Connecticut needs to set ‘gold standard’ for gun laws

To the Editor:

I’m sick of hearing the tedious complaint from opponents of new common sense stricter gun regulations in Connecticut that “Connecticut already has some of the toughest gun regulations in the nation.”

True, when you compare Connecticut to say, Alaska, Arizona, Utah, and indeed, most of the other states, where gun regulation is either virtually nonexistent or totally feckless, some people may be deluded into thinking that we do have tough gun regulations. But to declare that Connecticut’s gun regulation laws are already tough is like saying we have the best-looking car in the junkyard.

Here’s the real picture: The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issues a scorecard which ranks states on the basis of laws that can prevent gun violence, with 100 being the top score. California ranks best with an 81. Next is New Jersey with 72, followed by Massachusetts and New York with scores of 65 and 62, respectively. (I expect New York will rise dramatically the next time the rankings come out.) Connecticut is the fifth best state, but because our current gun regulations are ineffective and flawed our score is a pathetic 58. Last time I was in school 58 was an “F.”

There’s no reason and no excuse that, in the wake of Newtown, and with the world watching, for Connecticut’s lawmakers not to show the boldness and courage to enact new gun regulation legislation that sets the “gold standard” for gun regulation laws in the nation. Anything less would be unacceptable and an embarrassment. With the gun lobby, and people who think that doing nothing is just, fine breathing down the necks of our legislators, we’ll soon see if there are any “profiles in courage” in Hartford.

And to opponents of tough gun regulation, please don’t start screaming “Second Amendment.” No one wants to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms. It’s just that in order to do all we can to curb gun violence, common sense regulation is, well, common sense.


Richard Ross


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