Senators, how about prosecuting more gun crimes?

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An open letter to Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy:

I watched with interest the comments the two of you made after the recent school shooting event in Florida. I then logically thought about the situation and instead of immediately making a public statement of outrage of having done nothing to protect those kids, I thought that you should have considered these facts before pandering to the voters for yet more gun-control legislation.

  1. To the best of my knowledge, the school had no metal detectors in use at the entrance(s) or armed security within the building.
  2. Police had been called to the shooter’s home on 39 occasions prior to the shooting, yet nothing seemed to have raised red flags.
  3. The shooter passed background checks consistent with Florida standards before the gun was purchased.
  4. Tips about the intent of the shooter were passed on to the FBI, which failed to find or interview the shooter.
  5. An armed deputy sheriff was on the school grounds near an entrance and never entered the building to engage the shooter.

To put gun control laws into perspective, Connecticut has 89 provisions related to gun control laws currently on the books, “placing it behind only California (106) and Massachusetts (100), according to an inventory maintained by the Boston University School of Public Health.” (Jake Kara, The CT Mirror, 01-09-18.)

In Connecticut, since the Sandy Hook School shooting “there were 11 convictions out of 76 arrests for possession of a weapon on school grounds. The other 64 charges were not prosecuted.” And between 2013 and 2017 “There were 333 arrests on charges of violating the assault weapons ban… More than two thirds of the charges were not prosecuted.” (Paul Hughes, Rep-Am, 02-21-18)

One criminal who gets a pass on a gun charge talks to other criminals, and pretty soon they all think they will get pass on them. That is no way to begin to solve the active shooter problem at the schools, or anywhere else for that matter.

Sens. Murphy and Blumenthal: Can you please explain to me and your other constituents exactly how any more gun control laws will help to solve the school shootings problem when the judicial system in Connecticut, with the third highest number of gun control provisions on the books in the country, does not bother to prosecute the majority of gun charges brought to them? Non-prosecution of gun laws is a slap in the face to those who obey them, and to those victims who are harmed by the offenders.

If you want to “do something,” I suggest that you pass legislation that prohibits the non-prosecution of any gun violation charges brought against individuals!

Sen. Blumenthal: You were previously the Connecticut Attorney General for 20 years, from 1991-2011 and have been in the U.S. Senate since 2011. During your first term as a U.S. Senator, your party controlled both houses of Congress and the Oval Office. Your party’s agenda and legislation was filibuster-proof. Yet, you and the Democrat Party managed to do NOTHING about the kind of gun control you always preach about whenever a tragedy happens. How do you explain this failure to act?

It is quite obvious to anyone who reads and understands these facts that your opportunity to “do something” about gun violence as a U.S. Senator was an abject failure. And, even if you were successful, what good would passing even one more law do to prevent gun violence where Connecticut, the third most gun restrictive state in the nation (by gun provisions in the laws), has a judicial branch that chooses to not fully prosecute the gun laws already on the books?

The readers and your constituents are waiting for your detailed answers to these questions.

Craig Hoffman lives in Cheshire.

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