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by Sharon Rondeau

Should the Connecticut General Assembly pass stricter firearms laws or relax the laws already in existence?

(Mar. 12, 2013) — The National Rifle Association (NRA), the National Shooting Sports Foundation and other groups attended a rally in Hartford, CT on Monday opposing proposed changes to the state’s firearms laws following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.

While the NRA reported that “thousands” showed up for the rally, mainstream media provided virtually no coverage of the event. However, as the day advanced, alternative and local media provided more information.

The gathering was termed “Lobby Day” by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, which was a sponsor of the event.

Conversely, a gun control rally held in Hartford on February 22 was still widely available despite the different date.  The Hartford Courant provided coverage of a group formed by women following the shooting at Sandy Hook which will be holding a “lobby day in Washington, D.C.” and in various places around the country on March 13.

One photo of the March 11 event depicting one person holding a sign appeared at WTNH, Channel 8 out of New Haven on the first page of an internet search.  WTNH quoted those attending the pro-Second Amendment gathering today as having said that “they’ll use their first amendment rights to protect their second amendment rights.”

On the second page of the search, an article entitled “Big turnout expected in Hartford as gun lobbying gets under way.”  The National Rifle Association arranged for the rally for citizens to lobby their representatives at the Capitol.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT, FOX Connecticut provided a short video segment on the rally.

A further internet search yielded a Yahoo! News article with photos and surprisingly balanced coverage.

An earlier Second Amendment rally had been held on January 21, designated as “Gun Appreciation Day” in Hartford, during which some supporters carried firearms.  Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

A meeting of he Public Safety Committee, consisting of Connecticut House and Senate leaders, will take place on Thursday to discuss proposed changes to existing firearms laws.

The Newtown Board of Finance has voted to allocate $420,000 to pay for armed guards at all schools for next year as a result of the attack almost three months ago which killed 27 victims plus the perpetrator.  The money will fund 4.3 positions for “armed police officers or the equivalent.”

Former Newtown Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson opposed arming teachers after the shooting, stating that “School safety should be primarily about protecting a child’s emotional wellbeing.”  Robinson said that “arming teachers is ridiculous,” although she admitted that the school was “helpless” against the brutal attack of 20-year-old Adam Lanza.  Six educators, including the school principal and psychologist, died during the attack after reportedly trying to stop Lanza, who was armed with three weapons.

After Robinson testified to Democrats in Washington on January 16, a New Jersey congressman reportedly said in response, “Dr. Robinson, that deeply wounded community is so fortunate to have a person of your strength and character to guide that we are so thankful you’re with us today and moved by what you said.”

However, Robinson will be departing the Newtown school district to take a position in Stratford effective July 1.

One of the reporters for an NBC article dated the day after the shooting is Savannah Guthrie, who claimed that she received a paper copy of Obama’s birth certificate image released to the public on April 27, 2011.  However, a “computer expert” stated that what Guthrie claimed was a copy of the original differed in several ways from the image and indicated “document tampering.”  Indeed, several versions of the image have appeared online, and numerous imaging and software experts have stated unequivocally that the image is a forgery.

Robinson “received a standing ovation” along with Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra at the State of the State address given by Gov. Dannel Malloy on January 9.  In a widely-publicized article entitled “Newtown schools chief pushes for assault weapons ban” which referred to Robinson’s testimony, no mention of an “assault weapons ban” is made.

On March 7, The Hartford Courant reported that a student at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT had called police about having seen a man with a gun on the campus.  FOX Connecticut reported on March 11 that the school was “completely unprepared” for the emergency and went into lockdown using belts and whatever else was available to secure doors until the all-clear was called.  Connecticut has a ban on the carrying of weapons onto school campuses, even if the person has a concealed-carry permit.

An article entitled “Manchester Community College Leader Wants Armed Campus Police” by The New Haven Register has been removed from the web.  However, what appears to have been the same AP story is available through Boston.com and The Journal Inquirer, which is based in Manchester.  In the article, Manchester Community College President Gena Glickman is said to be “seeking to change state policy banning guns on the Manchester Community College campus, even for police. She’s won support from the Manchester Police Department and state police.”

While the tragedy of the shooting in suburban Newtown is still fresh in many people’s minds, Connecticut lawmakers are under pressure to change existing firearms laws in an effort to reduce “urban” violence, particularly in the cities of Hartford and New Haven.  Firearms manufacturing has been a mainstay of the Connecticut economy “since the 1800s,” and such companies have told Gov. Malloy that stricter laws will mean the loss of jobs.


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