Ken Dixon of ctpost.com has a story about a public meeting in Connecticut regarding gun control, the issue that just isn’t going away anytime soon.
(Here’s the link to his story: http://bit.ly/WNmgtO)
And here’s a small piece of his article:
“HARTFORD — Some came dressed in camouflage and others in suits.
“Some wore National Rifle Association hats, casual clothing or bright power ties and sat next to each other, but on starkly different sides of the raging national argument on gun control.
“Both groups, totaling about 1,500 people, were frisked upon entering the Capitol complex Monday, then applauded their supporters during daylong hearings on the aftermath of the Newtown massacre.”
So far, so good. But then things seemed to get a little out of hand. And while I don’t have an issue with those who defend gun ownership rights, I did find some of what happened on Monday a bit unsettling.
More from the Dixon article:
“ ‘The sometimes boisterous public hearing — after nearly four hours of testimony from State Police, parents of slain Newtown first-graders and city mayors — seemed dominated by gun owners, who railed at more than 90 proposed bills.
“ ‘The Second Amendment!’ was shouted a couple of times by as many as a dozen gun enthusiasts in the meeting room as Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his slain 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state.
“ ‘There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened,’ said Heslin, who said he grew up using guns and was undisturbed by the interruption of his testimony.
“ ‘That wasn’t just a killing, it was a massacre,’ said Heslin, who recalled dropping off his son at Sandy Hook Elementary school shortly before Lanza opened fire. ‘I just hope some good can come out of this.’”
So I think what bothers me the most is that responsible gun owners are OK in my book. I respect their rights while I would never own a gun myself. They have every reason to defend their Constitutional guarantees. I would never argue against that. Lots of friends of mine go hunting and that sort of thing. It’s just not for me.
However, I think the gun rights folks hurt their cause to a certain degree when they supposedly “heckled” the father of one of the young victims. I think just out of common respect those in the audience should not have said a word while the grieving father made his remarks. Was it really necessary to interrupt? Did it do anything but make the pro-gun ownership group look cold and uncaring?
I think so.
And if the gun makers and all others associated with the gun industry are hoping for an image reset this probably wasn’t the brightest PR move.
The other thing that bothered me was that someone in the gun industry brought up the fact that their business contributed a lot of jobs to the economy. OK, we get it. But please don’t justify guns with jobs. That doesn’t work either…
“ ‘Kevin Reid, of Oxford, general counsel for Sturm, Ruger & Co., the gun manufacturer with headquarters in Fairfield, said that while the company does not make guns in Connecticut, it use state subcontractors.
“ ‘We pump tens of millions of dollars each year into the Connecticut economy,’ Reid said.”
Deep down I believe those who support gun ownership and rights have the best of intentions. However, some PR assistance seems to be in order because judging from public meetings like this they’re not winning over people like me. And perhaps they don’t care. But they should. I respect their rights and beliefs and they should at least respect those of the parents whose young children became innocent victims.
— Andy Hachadorian