is bigger than New Haven, where 17 people were murdered last year and 34 in 2011. Bridgeport and Hartford each had over 20. Politicians find it more fun to grandstand over Sandy hook than to do the actual work needed to duplicate Aurora's efforts.
Bill Hillman January 29, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Military Grade weapons are already prohibited from civilian use. Laws already exist that have failed to protect people because criminals don't care about the laws. Confiscation of property without compensation is a very serious curtailment of the "Takings Clause" of the 5th amendment. Coupled with recent executive orders and provisions of the NDAA, it's clear that mechanisms are put in place not to stop with products you deem "ok to take". As far as a "Messiah" goes, that's not my thing. in the 5th: "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation" none of the proposals to confiscate contain due process or compensation. So existing statutes already "protect our freedom to not be killed by military grade weapons" and that's with the 2nd amendment intact. It's a false argument to hold these are not mutually exclusive.
Jimmy Pursey January 29, 2013 at 08:08 PM
"Laws already exist that have failed to protect people because criminals don't care about the laws." I think that's an oversimplification, Bill. What you're failing to note is that many laws have an unintended result of creating a black market and enormous profits. As far as chipping away at the Constitution...we warned the Republicans Bush was setting a precedent...but they just called us "America haters" and told us to "move to France," "There oughta be limits to freedom." -GW Bush
Bill Hillman January 29, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Bush 2 was a huge spender, liberty destroyer and overall, ranks 2nd on my list of worst presidents, Carter is 3rd. The patriot act is anything but patriotic, he turned a surplus into a deficit that was accelerated after he left office. Knee-jerked laws have many unintended consequences, can we not learn from the past?
Jimmy Pursey January 29, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Hmm, something tells me Rutherford B Hayes ISN'T number one on that list, Bill. LOL
Bill Hillman January 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Mr. Shea, I viewed some of today's hearings regarding Mental Health. One speaker offered compelling testimony linking psychiatric pharmaceuticals to violence, and that most or all of the violence perpetrated at schools with firearms was kids on psychiatric medicines. Could they have found the root cause?


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