There are a lot of facts tossed around from both sides of the the gun debate. Here are some statistics from Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management and from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. I hope that even the elected officials who resisted the post-Sandy Hook gun legislation would acknowledge recent successes.
- Connecticut police officers have made 176 arrests for illegal possession of assault weapons
- More than 1,700 pistol permits have been revoked for reasons including drunk driving, mental health commitments, and protective and restraining orders in domestic violence situations
- 210 people have failed background checks, keeping guns out of the hands of 210 potentially dangerous people.
- In 2013 there were 72 gun deaths in Connecticut, down from 115 in 2012; so far this year the number is 39.
I also hope that even the most ardent NRA supporter is willing to concede that these laws are paying dividends, and quickly.
As a hunter I will always support hunting as an effective way to curb the deer population but I know that there is a vocal minority that has vowed to elect officials that want to roll back the state’s gun laws.
In this election season, I encourage all voters to research how their elected officials voted on the post-Sandy Hook gun legislation. Don’t assume, as I did, that your state representatives will act sensibly.
There are voters who prefer an unregulated gun environment, and I can promise that they already know which candidates are dedicated to rolling back the gun laws. Gun extremists have circled Nov. 4th on their calendar and, if necessary, will crawl to the polls in 3 feet of snow.
The Sandy Hook tragedy has changed me in many ways. In prior election cycles I believed that our candidates were there to resist extremism and legislate in a balanced approach. I can promise that I will always know precisely where each candidate stands on the firearm issue.
That is the absolute least we can do to honor those that we lost in Newtown and the additional eight children shot each day.
Peter Muckell lives in Newtown.