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Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Countless hours are being exhausted now for hearings into changes in gun legislation. I fear though that much of it is being driven by emotion rather than really any attempt to correct a serious problem. As much as I don't believe in the need for assault rifles or large volume clips, I can't think of any of my friends that I would be in fear of them owning such weapons. If they are responsible in securing them and keeping them from getting in the wrong hands, go for it if you think you see the need.

What does bother me though is the apparent ignoring of our existing gun laws. How many of the people committing robberies and shootings in our cities do you think obtain a pistol permit before they leave their home to commit the robbery? The answer is probably very few. How many of them do serious jail time when they are caught with illegal weapons. Once again probably the same answer, very few.

We can pass all the feel good laws we want, but if they aren't enforced, they mean nothing.Once again, it is almost a daily routine in Hartford for convicted felons to be caught in possession of a firearm. How many of them do you think are kept off the street due to their clear disregard for the laws our legislators have passed. The answer to that is also very few.  The only hope for serious punishment is not through our state courts unfortunately.

Hartford's GA 14 needs to step up it's game. Although they do work closely with the Shooting Task Force and have prosecutor's specifically assigned to the gun cases. The message needs to be sent to any and all defendants going through the court with gun charges that they will be dealt with severely and probation  and plea bargains are not an option. Serious jail time is.

The Hartford Shooting Task Force seems to have had some luck by pursuing Federal charges for these offenders, where they actually are hit with serious jail time. Those that are unwilling to conform to laws our society needs to live by, should not be allowed to freely roam our streets looking for their next prey.

None of this will prevent the Newtown or Aurora style massacres though. The fact is that these shooters fly under the radar, probably have never had a negative contact with Police and are driven by mental illness more than any criminal attempt. We can't legislate our way out of mental illness

Channel 3's Len Besthoff.recently did a story that shows a huge problem with the assault rifle issue. In his piece about the Riverview Gun Store in East Windsor, he obtained surveillance video of an individual shoplifting an AR-15 assault rifle from the store.. The individual was later found in a room at the Hartford Hilton by Police with the assault rifle, although his intentions were never clearly identified, the man was mentally ill and suffered from numerous previously diagnosed mental conditions.

Len's story and the video are posted below in the link to The mentally ill subject walks in and steals the assault rifle with the ease of a teenager shoplifting a candy bar from CVS. There is one law that needs to be put on the books immediately, if it isn't already there. Any gun dealer needs to secure the weapons with cables or chain devices to prevent their easy removal from the store. Gun owners should be required to do the same after the purchase of these weapons.

It just seems kind of sad that leather jackets and dresses at retailers at the Mall are secured better than deadly assault rifles at Riverview.

Most responsible gun owners I know already do this with gun safes, but that clearly wasn't the case in Newtown where a mentally ill man, that his own family described as a"ticking time bomb" had access to his mother's weapons .

Would a gun safe have prevented this, probably not. I think someone set on creating carnage will find a way to do it,weapons or not, but who knows.

I'm pretty confident the gun control debate will continue for some time, it has been smoldering for years with little action. It is unfortunate 26 deaths have brought it to the surface, but I think our legislators owe it to the victims and their families to pass laws that are actually going to make a difference and address the problem, not just polarize us more or appease one side or the other.

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