The failure of gun control laws to reduce violent crime is never seen by gun control activists as a sign that maybe their ideas aren’t so beneficial after all. Instead, they always assume that the reason why their last round of gun control didn’t work is that it simply didn’t go far enough.
We’re seeing this play out in real time in Connecticut at the moment, where the Hartford Courant has covered the inability or unwillingness of the Democrats in control of the state legislature to think about reducing violent crime through any means other than targeting legal gun owners.
Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, state lawmakers passed some of the nation’s strictest gun control laws.
Yet the toll of gun violence in Connecticut’s largest cities has not stopped, leading for a call for a new state initiative to fund and implement programs to address the issue.
“We pay attention to gun violence, but a certain flavor of gun violence,” Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, said during an informational hearing Friday. “Where we fall down is when that gun violence is a more regularized gun violence that happens in certain communities. It’s time we look at this in a more holistic way.”
This is rich coming from Winfield, who as a state representative voted for those strict gun laws that he now says are only about a certain “flavor of gun violence.”
Rep. Steve Stafstrom, a Democrat from Bridgeport, noted that his city had 21 gun homicides in 2020.
“That’s a number that has families behind it,” Stafstrom said. “It is a complete epidemic not just in Bridgeport but in many communities across the state and indeed around the nation. As much as this legislature over the last several years has … attempted to address the issue of guns and illegal proliferation of guns, we have more to do.”
It doesn’t matter if you do “more” if what you’re doing isn’t working. The issue isn’t “guns” or even illegal gun ownership. It’s violence, and making it harder for people to legally own a gun (which is what Connecticut has done with it’s “may issue” gun permitting laws) doesn’t do a damn thing to prevent criminals from using an illegally obtained firearm in a drive by shooting or a home invasion. It simply prevents some responsible citizens from being able to protect themselves and the people they love.
Jeremy Stein, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, an education and advocacy group, proposed a new initiative: a grant-making state agency to develop and pay for programs to address street-level gun violence.
“We can’t afford to wait any longer,” Stein said, noting that Black and Latinx people are disproportionately affected.
Yeah, and racial minorities are also disproportionately affected by the non-violent, possessory offenses that Stein and other gun control advocates have demanded in Connecticut, but you’ll never hear him advocate for taking those laws off the books.
I’m all in favor of actual gun violence prevention programs that don’t involve new laws and more policing, but that’s only half the issue. The other half is getting rid of those discriminatory gun control laws and giving up on the idea of making legal gun ownership taboo in a country that protects the right to keep and bear arms.
Until lawmakers like Winfield and anti-gun activists like Stein are willing to acknowledge that their gun control laws aren’t reducing crime but are incarcerating more people on non-violent offenses, all of their talk about wanting to prevent violence is just that… talk. At the moment, they’re willing to admit that what they’ve done in the past isn’t working, but they’re still not willing or able to change their position on the Second Amendment and the human right of self-defense.
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