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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.

Donia Viola February 05, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Isn't it ludicrous not to use spell-check when you're writing an article, especially when misspelled words can be avoided because of this tool?
Michael Hayes (Editor) February 05, 2013 at 02:43 PM
You're right, Donia, it is. Thanks for checking in this morning.
Jeremy Renninghoff February 05, 2013 at 03:31 PM
I didn't know this was going to come up last night, otherwise I would have been there to register my own complaint. And to make matters worse, one of our own residents now works for CCM and is on board with some or all of CCM's gun-grabbing proposals. They are the same big government-lovers that balked when Rell proposed doing away with the motor vehicle property tax. They just want more $$$ from the state so these big suburban towns can hire more cops, build "emergency services complexes" and money pit swimming pools. Screw CCM, the Conference of Crying Mayors.
Mike Butler February 05, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Ludicrous is a synonym for ridiculous, absurd, foolish, preposterous, outrageous, and nonsensical. All of those adjectives could be used to describe CCM’s harsh, irresponsible agenda. We do not need more laws that serve only to disarm law-abiding, peaceful citizens and to empower criminals—we need to enforce the thousands of laws we already have! I agree that Middlefield would be much more at home in COST, given that it has more in common with those communities than it does with such urban crime hubs as New Haven and Bridgeport., and will be better served not using its tax dollars to lobby for restrictions that punish its innocent citizens for the heinous felonies of a few.
Rockfall Resident February 05, 2013 at 04:29 PM
I am a resident of this town and upon reading through the legislation, I support many of these proposals. Mr. Brown speaks as if he represents all taxpayers. He does not. I think it is great that this group is trying to help solve the problem with gun violence. While I think some of the proposals are ridiculous, I feel that the waiting periods, federal background checks, and firearms registration system will go far in curbing gun violence. A sniper was murdered by an ex military man who had documented psychological problems. With a system in place the killer would have had his access to the firearm revoked, in turn saving this man's life. People say that guns don't kill people, people kill people. We then need to restrict access of people that we somehow know as incompetent, through mental illness or prior criminal record, from access to these guns.....
Scott Wheeler February 05, 2013 at 05:00 PM
First time I have to agree with Mr Brown, we need to leave the CCM if that is the direction they are taking with my tax money. The state is on a fiscal cliff and proposing tighter gun laws will further decrease tax revenue and create more lost small business. The state should only be discussing one topic right now and that is budget.
William Glueck February 05, 2013 at 05:41 PM
The fact anybody would propose legislation requiring a 50% tax on anything and expect it to be taken seriously show's you how far astray the State of Connecticut has gone. A revolution was fought in this country over a very tiny tax on tea. The laws that are proposed are nothing more than a draconian attempt by a far left liberal state legislature to further infringe on law abiding citizens while doing NOTHING to address the real issue which is hardening schools and protecting school children, teachers and administrators from crazed mass shooters that already obtain weapons illegally. If there is going to be new legislation it should be focused on hardening school buildings, establishing a first line of lethal defense against crazed mass murderers that breach school buildings and changing mental health privacy laws so medical professionals can communicate with law enforcement to prevent folks that are diagnosed with severe personality disorders from committing mass murders.
William Glueck February 05, 2013 at 05:42 PM
All small towns should be members of COST (Council of Small Towns) not CCM. CCM represents the interests and agendas of the large cities which have the most influence and pay the greatest dues. COST represents the interests of small towns which is an entirely different agenda.
Dave D February 05, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Is it me or are people so out of touch they truly believe our forefathers thought we should all have an ar-15 and 100 rounds of ammo?
Die Harder February 05, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Do you think our forefathers thought we should have freedom of speech on the internet or blogs?
Peter Brown February 05, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Dear Concerned, If interested, please visit the following links for more information- this was included as part of my presentation to the board of selectmen Monday night. http://www.drugawareness.org/ click on the link "why I took a gun to school" http://www.ssristories.com/index.php?p=school
Mike Butler February 05, 2013 at 08:34 PM
No, it's you (that's out of touch). "This nation was founded as a result of the fact that people – citizens – who had a musket above the fireplace grabbed the gun when an emergency confronted them. For 4 million Americans, the AR-15 is the musket of today."—David Keene ...and at the rate the AR-15 is selling, pretty soon we will all have one! Although not usually with a 100 round mag, that is not typical. The standard capacity is 30 rounds, which is the ideal setup for home defense—or store defense if you're a Korean shopkeeper in the L.A. riots.
William Glueck February 05, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Who thinks our forefathers would have LOVED the idea of a 50% tax on musket balls! Come on Man! The second amendment isn't about hunting or target shooting it's about the ability for individual citizens to remain free from oppressive governments. Governments that are opposing 50% taxes on ammo and 10% taxes on video games and 50% taxes on marijuana in the states where it's been legalized are pretty oppressive. The fact these oppressive taxes are taken seriously by so many shows you how far our country has regressed since it's founding...which was caused by the threat of a small tax on tea!
john bozzi February 05, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Mike Butler, Thank you for the vocabulary lesson. Unfortunately, synonyms (even lots of them) don't qualify as reasoned argument. There is nothing radical in the CCM proposal. None of the proposals would infringe on your "right to bear arms", unless of course you've committed a crime or have been found to be mentally unstable. Many of the proposals call for stiffer enforcement of current laws. Others seek to make it more difficult for "straw purchasers" to "legally" buy guns only to "legally" transfer them to individuals who could not pass the state background check. Other proposals would require permit holders to prove they are still eligible for the permit when they seek to renew it. Assault rifles and large capacity clips would be banned. Such a ban is supported by an overwhelming majority of Connecticut residents. So, where's the radical? Your knee-jerk reaction to reasonable gun control proposals do not advance your "argument" and add nothing to the discussion.
monique thomas February 06, 2013 at 01:58 AM
http://ctcost.org/pages/CCST_Files/LP-Reg%20Eff.pdf Regional Planning Organizations (RPO) AKA a non-governmental organization (NGO) COST is a mechanism to take away local control from the individial citizens. Yes, Mr. Gluek, "COST represents the interests of small towns which is an entirely different agenda." And the agenda is much different than it appears. The process is incremental. Please learn more of what is really going on...http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/
monique thomas February 06, 2013 at 01:59 AM
http://ctcost.org/pages/CCST_Files/LP-Reg%20Eff.pdf Regional Planning Organizations (RPO) AKA a non-governmental organization (NGO) COST is a mechanism to take away local control from the individial citizens. Yes, Mr. Gluek, "COST represents the interests of small towns which is an entirely different agenda." And the agenda is much different than it appears. The process is incremental. Please learn more of what is really going on...http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/
James February 06, 2013 at 02:26 AM
When you rule by public polling rather than legislating according to your Constitution, you are, indeed, living in a democracy.
Mike Butler February 06, 2013 at 04:19 AM
Calling them "reasonable" does not make it so. You all can chant the mantra "common sense" all day and night, but it won't make these schemes reasonable or fair. It is rich with irony to hear well justified opposition to draconian anti-gun agendas being labeled “knee jerk reaction,” because that is exactly what this laundry list of demands is, as they trip all over each other attempting to create a perception of “doing something.” It is political theater at its worst. And Diane Feinstein, who plainly announced her pipe dream of total firearms confiscation 17 years ago, is leading the charge nationally while all her little acolytes across the country, including those at CCM, fall into lockstep. The sad truth is that not one single one of these items would have thwarted the Newtown perpetrator or any of the other well-publicized mass murderers whose misdeeds have prompted all of these knee-jerk reactions we are seeing. And many of them tilt the equation dangerously away from citizens’ rights to a very capricious police state. For instance, there is no way to justify abolition of a citizen’s only last resort against high-handed treatment by local officials; Martin Luther King Jr. could have used a BFPE in his day, and citizens need it now. Your defense of these knee-jerk reactions, which are anything but reasonable, does not advance your "argument" and adds literally nothing to the discussion.
Garri Saganenko February 06, 2013 at 06:17 AM
Can someone show me where it says the word "musket" in the second amendment?
john bozzi February 06, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Mike, Wow! More good vocab words. I can feel SAT scores rising all over Middlefield. Your thesaurus must have a 30-synonym clip but your “spray and pray” verbiage assault doesn’t make your argument any clearer. You still haven’t explained WHY you oppose the CCM proposals. I think it’s reasonable to support the CCM proposal to stiffen penalties for those who commit gun crimes. Statistics show that if you commit one gun crime, you’re likely to commit another, so, lets lock them up. You call that “ludicrous.” I think it’s reasonable to support the CCM proposal for universal background checks to make it more difficult for straw purchasers (AKA “gun traffickers”) to provide guns to felons and other undesirables. You call that “ludicrous.” (Or maybe we’re on “ridiculous” now.) I think it’s reasonable to keep weapons with battlefield technology designed to kill lots of people in a short amount of time out of the hands of civilians. You call that “ludicrous” (“absurd”?).
john bozzi February 06, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Mike, I’m also disappointed that you raised the Newtown massacre to exploit that tragedy in an attempt to further your argument but, since you raised it, I’ll respond. If the Newtown gunman didn’t have an assault-style weapon and 30 round clips, there is a chance fewer lives would have been lost. No guarantees, but a chance. The gunman shot his way through the door. If he had had to change clips after ten shots, the whole dynamic of the situation changes. When he entered the building, three brave women rushed him. If he had a ten-round clip he might not have been able to kill all three at the same time. One might have lived, made to him and been able to prevent further killing. But with 30 rounds at his disposal, he couldn’t help but kill anyone who intervened. As far as your worries about a “very capricious police state” remember, you can’t hear the Black Helicopters when they’re coming for you. So, as long as you can hear a helicopter in the air, you’re safe. you only need to be looking over your shoulder when you CAN'T hear helicopters. Good luck with that.
MRStFU February 06, 2013 at 02:52 PM
i hate to say it but our fore fathers settled this issue years ago and i have far more faith in our political leaders of the past then the assanine agenda fueled carreer politicians of today. nations around the world with very lenient gun control do not have the same issues as us stop throwing blame at inanimate objects and take some responsibility. when someone runs some one down with a car (which is an inanimate object that kills far more inocent people then guns) that person goes to jail for vehicular manslaghter we dont get up in arms saying cars should be limited to 25 mph so that they wont kill anyone its idiotic. parents need to stop their 10 year olds from mowing down people everyday as a "GAME" and pay atention to the rating systems when i was a kid you would never see kids in rated r movies i saw a mother and her son who couldnt be over 13 walking out of the last saw movie with like 4 of his freinds we have glorified and made normal human on human violence and it only gets worse as the generations pass im 27 my generation was no walk in the park but we had some respect for life and our parents dcs has gotten out of control parents should be able to discipline their children without worrying about losing them the state of america today is pathetic and the way to fix it is fix what weve changed.. where we screwed up not butcher the policies and laws our founding fathers set forth that brought this country from a colony to a world power in a little over 100 years
MRStFU February 06, 2013 at 02:58 PM
and how many time will we be taxed along the way ( dont worry i dont expect an honest answer)
MRStFU February 06, 2013 at 03:12 PM
oh and mike we had muskets because thats what any soldier who would come barging through there door demanding food room and quarter would have been carrying and if we didnt all have one we never would have been able to form the guards and volunteer regiments that won us our freedom i only hope that if the need ever calls for it again we as americans are just as prepared and just as armed. so although your sarcasm was apreciated i hope it was an acurate statement
Mike Butler February 06, 2013 at 10:26 PM
"Mike, I’m also disappointed that you raised the Newtown massacre to exploit that tragedy in an attempt to further your argument but..." The irony here is so thick you can cut it with a knife. as is the hypocrisy. Exploiting tragedy is exactly what your side has done from Square 1. They eagerly pounced on this golden opportunity of a lifetime, with unsavory filmmaker Michael Moore spouting off literally minutes after the shots rang out and Mayor Bloomberg chiming in before lunch, peddling the same agenda they have notorious for pushing all along, but now with a hot story to propel them with new-found momentum. Meanwhile, my side kept a respectful silence for as long as possible under the circumstances. Your side raised it, quickly, loud, and often, with no respect or dignity, who are you trying to kid! So, no sale on your patently phony "disappointment." And now that you are off on that dog whistle tangent about "helicopters," I have concluded that I am wasting my time talking to a troll. Go peddle your mag capacity ban to somebody sufficiently gullible; I assure you that the owners of 20- and 30-round mags who will turn them in will be exactly zero...NOBODY! And of course, criminals and psychotics already conveniently exempt themselves from all restrictions and limitations. And as for a deranged lunatic submitting to a background check before stealing his mother's unsecured guns, well, good luck with that! Have fun in Fantasyland!
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 (Editor) 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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