CROW: Gun Violence, CT and Our Elected Officials

Submitted by Trevor Crow, Greenwich

With a solid commitment to the safety of our children, the state of CT has been a leader in creating some of the strictest gun safety laws in our country. The horrific tragedy of Sandy Hook in 2012 spurred our lawmakers to enact laws that not only outlawed assault weapons but strengthened back-ground checks for gun purchases.

In the ensuing years, our CT lawmakers have worked hard to further close loopholes, creating greater safety for children in schools and our citizens in all public and private spheres.

Research shows that CT’s safe gun laws have succeeded in reducing gun violence and death.

Not surprisingly, the states with the strictest gun laws in the nation have the lowest gun violence mortality rates. CT ranks 3rd in the nation with an A rating from the Giffords gun law scorecard, with deaths at 6% per 100,000. Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, all rank F with death rates ranging from 28%-33% per 100,000.

It is clear that strict, safe gun laws save lives. This is not rocket science.

Shockingly, with our knowledge of the importance of safe gun laws in keeping gun violence at bay, our elected official, Ryan Fazio voted AGAINST a bipartisan bill, now signed into law, which closes loopholes in our gun laws. The comprehensive bill includes provisions to prevent community gun violence, stop mass shootings, avoid firearm-related accidents, add protections for domestic violence victims, and avert suicides.

Among other things, the bill would ban the open carry of firearms in public, increase bail for repeat firearm offenders, limit the bulk purchase of handguns to three in one month, increase training requirements for gun permit holders, and raise the minimum age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21, the same threshold as handguns.

It is time that we elect officials who value our lives at least as much as they value guns. Let’s not forget that the first amendment right to life came before the second amendment right to guns.