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Middlefield Residents Call Group's Gun Control Proposal 'Ludicrous'

Several residents attended Monday night's selectmen meeting to voice their opposition to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities' recent proposal to enact stricter gun laws in the state.

 

A handful of Middlefield residents showed up at Monday night's Board of Selectmen meeting to urge town officials to terminate the town's membership with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities over the group's recent proposal for stricter gun control.

Representatives from CCM, which lobbies on behalf of 151 cities and towns across the state, including Middlefield, recently proposed 13 legislative initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence.

"I don't agree with any of it and I don't agree with my tax dollars funding their operations," resident Peter Brown told selectmen.

"I believe it's unfair for the local government, or any government to use tax money and use that to pay for lobbyists to lobby for laws that are against what the taxpayers would want," he added.

On Jan. 16, municipal leaders representing CCM, including the mayors of New Haven and Bridgeport, announced a "comprehensive" list of measures aimed at reducing gun violence.

The measures include expanding the state's definition of an assault weapon and limiting the magazine capacity to 10 bullets or less. If passed, the propsal would also require a permit for a long range gun such as a rifle or shotgun and to purchase ammunition.

While Brown called December's massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown tragic, he said additional gun control measures are not the solution to reducing violence.

"It doesn't matter what the firearm is, per say. It does not. It's what's inside the person, and what's inside the person is a lot of anti-depressants that are making them crazy," he said.

Read Brown's letter to the Board of Selectmen in the attached PDF

Resident Dave Lowry, who described himself as a gun owner and a survivor of the state's second worst mass shooting, said he no longer wanted to support CCM with his tax dollars and called the group's proposal to require gun owners to register all of their firearms — except antiques — a veiled attempt to tax gun owners.

"It seems pretty ludicrous that I have to pay for a right," he said.

"CCM should be much more worried about the bigger problem in this state, the fact that we're marching towards bankruptcy," Lowry added.

Another resident describe CCM's proposal as "radical."

"The federal government and state government is taking real advantage of these people up in Newtown, Connecticut, in pushing their agenda," said Bob Atwell.

The cost of membership to CCM was not clear Monday night but Brown asked town officials to consider becoming a member of the Council of Small Towns, or COST, an organization he said doesn't take a position on gun control.

"I don't see any other way for this to be remedied," he said.

Another member of the audience pointed out that 438,000 people die each year from cigarettes, compared to 30,000 from guns in America.

First Selectman Jon Brayshaw said the board would consider Brown's motion to terminate it's membership with CCM, although no vote was taken.

Ken February 07, 2013 at 05:14 AM
This whole debate is more about the media circus fueling emotional responses to tragedy, an all too common affair,than about the failure of government to enact good legislation that meets the needs of all concerned. It's bad enough that grandstanding governors and congress members fail to protect the Constitution,worse, treat it's rights like privileges ,while the mob cheers them on. There are not to be any hindrances to ownership anymore than there are to vote or worship as we chose. If we let "them" spin the Amendments anyway it suits them, then we lose the very reason it is so difficult to create or modify them, to protect us from the whimsy of rulers.
john bozzi February 07, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Mike, Mike, Mike, You talk about my “side” and lump me in with Nancy Peolosi, Michael Moore and Michael Bloomberg, but you refuse the intellectual challenge of answering my simple questions. Why do you oppose the CCM proposals to more strictly enforce current gun laws, to crack down on illegal gun traffickers, to make gun permit holders prove they still qualify for a permit at the time of renewal and to make it more difficult for one of your “deranged lunatics” to become a mass murderer. Instead of participating in a reasoned argument, spiced up with a touch or irony and sarcasm, you resort to name calling. And when all else fails you pick up your ball and go home. It’s too bad you chose to surrender rather than accept the challenge. If you took the time the read and understand the CCM proposals, I suspect you’d find that many of them aren’t as onerous as your “kneejerk” opposition (and yes, that accurately describes your response) claims they are. The more you talk about "police states", and your guns as the "last resort against high-handed treatment of local officials" the less credible you become. If you want to be seen as more than someone who parrots talking points from the conspiracy theory/survivalist manifesto, you neeed to be able to explain yourself. You haven't done that yet. Take some time, read and try to understand the CCM proposals and then come back and discuss the issues.
Brigid February 13, 2013 at 05:00 AM
CCM provides many valuable services to us. The idea that they should be fired because they made a stand on gun control that does not fit in with some people's ideas is just silly. It is especially silly when Mr. Brown states that his tax money should not go to them. My tax money, locally, statewide and nationally goes toward many things I don't agree with and toward many things I do agree with. The now late Mayor Koch once said, "If you agree with me 20% of the time, vote for the other guy. If you agree with me 80% of the time, vote for me. If you agree with me 100% of the time, seek help."
Michael Hayes February 13, 2013 at 05:30 AM
Except, as Mr. Brown pointed out at the meeting, CCM members are not elected officials.
James March 21, 2013 at 09:44 PM
We have waiting periods for long-guns for people who do not possess Connecticut handgun permits. There is no waiting period for handguns; they can not be shown, much less sold, to a person without an eligibility certificate or permit. Every retail firearm transfer is subject to a federal background check performed by the SLFU of the DESPP. A criminal record prohibits the transfer of firearms to people with a criminal record; that is the purpose of the NICS check. Handguns have been registered in Connecticut since 1923. The GCA of 1968 filled gaps in the system by requiring serial numbers on all firearms, eliminating mail-order sales, and requiring a federal application to purchase. The records available to DESPP for all retail transfers date to the mid-1980s. What we don't do is enforce existing laws, provide full mental health data to the federal government, incarcerate criminals, or teach the general public the facts. The "agenda" is far more important. We all agree there are problems that need solving. The difference is some of us would prefer to penalize criminals, not people living a clean life because they fear the penalties of breaking the social contract that creates a civil society.

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