Editor's Note: This post has been updated in the section regarding population. It was due to not hearing the term "fewer" from Governor Malloy. Thanks to Chip for pointing that out. Our apologies.
As Connecticut is in the midst of a very serious situation regarding guns and gun registration, Governor Dannel Malloy attended a town meeting this week to address constituents at John Barry Elementary School in Meriden, Connecticut. During that event, a pro-gun citizen, who has opposed the legislation signed into law by Malloy, which requires gun owners to register their semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines or be considered felons, asked how Malloy could push legislation that is against law abiding gun owners while abolishing the death penalty and offered early release for violent criminals. Malloy's answer was not to point to the State Constitution, but to point to the people's desire to "feel safe." In that respect, he told the questioner that the legislation regarding gun registration had gone through each branch of government and "your side lost." In essence, Malloy said, "Get over it."
Malloy told a constituent who asked about the constitutionality of the gun registration law, "One court has already decided… courts are where the constitutionality of these things are decided."
"You've thrown that term around," Malloy said with a smirk, speaking of the term "constitutional." "It's gone to the court, and guess what? You lost."
Video provided courtesy of Palin Smith
The governor attempted to equate driver's licenses, background checks to get on an airplane, and background checks to obtain a gun with the right to keep and bear arms, which is explicit in the Connecticut State Constitution (Article 1, Section 15) and the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.
However, there are no caveats here. The Connecticut constitution is clear that people have that right and that nothing has to be done, as far as government is concerned, to exercise that right. Would that not include mandatory gun registration?
He then spoke about the people acting in a republican form of government decided the matter. While the people most definitely determined their elected officials, those officials are not to go against what is clear in their own constitution, and they are not to create ex post facto laws, such as the gun registration legislation which is at the heart of the debate. The fact that Malloy claims, "the legislature decided you could keep it" ought to be just as disturbing in this matter. Since when does the government in the United States determine whether or not you can keep your property? Do you get the implications? Malloy thinks the state grants you your rights, not God.
While the claim is true that those who purchased a weapon that was identified in the new legislation could keep their guns, the additional measure of registering it becomes a point of controversy. As I pointed out in a prior article, Branford Police Officer Joseph Peterson made it clear why registration was necessary: "So they know who's got them (sic) that's what the purpose is (sic)."
The only reason to want to know who owns those particular guns, is for later confiscation, nothing more.
Malloy then puts the blame for the law on the citizens, stating that they thought it best to make them safe. The question should be asked of Malloy, how does gun registration make anyone safe, seeing that no criminal will register their guns? Just how does that work? The truth is, it doesn't.
The questions posed were, "Since you've been governor, how could you abolish the death sentence in Connecticut, making it a 'killer's paradise," create a program that allows violent offenders the ability to get out of prison early, letting them run free on the streets with citizens before their time; cutting funding by hundreds of millions of dollars, with at least $25 million of that being taken away from mental health programs; such programs could identify and prevent another Sandy Hook and Adam Lanza? So by coddling and rewarding prisoners, you have turned around your wrath to the legal gun owners of the state, not realizing that legal gun owners could be the ones that could actually stop the next mass murder, since no one commits a serious crime with a police officer standing there. So how do you respond to this total turn around, as well as unconstitutional laws against law abiding gun owners while skirting around the real issues of the heinous crimes that were committed in this state?"
Malloy, attempting to belittle the man posing the questions, said, "I think you have a view," and added that sometimes those views "don't reflect reality."
He then erected a strawman, by claiming that the man's question and statement indicated that Connecticut's crime rate is higher in 2014 than it was in 2010. Of course, that was not the point of the man's question to Governor Malloy.
However, Malloy did toss out some "statistics" regarding his claim. He then made the bold proclamation, "Connecticut is safer today than it has been in 46 years. We've had fewer crimes committed in Connecticut in 2013 than we did going back 46 years, but actually when you adjust it for rate of crime, it goes back even further than that."
Malloy claims the state population was 600,000 fewer 46 years ago. According to CensusScope, the total population for Connecticut in 1960, eight years prior to Malloy's claim, was 2,535,234. In 1970, just two years following Malloy's claim, the population had grown to 3,032,217. According to 2013-2014 numbers, the total population for Connecticut is 3,574,097. (This is an update to the previous version of the article in which I misunderstood Malloy's claim that the population was 600,000 "fewer," not 600,000.)
Malloy continues to mischaracterize the man's question by stating that if he believed his statement, there "must be a plethora of murders taking place in our state."
The governor then goes on to claim, "Murders, for only the fourth time in forty years, were below 100 people."
According to murder statistics for the "Constitution State," Connecticut has seen murders under 100 on three occasions from 1974 to 2012. I don't have 2013 statistics to verify, but the Courant agrees with Malloy's claim that 2013 saw the number of murders under 100 (they cite 97). That would make this claim true.
However, that is the only year in the Malloy administration that has taken place. In fact, when you look at national average of violent crime and murder, you can see a drop almost across the board, but the question must be asked, "What are those declining rates attributed to? Are they attributed to legislation or more citizens being armed?" That is another topic for sure, so I suggest reading the real numbers on the issue here.
When taking into account Malloy's claim about 2013, keep in mind that the prior year saw what took place at Sandy Hook. The total number of murders was 146, up 17 from 2011 when Malloy took office. Now keep in mind that immediately following Sandy Hook, there was a run on guns and ammunition, so much so that shelves were emptied. This was brought on by the Obama administration pushing for more unconstitutional restrictions on guns and the State of Connecticut doing the same, even amidst opposition, including parents of those that attended Sandy Hook. If you are a thinking person in this, you would have to come to the conclusion that more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens were what brought the murder rate down, not legislation and not Governor Malloy.
Malloy erected the strawman that if he believed the questions posed to him, it would lead him to believe violent offenders are doing less time in prison. That isn't even the issue. He makes comparisons to other administrations and how they have dealt with sentencing. The question posed was how could he do it? How could he release violent criminals onto the streets before their time was up?
What Malloy doesn't address is the fact that New Haven, Connecticut is listed as number 8 on a 2012 FBI report describing violent crime, murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. And the state's capital city of Hartford is consistently above the national average in regards to violent crime. In 2012 it was three times higher than the national average.
Yet, Malloy claims that the people are "safer" under his administration and says the statistics back that up. Again, why are they safer? Is it because of his administration or the people arming themselves? I'll let you be the judge.
Instead of actually answering the questions posed to him, Malloy seems to be doing nothing more than a song and dance, deflecting from the real questions and honest answers that should have been given. His answers, in my opinion, are nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
Governor Malloy attempted to claim that suicide attempts were more likely to be successful in a home that had guns. I don't doubt that, but it is irrelevant to the issue. Will Governor Malloy be giving up his guns or the guns of those that provide security to him at his home, because one day he might get suicidal? I'm guessing not.
Malloy's claim about strengthening laws about keeping guns under lock and key are worthless as well. I don't mind the sentiment that if you have multiple weapons that they are stored properly, especially if little ones are in your home. However, for it to be mandated by the state, does not then make it a reality. Second, a locked up gun is of no use when you are in need of it.
Finally, the issue of mental health came up. I've told you from day one, when conservatives came out pushing the entire "mental health" issue regarding guns, that it was a mistake, and they fell right in the trap that was laid for them. You are now giving government the ability to define who is and who is not mentally healthy enough to possess a gun. Many of our veterans, who fought to preserve liberty, the same liberty we speak of to keep and bear arms, are having their guns taken from them due to the ridiculous push for government to interject itself into the issue of mental health.
Malloy is right about one thing, when it comes to this law, the side of liberty lost. Now, it appears liberty lovers are demanding a best 2 out of 3. We'll see what happens in 2014 as a floundering Malloy will be going up against gubernatorial candidate Joe Visconti.
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