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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Duo of States - Colorado and Connecticut - Lead on Reasonable Gun Control Legislation

Connecticut plus Colorado are only one twenty-fifth of our nations United States. They are as different as the magnificent Rocky Mountains are from the beaches of Long Island Sound.  

Connecticut joined the nation in 1778, and was one of the original 13 colonies.  Their state's representatives William Samuel Johnson and Roger Sherman signed the US Constitution in 1787, where the Second Amendment, allowing Americans to own guns, was  important enough to be listed second among the inalienable rights provided for all citizens.  

Colorado became a state in 1876, nearly a century after Connecticut was born.  It is a beautiful state, but the first settlers endured the rugged terrain, living side by side with cliff dwelling Native Americans and opportunistic gold diggers.  

Colorado and Connecticut don't have much in common, except for the first letter of their state's names.

Except, the two share the devastating experience of being where three of the most horrific gun violence incidents recorded in our nation's history occurred.  

1.  April 30, 1999- Columbine Colorado: 12 students and one teacher murdered by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Their massacre of innocent students sparked debate about gun control measures to protect against future incidents.  The shooting resulted in an increased emphasis on school security, and a moral panic aimed at goth culture, social outcasts, gun culture, the use of pharmaceutical anti-depressants by teenagers, teenage Internet use and violent video games.  

Nevertheless..... thousands of gun deaths later and on...

2.  July 20, 2012 - Aurora, Colorado:  A mass shooting by James Eagan Holmes in a crowded movie theater where 12 people were killed and 58 injured.  The lone suspect in this mass shooting has since exhibited suicidal behavior while in custody and has a history of receiving mental health counseling prior to the shooting spree.  

And then, following thousands more deaths by gun violence.....

3.  December 14, 2012 - Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut - Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot and killed 20 students and six adult staff members in a mass slaying.

Make no mistake, all of the above deaths perpetrated by four evil intended mass murders were preventable deaths caused by gun violence.  Although the murderers pulled the triggers, the guns were the vehicles by which these deaths occurred   They were all preventable homicides. In the absence of guns and the ammunition needed to fire them, the victims of these shootings would likely be alive today because they were overwhelmingly young when they were murdered.  

Today, Colorado and Connecticut have led the nation by passing reasonable gun control legislation to offer innocent people some protection against future mass murders and gun violence.  Neither state created a utopia in passing gun control measures.  They also didn't take away Second Amendment rights from law abiding citizens.  But, the two states bravely did something to deter what has become a national epidemic of gun related deaths.

In spite of the National Rifle Association's control over right wing Republicans, who obsessively oppose gun control, two brave Democratic state governors defied the political risks associated with passing gun control measures to protect against future massacres.  Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut has joined his colleague Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado to lead the nation in passing gun control measures to ban assault weapons, the deadly kind used to kill people in mass murders.  

Now it's time for the US Congress to follow the lead of these two very diverse states and their brave executive officers.  Our nation needs to stop the escalation of gun violence and, moveover, eliminate the blackmail of the NRA against politicians who dare to stand up for protections against mass murders who gain access to guns.  Shame on politicians who falls victim to NRA strong handed tactics, when these public servants are elected to protect the public from harm.  

It's time Americans vote all extremists out of office, but particularly the officials who put innocent citizens in harms way by putting the rights of mass murders to own guns above the public health of innocent people.



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