From A Law-Abiding Citizen and Responsible Gun Owner, An Open Letter To My Legislators

Open Letter to Ct Legislators


An open letter to the Senators and Representatives of CT

The “Constitution State’s” state constitution says: “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.” (Article I, SEC. 15)

The Hartford Courant front page on Thursday Jan 17th indicated that Connecticut is behind the proposals adding additional restrictions to arms ownership by the President.

I am not in favor of the proposals and neither are most people I know. The
author provides no facts backing up his opinion that "Connecticut"
supports them.

Our state representatives (Senators and House members) have a duty and take an oath attesting to their responsibility.

You swore: "You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the
State of Connecticut, so long as you continue a citizen thereof; and that you
will faithfully discharge, according to law, the duties of the Office of State
Senator/Representative to the best of your abilities; so help you God."

I believe each of you has taken this oath. As a result I would ask that:

  • You protect my status as an individual who owns

  • You critique each proposed law under consideration by
         asking is it effective? Will it do harm? Would it have had an impact on
         the tragedies in Connecticut in the last 10 years? Does the restriction of
         freedom inherent in all laws outweigh the benefits in a time tested

  • Are you voting for or against the proposals because
         they reflect your educated, informed opinion?

  • Are the specific protected rights of the individual
         infringed? Is your position in conflict with the State and Federal

  • I have not read any proposal before you that, if enacted, would have changed the outcome of the recent spate of senseless killings.

    I am a law-abiding citizen and responsible gun owner.

    I am saddened by the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut, but I believe that efforts to impose new restrictions on me and other lawful and responsible owners like me are a misguided result and does not reduce the potential of a similar tragedy happening again. It is playing to fear.

    Are you aware that violent crime with firearms has declined since the Federal "assault weapons ban" expired in 2004? If you have a question regarding the
    efficacy of any aspect of a proposal did you seek an informed opinion?

    Your focus should be on strengthening mental health care, improved reporting of a person’s threat potential and improving the quality of data supporting NICs checks (National Instant Criminal Background Check System). Do NOT pass more gun laws; instead, work to enforce the more than 20,000 gun laws already on the books.

    I am your constituent and I vote. Please represent me.

    I ask what is the legislature doing other than promoting a platform of more restrictions on legal firearm ownership?

    If it is the standard to pass something "that may save
    even one life" you are fooling the public and yourself and that is
    shameful. With similar logic can we expect that more restrictions should be put
    forward raising the driving age to 21, Connecticut recently experienced a 42%
    increase in driving fatalities (319 people in 2010 were killed in CT) or
    licensing owners of backyard swimming pools (600 children drowned in 2009 in
    the US) or licensing trampolines or imprisoning adults who have carelessly left
    poisons under the kitchen sink that are ingested by children or prosecute
    people who have allowed unsecured proscription medications to be stolen from
    homes by thieves and teenagers. We cannot continue to pile on ineffective law
    and generally restrict our freedoms when any activity or incident causes harm. Yet
    this is the natural progression of law and legislation. This is not the legislative
    philosophy I wish to govern my life or guard my liberty. Note that the state
    and federal constitutions offer no protection for these subjects and pursuits
    but we expect that common sense should prevail.

    Please use your good sense to not be bullied by those souls who would chose "pseudo" security at the expense of freedoms especially those that are constitutionally protected. Think it through and always walk away when the promoter of a solution requires “immediate” action. They are usually selling emotionally charged bunk. Represent me well.

    David Stahelski

    Madison CT

    This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

    Ron January 18, 2013 at 01:48 PM
    Robert, The same could be said of you and anyone else. What you do know is that if David owns guns, he was subjected to a background check that your federal, state, and local law enforcement stamped their approval of. Heinous acts don't require the use of a gun, only a sick mind. Lanza, Holmes and Loughner were/are not "angry gun owners", they were/are very disturbed individuals with a history of mental illness no one paid attention to. You are grouping millions of law-abiding and sane citizens with a few demented psychopaths, whose only commonality is an ability to squeeze a trigger. I happen to know David as a responsible gun owner, sportsman and contributing member of the community. He stands up for what he believes in and I am proud to call him my friend.
    Die Harder January 18, 2013 at 02:13 PM
    What percentage of gun crimes are committed by people who have legally obtained their permits and pistols?
    Robert Bracer January 18, 2013 at 02:21 PM
    40% of guns purchase don't require backround checks. How do we know that Mr. Stahelski even had one? As his friend do you know if he has a history of mental illness or if there is a history of MI in his family? Neither do I. And I would like my representatives to protect me and my family with stricter gun control.
    Die Harder January 18, 2013 at 02:27 PM
    In connecticut? What guns dont require background checks?
    Ron January 18, 2013 at 02:49 PM
    Robert, How do you know that the people that treat your water, provide your food, administer you medications, service your car, clean your house, watch your children, sell you product, cut your lawn, repair your appliances, wear a police uniform or sit next to you on a plane aren't crazy and out to kill you. Every one of these groups has had killers among them and has used a variety of weapons including their bare hands. Why limit your misplaced paranoia? A family in Cheshire was wiped out without firing a shot. A baseball bat was used to overcome the father. I too want my family to be safe but i accept a great part of that responsibility myself. When the bad guys come knocking, your representatives would be about as effective in protecting you and your family from harm as they are in managing your tax dollars in a responsible manner. I'd rather be one of those red dots on a gun map.
    Pem McNerney (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 03:01 PM
    Also, I just wanted to note that I included the file photo of the Bushmaster (not David) because it is one of the weapons at the intersection of the current debate.
    Pem McNerney (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 03:04 PM
    You know what, I think this conversation would best be served by keeping the focus on the issue and not making it personal. Whether I agree or disagree with Mr. Stahelski, I do appreciate him putting himself out there by posting something thoughtful and interesting. Please keep the discussion focused on the issues relating to gun control, as Mr. Stahelski did, and do not deteriorate into personal attacks or those comments will be removed. For those who might have trouble with that concept ... just review your comments before posting and considering removing any sentences that include the word "you." Thanks.
    Pem McNerney (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 03:24 PM
    Again, please keep your comments focused on the issues and refrain from personal attacks.
    Pem McNerney (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 04:34 PM
    Comments are temporarily on moderation. They will appear after being reviewed, but there may be some delay.
    Betty January 18, 2013 at 04:51 PM
    Awesome letter David, law abiding gun owners are under attack from clueless legislators that fail to look at the real problems like mental health because passing gun laws is cheaper and easier. I guarantee you one thing if our legislators who we elected to use common sense and follow the constituion let emotionalism dictate their votes on gun control like what happened in New York we will being seeing alot of new faces in the general assembly in 2014. They took an oath of office to follow the consitution and not gut it in a treasonous fashion as New York did.. There is a 2nd AMENDEMENT RALLY THIS SATURDAY JAN 19 at the Harford Capital at noon.
    Betty January 18, 2013 at 04:55 PM
    David you should run for office. Theres going to be a lot of new faces in Hartford soon lol
    Betty January 18, 2013 at 05:06 PM
    Read this article if you want FACTS.http://authentic-connecticut-republican.blogspot.com/2013/01/this-is-ar-15-rifle.html If politicians fail to protect our 2nd amendment rights and fail to follow their oath of office like New Yorks they will not have Obama to protect them politically at the polls in 2014. The backlash will be fierce just ask Al Gore and the Dem senate and Congress after the last useless assault weapon ban,. Many of these gun manufacturers are here in Connecticut. There jobs will be gone.We have a long gun history here and hundreds of thousands of law abiding voters do not believe in what some big city leftist mayors are recommending. Guns are just a cold piece of steel . The two people responsible for this tragedy are dead. A madman and a mom who failed to keep her guns away from him. So politicians listen to the anti gun fanatics hysteria at your own risk, You could be unemployed in 2014.
    Fred January 18, 2013 at 05:30 PM
    @ Robert Bracer (cont.) Also, what do you mean by the "false bravado of hiding behind the 2nd ammendment?" I note parenthetically that "false bravado" is redundant. In any event, why does insisting that one's Constitutional rights be observed constitute "bravado?" The Bill of Rights was incorporated into the Constitution to restrict the power of government, and to protect the minority from the majority, for example, if a majority of citizens wishes to ban guns owned by a minority. If there were bills introduced in the State Legislature which restricted worship, or which would close down websites or newspapers, would it constitute "false bravado of hiding behind the [First] Amendment” to point out that these laws violate our Constitution?
    Jay D January 18, 2013 at 05:39 PM
    So our 1st and 2nd rights ate now in jeopardy...
    Jay D January 18, 2013 at 05:39 PM
    Fred January 18, 2013 at 08:13 PM
    CCL January 18, 2013 at 09:06 PM
    Loved reading this article and these comments. Interesting to note that those who want to protect their liberty, they sound intelligent. Those who want restrictions, they just sound afraid. It's a false hope to think that more laws will protect you. Don't be fooled - the 'war on guns' will be just like the 'war on drugs' and the 'war on terror' - more people dead for hypocritical, hidden agendas. There are just too many more real examples of guns protecting people than not. And too many more real examples of gun restrictions not lowering gun deaths. I share the same concerns about my family being safe, but there are way too many harms out there. I'd rather take my chances. This gun issue gets so much attention but American drones killing hundreds of people - including kids in their schools and American citizens - is not important? What about the millions of babies killed by abortion? What about the 20 or so kids who are killed every week by abusive parents? I'd rather have the chance to defend against violence than be a victim. And thankfully, the 2nd Amendment says I can. You're happy with a 'well regulated' weapon when there's a big 'scary' one in your face? It's ignorant to think all the 'scary' weapons will be non-existent just because there is another new law. A New Haven police officer of 30 years told me that whoever really wants them will get them anyway. Bottom line, don't trust Obama and his unconstitutional executive orders. He is not really looking out for you.
    Fiscally Conservative January 18, 2013 at 09:08 PM
    Distrust, as Robert puts it, is what tears the fabric of our society apart and causes the tension between people. Think of it this way, if David was your neighbor and he heard screams coming from next door caused by an intruder, would you rather he have the means to protect you or simply a phone?
    Pem McNerney (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 11:50 PM
    That's an interesting question. Again, I'm going to take it off David because this topic isn't really about him specifically, although he was kind enough to put the discussion into play. In general, if a neighbor in our neighborhood hears another neighbor screaming in fear or pain, I hope they call the police. Our neighborhood is not the kind of neighborhood where you would want anyone but the experts wielding a gun in a difficult or dangerous situation that requires split second decision making. One of the big rules of shooting a gun, if I remember correctly, is that you always want to know what's behind whatever you are shooting at ("be sure of your target and what's behind it")... right? In our neighborhood, our houses are close together and it's no place for anyone but the cops to have a gun, IMO. In neighborhoods where the houses are further apart ... dunno how people feel ... but if the houses are so far apart where you don't have the issue of maybe hitting a sleeping baby next door ... are the houses so far apart you couldn't hear someone scream?
    Ron January 18, 2013 at 11:57 PM
    Actually, Robert did post a comment around 10:23 this morning that has not appeared on this forum as of this evening. I received it in an email notification earlier. Perhaps he deleted it himself? He was simply voicing his opinion and I don't think that omitting it from this public forum was the right thing to do, if that did indeed happen without his consent.
    Pem McNerney (Editor) January 19, 2013 at 12:13 AM
    For those of you concerned about comments that are or aren't getting posted ... here's the deal ... don't make it personal, don't attack others, stay focused on the issues, be civil. Some of these gun discussions have gotten way out of hand. I would like this one to stay on target. If that is not appealing to you, you are welcome to go discuss this elsewhere ... there are plenty of options as this topic is being discussed on many sites. And thanks to the many people who are staying on topic and focusing on the issues, rather than each other.
    Fred January 19, 2013 at 12:16 AM
    Pem, your opinion that your neighborhood is no place for anyone but the cops to have a gun is based upon an incorrect assumption. Your are far more likely to be shot or killed by a Police Officer than by an armed civilian. A University of Chicago Study revealed that in 1993 approximately 700,000 police killed 330 innocent individuals, while approximately 250,000,000 private citizens only killed 30 innocent people, a per capita rate for the police, of almost 4000 times higher than the population in general. If one includes only the 80,000,000 gun owning citizens, the police have only a 1200 times higher accidental shooting rate than the gun-owning population in general. According to a study by Newsweek magazine, only 2% of civilian shootings involve an innocent person being shot (not killed). The error rate for police is 11%. You are more than 5 times more likely to be accidentally shot by a policeman than by an armed citizen. But, when you consider that citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as do police every year, it means that, per capita, you are more than 11 times more likely to be accidentally shot by a policeman than by an armed citizen. Source: http://actionamerica.org/guns/guns1.shtml
    Lance January 19, 2013 at 01:57 AM
    Fred, wow, thanks. I doubt the Patch police will leave it up there because it contradicts her erroneous opinion and they do not take kindly to that sort of thing in Adriana's villages but I appreciate you bringing some facts to the conversation.
    CCL January 19, 2013 at 02:53 AM
    Nicely done Fred. Like I said, those for liberty sound intelligence while those for restrictions just sound afraid.
    CCL January 19, 2013 at 02:53 AM
    Jay D January 19, 2013 at 03:27 AM
    From Pem, 10:04 am friday, For those who might have trouble with that concept ... just review your comments before posting and considering removing any sentences that include the word "you." Thanks.
    Fred January 19, 2013 at 03:58 PM
    On March 2, 2010, Barbara Humburg, 41, a divorced Caucasian female, was found dead of multiple blunt and sharp force injuries in the yard of her rented Middle Beach West Rd. home in Madison, where she lived alone (her two children were in college). She was scheduled to testify in court that day in a case against her ex-husband to recover delinquent child support. The Police have characterized her death as a "homicide," but her death reportedly remains a mystery, and no one has been charged.
    Fred January 19, 2013 at 04:05 PM
    Irrespective of whatever the circumstances surrounding her death were (they are unclear at the moment), there would appear to be at least a reasonable possibility that if Ms. Hamburg had a firearm during the period immediately before her death, she might be alive today. I did not know Ms. Hamburg, and don't know anybody who did. Will the proposed new "sensible" gun laws, state and federal, make the next Barbara Hamburg more or less safe?
    Fred January 19, 2013 at 07:34 PM
    Die Harder January 20, 2013 at 03:34 PM
    This story was reported on the durham patch http://durham.patch.com/articles/gun-owners-rally-in-hartford-in-support-of-second-amendment Why wont the Madison Patch post it?


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