Mothers, Newtown & Guns

Guest post by Martha Dean

It was a frigid Saturday afternoon in January in Connecticut. I hurried along the east side of the Capitol between the snow banks, bracing myself against the wind. It was already 1:15 pm, and I was late. Preparing my speech had taken longer than I intended. The gun rally started at noon. Pressing on around the corner, I was shocked to encounter a massive wall of people extending as far as I could see. It was a crowd so enormous that it overflowed from the Capitol’s steps in a solid shivering block of people sweeping across the large open terrace, its wide walkways, and flowing equally to the east toward me and west and north into the parking lot beyond. Rising far beyond the seemingly endless winter coats and parkas, the Capitol’s north steps were overflowing with organizers, speakers, supportive organizations, microphones, cameras and media.

I was incredulous. Here at the Capitol in the bitter cold there were thousands huddled tightly in an expansive living solid form. Attempting to stay warm they pressed together and forward trying to hear the speakers at the podium on the distant steps. I pushed my way bit by bit deep into the crowd. At last, I emerged, in front on the steps. As I climbed, the air felt different. It felt as if I was high on a hill –looking out over what seemed at that moment to be the entire people of State of Connecticut – a people finally stirred – a people finally awakened from a very long and deep sleep.

The rally was about guns – but of course it was really about Newtown. And, here I was — a woman, a mother. They would look to me to make sense of it all. I took a deep breath before heading to the podium. What is it that we mothers are expected to have? Loving common sense, yes, that’s it, I thought. Yet, the lack of it in Connecticut is now palpable. When did Connecticut mothers become a group that could be scared, controlled, and herded by politicians playing on their emotions to achieve political ends? When did Connecticut mothers unlearn the practical American lessons of ruggedness resourcefulness and independence of our mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers in early New England and on the frontier?

Why, I wondered, did Connecticut mothers turn away from timeless practical skills such as teaching our children to respect guns and to know how to shoot safely for sport, hunting, or to protect their families? But then I  thought, how many Connecticut mothers even require their children to learn to change a car or bike tire, unclog a drain, or chainsaw a tree fallen across a driveway? I took a deep breath. Gently, go gently, Martha. The people are awake, now — but you must not scare them.

I prayed quietly to myself “God, please give me the words. Please let me be understood.” I took a deep breath and started my speech, “We all grieve for Newtown – all of us.” I continued, with firmness and resolve, “But, mark my words. The risk we face is not that of losing another classroom of kids to a lone madman. No, the real risk we face is the risk of losing an entire generation of kids – the future of all kids in America – to the slave chains of debt and impending despotism.” I paused, groping for a sunny optimism, “Ronald Reagan said it best, ‘In a world wracked by hatred, economic crisis, and political tension, America remains mankind’s best hope.’” I asked, “What did he mean? … He was pointing out that we Americans have created something truly unique and unprecedented in the history of mankind – something that doesn’t just benefit us as Americans but — that benefits all – mankind.
Freedom, enshrined in law, in our Constitution —  and a people willing to stand ready to fight to preserve it — whether against those usurping it from without or within.” The crowd went wild.

I said “No responsible gun owner in Connecticut – or in America – opposes firearms laws that are aimed at a true problem and that actually work to fix the problem… and do it without infringing on core – core – rights. But virtually every proposal now in circulation since Newtown violates one, or more, or all of these tenets. They violate the right to privacy. They violate the right of citizens to own effective modern firearms. They violate the requirement that laws be effective and actually serve their purpose and be aimed at a true problem.”

I asked, “What laws are we lacking that would protect children in a city like Chicago? We’re not lacking any. They all exist. And even if they were all enforced, which they are not, do you think they would protect the children? Absolutely not.” In Chicago, where handguns were banned altogether, murder rates skyrocketed making Chicago the murder capital of the nation. Criminals do not obey laws.  More restrictive laws simply tie the hands of us – the vast law-abiding citizenry who wish to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors and live peacefully. “The only thing that stops a bad guy is a good guy with a gun.” Cheers and applause echoed off the fairy castle-like structure of the Capitol and across Bushnell Park.

“What is the real risk of a child being shot in most of our schools in America?” I asked. “It is virtually zero. Virtually zero… Your children are more at risk of dying of food poisoning … than from a lone madman with a gun.” Closing, I implored the crowd, “Let’s make sure that we all – our legislators, the media … and those who support the second amendment – stay focused on the real risk before us: to protect our children, yes. But is it to protect our children from uncertain, unlikely, random events? Or, is it to protect them from the certainty of the twin slave-chains of government-imposed debt and emerging despotism? Let’s show that by fighting -– fighting — for our freedom that we are worthy of it. Let’s make our children, and future generations of Americans, proud.”

It was done, and I knew my words would be ignored by the media. They would never be heard by most citizens in Connecticut. But, to my amazement — after all of the years it seemed that I spent speaking to a slumbering citizenry here in Connecticut, thousands — thousands of people — had heard and they had clearly understood. I felt in my hand the slimmest thread of hope. Connecticut’s citizens are awakening, at last. If they could just hear the message, I now knew they would do the right thing.

Martha Dean is an attorney in private practice in Avon, Connecticut. She was the Republican nominee for Connecticut Attorney General in 2002 and 2010.

I’ve included Martha’s full speech from that day for your viewing pleasure.

Member Update – Last Chance Before Emergency Certification

The expected E-Cert Bill will be voted on this week according to Legislative Leadership.

Call and email The following people:
Speaker Rep. Brendan Sharkey

House Minority Leader Rep. Larry Cafero
860-240-0028 ,

House Majority Leader Rep. Joe Aresimowicz
860-240-8581 ,

Senate Minority Leader Senator John McKinney
860-240-8846 ,

President of the Senate Don Williams

Majority Leader of the Senate Martin Looney
860-240-0375 ,

Your own State Senator and Representative

Tell them:
There is No Justification for Emergency Certification.
The Sandy Hook Tragedy Occurred 3 1/2 months ago.
The Full Report has not been published.
The guns they seek to restrict or ban are common ordinary firearms that are bought and used legally by millions of law abiding Americans

Call and email Monday 04/01
This may be our last chance before they will vote!

CCDL Airs Radio Commercial

In an effort to reach out to both gun owners and citizens that support our rights, CCDL has recorded and is airing a pro-2A commercial on two radio stations in the state. WJJF (94.9) FM and WTIC (1080) AM will be airing through part or all of this week.
Here is the commercial set to video:


CCDL 2A Rally April 20th
North Side Capitol Grounds 12 Noon till 3:00pm. We will need every person there to make sure that our voices will be heard. Flyer with more information to follow soon. Please share with clubs, ranges and gun stores.


Next Meeting April 9th, 7pm – 9pm
Don’t forget to join us in Middletown for our next monthly meeting. This meeting is open to all Members! Also, we will be collecting canned goods/non-perishables at our meetings.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League strives for hands on activism from our members. We want an organization for us all to be proud of as we put forth effort to fight for our 2nd Amendment rights in our beautiful State. See you there!
Location : Middletown Elks Lodge 771, 44 Maynard St
Middletown, CT
View Map or Get Driving Directions

Carry On!
CCDL, Inc.

CCDL Video

As promised, here is a video version of our radio ad currently airing on several local stations. Please share this far and wide!

Call and email The following people:
Speaker Rep. Brendan Sharkey

Call and email The following people:
Speaker Rep. Brendan Sharkey

House Minority Leader Rep. Larry Cafero

House Majority Leader Rep. Joe Aresimowicz

Senate Minority Leader Senator John McKinney

President of the Senate Don Williams

Majority Leader of the Senate Martin Looney

Your own State Senator and Representative

Call and email with this simple message:
We want full public hearings on any final E-Cert bill before it gets a floor vote!
We want the FULL Sandy Hook Investigation Report. How can we pass any bill without ALL of the facts!

We know many have done this already, but we are asking again. Right now the Task force and Leadership are preparing a bill that will water down your rights, and may categorize you as a criminal for what you currently own.
Even if they Grandfather certain firearms or components, there is always next year or the year after. They will simply keep passing laws one after another.

The Executive Committee of CCDL is taking a stand against any further laws that would effect the guns themselves, or how we lawfully use them.

Visit to join us. Membership is free!
Follow our blog at for breaking news.

Oleg Volk’s images used with permission.  Visit for more.

Video produced by MoHo Productions.

Coming Soon To A Radio Station Near You

CCDL’s first radio commercial! Look for an official CCDL video version shortly. (Update: Video is here)


And we have a few photos from the recording session. The voices in the commercial belong to CCDL executive members Virginia Benedetto and John Beidler.

Sandy Hook Shooting Search Warrants Released

As promised, State Police have released some of the search warrants from the Sandy Hook School shooting. I have not had a chance to read them, but here they are. Warning, I understand some of this may be disturbing

PRIORITY: Public Hearing On E-CERT

I was going to put up a blog post yesterday about this, but got tied up with other things. Since Bob and James Crook at the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen sent out an alert that says pretty much what I wanted to say, I’m going to just copy their email here.

With a probable composite (Mental Health, School Security, and FIREARMS) bill to be debated soon, you are asked to immediately contact YOUR State Representative and State Senator. Our and your interest in the bill is:
1. What does it contain,
2. Why don’t we have full disclosure, and MOST Important
3. Can we expect to provide our views through a PUBLIC HEARING Hearing on the contents?.

Be polite and courteous with Legislators. Tell them you are a voting constituent in their district, and if you voted for him/her make that statement.

How to Find Your Legislators:

Ask them the following questions;
Gun owners, hunters, target shooters, collectors have no idea what may be contained in this bill affecting their legal activities and firearm ownership. Can you explain to me what is contained in the bill and how it will affect me personally?

Rumors abound, and many issues go well beyond anyone’s perception this is only about so-called “Assault Weapons.” We hear about severe ammunition purchase restrictions placed upon ALL gun owner’s rifles, shotguns, and handguns. If passed, what would I have to do to purchase ammunition and WHY?

We hear ALL firearms must be registered at a cost including my Grandfather’s rifles and shotguns. Why?

Magazines are an integral part of a firearm. What will be the standard number of rounds if any? Will they be banned entirely? Will the State reimburse me for my loss of value and protection? Will common rifles and shotguns be included?

Should this bill be about prosecuting criminals and at-risk persons being identified, not the gun issue which has little real relevance to the Newtown event?

Why is there no transparency as to what legislators convening in secret are considering?

Will YOU as a legislator and your constituents have sufficient time to evaluate the bill prior to debate?

WE NEED A PUBLIC HEARING! Why can’t we allow those affected by this legislation to promote their views?

Tell me how you could vote on this “quick fix” legislation developed by some emotionally biased legislators without allowing a hearing from constituents to share their expertise and support/objections?

Help me understand why this bill will have no public hearing and is different from all other bills! Why Emergency Certification?


Counter-protest! Antigun Protest Tomorrow in Newtown

NOTE: We posted this yesterday, but took it down because we decided we didn’t want the antigun types to have time to cancel or reschedule. It’s back up now, please share far and wide!

According to an article published yesterday in the News-Times of Danbury, the antigun crowd is planning a protest for tomorrow, March 28th, in front of the headquarters for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Why they are protesting sport/target shooters I have no idea; I would think if you really wanted to stop the violence you would protest in front of a drug gang’s headquarters or something. I can only guess it’s because sport shooters are safe and law-abiding and located in a nice neighborhood, and gang shooters are scary, criminals, and hang out in the bad part of town?

Whatever their reasons, they say they are speaking for all of us. We need you to show up and show them that’s not the case. We’ll be meeting in front of the NSSF headquarters at 4pm, located right off rt 25 at 11 Mile Hill Rd, Newtown. Parking is tough, but you can park single file along Tinkerfield Rd, which is across from the NSSF. If you bear to the right after turning on Tinkerfield, there is also some parking along the road by the VFW. Do NOT park at or block the VFW, and do NOT park in the NSSF’s parking lot., but you can park behind The Reed School, by the Soccer and Baseball fields on Old Farm Rd (see map below). DO NOT PARK on Tinkerfield Rd. Any crossing of Mile Hill Rd. is prohibited, except up by Reed School where you park.
Remember you are technically parking on school grounds.
Bring Pro2A signs.
Bring American flags.
Bring a sign Thanking the NSSF for what they do.

  • What: Counter-protest in support of the NSSF
  • When: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 4pm
  • Where: NSSF Headquarters, 11 Mile Hill Rd, Newtown, CT 06470

View Larger Map

A Girl And A Gun – Ladies Shooting Club Comes to CT

A Girl and A Gun is a ladies organization established by women shooters for women shooters for pistol, rifle and shotgun sports! The mission of the league is to educate and encourage women about the opportunities of recreational and sport shooting, and to promote women’s interest and participation in the competitive shooting sports.

The league was founded by Julianna Crowder and Renee Blaine two years ago when a group of ladies got together at a local range in Leander, TX to socialize and shoot guns. Word spread across Texas and now, the league has grown to include twenty-six chapters, across 11 states. Current membership is 950 members and a social media following of more than 5000 fans.

A Girl and A Gun is launching it’s first Connecticut chapter on Saturday, March 30, 2013.
The Newington, CT Chapter, organized by Samantha Galante, will be based out of Hoffman’s Gun Center and Indoor Range along with other local ranges. The chapter will have regularly scheduled events every month for ladies to socialize and practice their shooting skills. Events will include Girl’s Night Out, Breakfast & Bullets, and Trigger Time.

The chapter will launch with a Meet and Greet on Sat, March 30 at Rivals on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington from 7-10 pm. This will be to go over some basic information about A Girl and A Gun Club, their event schedule and future events, basic safety, membership sign ups, a raffle and just enjoying getting to know each other. This event will be $10 and it will also be a cash bar.

They will be holding the first “Breakfast and Bullets” on Sunday, April 7 at Hoffman’s Gun Center from 8 – 10 am. This event will be held the first Sunday of every month. Members will be $10 and non members will be $15. If you feel like sharing some breakfast please feel free to bring something. Hoffmans will be supplying eye protection and ear protection if you don’t have your own. They will also be allowing you to use any of the rental guns they have at no fee. The only thing you will need to do is pay for your own ammo in addition to the fee, Hoffman’s WILL have ammo for us to buy for range use!!!!

Starting April 12 and then on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month they will be hosting a “Girls Night Out” at ranges to be announced. For April it will at Wolf’s Indoor Range in Bristol from 6:30-8:30 pm and then meeting up somewhere for some food and social fun. This event will be $15 for members and $20 for non members.

For more info, or to become a member, check out their website at . The CT Chapter also has their own Facebook page.

I think this is a great way for women of all ages and experience levels to get involved in the shooting sports, even if you have never handled a firearm before. I know several excellent Firearm Instructors and Range Safety Officers who are already members, so you will be in good hands. Men, this might be a great opportunity to finally get the lady in your life involved in shooting/self defense. Some women may be more comfortable learning from another woman. Being happily married to a woman instructor myself, I see it all the time. Of course, that means you have to share your ammo, but she’s worth it, right?

I’d also like to point at that AG&AG is not affiliated with CCDL in any way, but we sincerely hope women shooters become involved in both organizations.

Statement From CCDL President Regarding Speakers For April 20th Rally

We are getting numerous reports that people are being asked to speak at the 4/20 rally in Hartford. Anyone being asked to speak at this rally that is not specifically done so by an executive of the organization has technically not been invited to speak. As of today (March 25) we have not asked anyone yet.

Rest assured that we plan to ask selected individuals from various grassroots and pre-established organizations in the near future. In the meantime, we need to plan the execution of this event in accordance with the time permitted and consideration of one or two keynote speakers of national significance when they are officially confirmed. The misinformation is causing a bit of frustration and chaos for us.

Please be patient, and if you have been asked by someone other than CCDL to speak, I hope that you understand that it was not official. If you have been asked by someone other than a CCDL Executive, please contact me directly to discuss this because we do not want any misunderstanding with our community.

Thank you all in advance,

Scott Wilson,
CCDL- President ________________________________

In other news, CCDL will be hosting another rally at the Capitol Building in Hartford on April 20, 2013. 🙂
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here yet because we’re still trying to nail down some keynote speakers and such. More info will be coming soon, I promise!