Connecticut’s gun laws work

March 24th our students here in Guilford joined students across Connecticut and the nation to address their safety and the menace of irresponsible gun ownership with intelligence and passion. Perhaps it’s time we examine the progress we have made in Connecticut. We have one of the toughest sets of gun safety regulations of any state in the nation.

Lawmaker: Stricter gun laws haven’t made us safer

Ever since the tragedy at Sandy Hook, I have advocated for constructive and non-partisan solutions to reduce the potential for similar events. Connecticut reacted after that terrible act by passing the strictest gun control laws in the country, including bans on assault rifles, restrictions on magazine capacity, and universal background checks. Irrespective of any other value those policies may have, none of those things have made us even the least bit safer.

Protecting students: More guns not the answer

President Trump has proposed that the answer to gun violence in schools is to arm teachers and bring guns into the classroom — an idea the vast majority of educators stand firmly against. The President’s plan is meant as a diversion from the real issue: the need for nationwide gun violence prevention laws, additional resources for school safety, and sustained funding for mental health services.

Remembering the Connecticut Lottery attack

March 6 marks the 20th  anniversary of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation massacre in Newington.  That Friday, a 35-year-old employee used a knife and gun to kill four bosses. We condemn the actions of the killer, and express deep sympathy for all the victims and survivors. Within hours,  gun legislation, and metal detectors were discussed. After 20 years, we still have terrorism and violence — workplace, domestic, military, police, government …and yes, Columbine, Sandy Hook and Stoneman Douglas.

On guns and gun violence: ‘We have met the enemy and he is us’

Occasional mass shootings inevitably spark debate to do “something” about gun violence. But we haven’t as a nation done well with curtailing illegal drugs, Opiods, auto deaths, gun suicides and inner city gun deaths – 6,000 plus annually. Second, even if the NRA, gun manufacturers, dealers and importers all vanish tomorrow we’d still have over 300 million guns in circulation. And even if we passed a batch of new laws we’d still have 300 million. That’s more than the entire western world combined. So the sheer numbers of guns are one part of the problem.

Senator, compromise will produce a ‘beautiful’ gun bill

Imagine that.  President Trump has asked Sen. Chris Murphy to work with three reasonable legislators in crafting a “comprehensive” gun bill that is to be “very powerful.” Just a few suggestions to the Connecticut senator as he is one of the most far-left members of Congress. The most important thing is this. You will have to give into negotiations with the other senators. But in doing so you may, just may, give the American people a “beautiful” effective bill that the President will sign into law to keep our schools safe.

Connecticut’s own ‘Second Amendment’

When people debate the legality of gun control legislation, the focus is usually on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.  What many people may not realize, however, is that state constitutions often contain a similar (but not identical) provision.  Thus, article first, § 15 of the Connecticut Constitution provides: “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”

Senators, how about prosecuting more gun crimes?

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.

On reducing the self-hatred and alienation of our young men

The young man is alone.  He has no friends.  He has been expelled from school.  He has no relation with his family: they are dead or at least dead to him.  He has been told all his life that he is a bad person.  He now believes it.  He hates himself.  And, because he hates himself, he hates everything around him.  The world is a giant conspiracy aimed at keeping him down, preventing him from being who he is.  Most of all he feels powerless.  Nothing he does has any effect on his hated environment.

Except for one thing: his guns.

Employers — White House included — must not tolerate domestic violence

Rob Porter’s resignation as White House staff secretary amid domestic violence allegations from two ex-wives should provide us all moment to pause. Porter has been accused of physically and emotionally abusing his former spouses and a previous girlfriend. Of great concern is the reaction of his employer, The White House. White House support for Porter and questions around the integrity of the domestic violence claims has sent a chilling message to victims across our country. Despite words to the effect that “domestic violence should be taken seriously,” statements issuing from the President and his staff fall incredibly short of acknowledging the gravity of this problem.

We must do more to protect people with IDD from sexual predators

Sexual assault has dominated the news cycle. It is clear that this issue can no longer be ignored. Easy to miss was a recent story about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), who are sexually assaulted at a rate seven times higher than those without disabilities. That’s right – seven times. Truly an epidemic. This is horrifying. Sadly, it does not surprise me.

The dangers and potential of ‘natural’ opioid kratom

Given the opioid addiction crisis, it would seem preposterous that an opioid is legal for use in the United States and can be purchased at tea stores, convenience stores, over the internet and, yes, even from vending machines. However, kratom is not your average opioid. The Drug Enforcement Agency found this out when it tried to ban the herb in 2016.