Town Heals and Remembers

Mixed Reaction to Lawmakers Passing Gun Control Bill

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    AP
    Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, left, and Conn. Sen. Carlo Leone, D-Stamford and Darien, watch during a vote for an amendment of the gun-control bill on the Senate floor at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

    Whether you were for or against the gun reforms the General Assembly has passed and sent to Gov. Dannel Malloy, there was passion on both sides of the coin Wednesday night.

    "Is it the best laws possible? No but it's a start and the rest of the country was watching," said Kate Mayer, who watched from the Senate balcony as the vote came through. "You can make the connections, you can make the phone calls and you can gather and Facebook and you can change your profile picture. At the end, it matters because history was made.”

    Silvia Harper of Newtown said: "We set an example for the country and we have to stop fixating on the divisiveness of the issue and focus on what we can accomplish."

    The bipartisan support makes all the difference," Harper added.

    Critics of the bill remain concerned, like Arthur Tiede of Southington.

    "The bipartisanship was worn probably as a badge but in theory, I think the Republicans in the Senate basically gave up," he said.

    Tiede said he supports stricter laws but thinks some of the plan is completely unnecessary. He feels the Senate allowed too much emotion to affect their decision making.

    "I don't think it's going to accomplish all they say it will," Tiede said.

    Ron Pinciaro, of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said the mood was difficult to deal with in the morning.

    "It started off badly. There were a lot of them here," said Pinciaro, who added that he understands the passion against this bill, but feels they've done the right thing and it's something the rest of the country should learn from.

    "And they understood that they had been honored in that way by the legislature and by the people of Connecticut," Pinciaro said.

    It's just ridiculous to take something from you that's rightfully yours,” Twila Thibeault, of Ledyard, said.

    “A majority of the people had recognized that a tipping point had been reached, that we were ready for rational common sense changes to our current gun laws,” Nancy Lefkowitz, of March for Change, said.

    “Just throwing a ban at everything and taking away people's rights is not going to bring those poor kids back,” Marc Navaroli, of East Windsor, said.

    "That's awesome. Can’t just get a gun these days, you’ve got to have credentials. No felonies no nothing," Leo Stephenson, of New Haven, said.

    "It’s in infringement on to a certain degree,” Peter Flemister, of New Haven, said. “They’re gonna find a way to get it."

    "I think there are lots of components of the bill that are very good, particularly the background one," David Freedman, of the Newtown Action Alliance, said.

    “That just means that the criminals are not going to follow the laws that they're passing.  Only the law-abiding citizens are gonna,” David Knutson, of Canaan, said.

    Nicole Hockley, who lost her son Dylan in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting released a statement.

    "I am grateful that the Governor and Connecticut Legislature took a bipartisan path to a strong gun responsibility bill. I particularly appreciate that the Legislature listened to us and strengthened the provision on large capacity magazine size.  As someone who is new to the process and here only out of necessity, I am pleased with what we accomplished without rancor, with love."

    “What happened on the 14th sort of precipitated what we’re doing here -- rattled us to the core. Every one of us in our own way said we’d do everything that we can so that never happens again,” House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero said.

    “Hopefully, that is some measure of comfort to the victims of Newtown. I think we owed it to them to take this seriously,” House Speaker Brendan Sharkey said.

    Gun control advocates hope the action taken in Connecticut will become an example for other states and Congress to follow.
     

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