Monday, February 24, 2014

Connecticut gun owners revolt

Laws are more than just symbolic gestures. Connecticut’s General Assembly must come to grips with this truth before its recent effort to “save lives” ends up destroying them.

State law enforcement officials are now in the difficult position of dealing with one of the most widely flouted laws since the end of the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit and Prohibition. If it’s really serious, the state will have to find space to imprison 300,000 residents for the next five years.

The first article of the Connecticut Constitution couldn’t be more clear. “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state,” it says.

Busybodies at the Capitol in Hartford decided that “every” doesn’t really mean every, and it banned the semi-automatic rifles that would be most useful in defense of the state. As of Jan. 1, owners of arms that have a menacing appearance had to submit registration paperwork to the state.

Only about 50,000 did so. There’s no way to know how many “assault rifles” remain unregistered, but the best guess is that the new “gun safety” law instantly created 300,000 felons.

Eager to exploit the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, easily frightened lawmakers rushed to add yet more hurdles to gun ownership in the state. Those wishing to possess a pistol already had to pay fees, take tests and fill out paperwork to obtain a firearms-purchase permit.

Separate permission from the state was required just to buy ammunition in a process that must be repeated every five years. Bearing arms outside the home requires another permit that the state may, or may not, issue at its discretion.

None of these hurdles prevent crime. The alleged perpetrator of the Newtown massacre obtained his weapons by murdering his own mother, in violation of the law. That’s what criminals do.

Reality is of little interest to Connecticut politicians when they’re intent on making a statement. They thought that they could compel everyone to think as they do about gun control by threatening those who disagree with a felony. It didn’t work.

Faced with 300,000 potential offenders, officials must decide whether to ignore the new law, or enforce it by sending SWAT teams to raid the homes of anyone suspected of owning the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15.

Full article: http://www.washingto … ecticuts-gun-revolt/



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