The following has been submitted by CCDL President Scott Wilson to the Norwich Bulletin in response to an editorial published a few days ago.
In response to the April 25th editorial: “Responsible gun owners want to make a difference to do what’s right” I submit the following to address some of the points made by the writer of that op-ed.
First off, Tim McGraw is free to perform anywhere and anytime that he so chooses, and for whatever cause he desires. Tim is accountable to his fan base, not us. Repeat: No matter how misdirected his intentions may be, he is free to perform at the Sandy Hook Promise event in July.
The point that the Connecticut Citizens Defense League is making is this:
We believe that it is not at all clear who this event will actually benefit. To say the event is “for the children” or “for the community” is very vague. Is the event being held for mental health support? Is it being held to benefit the families of victims directly? Is the event being held to support all people who reside in Sandy Hook, Connecticut? We know that the benefit is not for the families directly; or at least not all of them. We also know that this concert will not benefit most of the people from Sandy Hook at all. So is it going to the cause of implementing gun control at the state or federal level? We suspect the real answer to whom the concert benefits lies in this last question more so than the others.
By the way, we use the term “gun control” to reflect an honest element to what is really going on. Sandy Hook Promise and similar ilk learned some time ago that the phrase “gun control” has made decent folks run away from these people; and rightfully so. Gun control proponents have adapted their language to hide their agenda, so they now use phrases such as “gun safety” instead. I know most reading this will be shocked to hear that such well-intentioned people could employ such deceitful tactics; but they do.
One of the other false claims in the editorial I am responding to is that we somehow want guns in dangerous hands. The bills in question (Senate Bill 650 and Governor’s Bill 6848) would remove firearms from individuals without being able to respond to any claims made by an applicant for a Temporary Restraining Order. In some instances, the subject of to one of these orders may never see their firearms again because of loopholes in state law. Even many advocates for these bills support the return of firearms and the reinstatement of pistol permits to respondents upon the vacating of a “TRO” that has been issued without merit. Yet the Judiciary Committee in Hartford has been unrelenting in its course so far. And we are supposed to go along and not speak in opposition to violations of due process and the seizure of private property without any basis or proof of wrong doing? What a very Marxist notion indeed.
As far as blocking or ending “gun violence” or any violence for that matter; that is impossible. But, for the sake of argument, most of our members (me included) have publicly argued for violent criminals to be punished by lengthier sentences and ending early release programs for this segment of society. We have also called for increased penalties for criminals who ‘straw purchase’ or steal firearms and then sell them to other criminals. These ideas are real solutions to at least minimize violence to a significant degree.
The author of this editorial also overlooks the effectiveness of CCDL. Prior to the rising tide of the post Sandy Hook era, CCDL has had a track record legislatively since the organization’s founding in 2009. We were instrumental in defeating an earlier magazine ban. Prior to that we actually had anti-gun language stripped out of a DPS bill right smack in the middle of a public hearing. We also fixed ordinances in towns that affected lawful carry of firearms and initiated a favorable declaratory ruling that has helped pistol permit applicants across the state immensely.
Also we were able to help end the runs for governor by Mayor of Danbury Mark Boughton and Senate Minority leader John McKinney; both who had publicly opposed gun rights. Admittedly, Tom Foley was not savvy enough to defeat the anti-gun incumbent.
While we cannot take all of the credit, we certainly helped with flipping 10 seats to pro 2A House members. Not bad for our first legislative cycle in which we were seriously engaged, with hundreds of active volunteers embedded in campaigns. Readers of the Bulletin should also know that CCDL currently leads a legal challenge against the State of Connecticut. We are calling into question to the constitutionality of Public Act 13-3 which was rammed through by politicians in the dark of night while using questionable ‘Emergency Certification’ maneuvers. We have the finest of law firms and legal minds working for us to overturn this injustice (Shew v. Malloy). We believe that ultimately we will win because we are the ones who stand by the principles that this state and this country was founded on. We take our rights seriously, and will not lay down for anybody.
At the end of the day this whole issue is about much more than Tim McGraw, isn’t it? It is really about the time honored and ongoing struggle between people who support ALL constitutional rights (not just some of them), and people that seek to impose their will on others; and where whatever ends they use, somehow justify their means.
So who are the real extremists in this story? Is it Tim McGraw, Sandy Hook Promise, the writer of the editorial in question, or all of them? At the very least, it’s two of these three in my opinion.
Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Inc.