After Newtown Shootings, Stamford Hotel To Host Gun Show

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The Stamford Plaza Hotel will host a gun show this weekend, less than a month after the Newtown school shooting and after a gun show in Danbury was canceled. Photo Credit: Anthony Buzzeo

STAMFORD, Conn. — The eighth annual East Coast Fine Arms Show will take place this weekend in Stamford, even after a show in Danbury scheduled for this weekend was canceled last month after the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

The event organizer in Danbury decided to cancel after people expressed outrage that it was so soon after the deadly shooting in Newtown. However, the show in Stamford is still scheduled to take place at the Plaza Hotel.

Asked about the gun show, a representative with the hotel said, “You have to call the people in charge of the event.”

The Daily Voice left a message for Westchester Collectors, which organized the show, but it was not returned by the time this story was published.

The Stamford show will feature 250 tables of fine antique, modern, collectible and historical firearms and accessories by dealers and manufacturers across the country, the event description said. Federal and Connecticut laws and regulations will be upheld at the event with regards to gun control and sales, the description said.

On Saturday the show will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. General admission is $12, and children 12 and under are free. The hotel is located at 2701 Summer St.

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Comments (45)

kybrdplyr:

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to interview a well known and respected physician in the mental health field, a neuropsychiatrist. I asked how mentally ill people were going to be vetted if the mental health component of gun regulation were to be strengthened. Several recommendations have gone to the White House including requiring someone who is suspected of being ill or is determined to be ill have two other people of close relationship to that person present an affidavit stating that person could still be a gun owner legally and be safe. I can think of several ways around this, of course, but determining who is or is not mentally ill, unless they have been hospitalized and this is a matter of public record (not so far) or access to medical records is allowed seems difficult if not impossible.

The percentage of people who have suffered from mental illness, most notably depression, in this country is very, very high. Those who suffer from mental illness and are undiagnosed is presumably high since many mental illnesses have an average of at least seven years before receiving the proper diagnosis (this is true of illlnesses like bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and dissociative disorders, commonly referred to as MPD or DID.)

So identifying, diagnosing then requiring some sort of proof from a mentally ill person seems "off the table" in dealing with gun regulation.

Second, the idea of insurance as a requirement of legal purchase was another idea presented. The concept behind this would be that the legal purchaser would then be ultra careful and responsible about gun ownership and if the gun is used for a straw purchase or illegal sale in anyway, the original owner would still be responsible for crimes committed by that gun, thus there would be a built in incentive to keep legally owned guns very, very safe. The incentive for the insurance company is obvious: they want that gun to remain legal and used legally or they are libel as well.

I was driving down my quiet tree-lined street yesterday and thought, "Would I feel safer if everyone of these homes had trained gun owners in them or less safe?" I would have to say, "Less safe". Just like with the Cold War, more guns (or nuclear arms) does not make anything safer. It just gives everyone the opportunity to respond to a perceived threat with lethal force whether the threat is real or not. I don't mind having "friendlies" protect the perimeter of our schools but I am loathe to think that keeping children safe requires people inside the schools to be armed. I think this would come under the "attractive nuisance" category and risking smart kids hurting themselves and others.

Clearly Adam Lanza had access to his mother's weapons. All indications are she was a responsible gun owner. However, how ever these weapons were secured was not out of the purview of Adam's access.

I did read the proposition from the "mayors against illegal guns" presented to the Biden committee (I am assuming) or also sent to Obama (I am not sure where it ended up.) Besides having a ridiculous name (are there any mayors in this country who are FOR illegal guns?), their proposals seemed to be about mostly tightening up existing regulations and permitting of guns as well as "closing..." the now familiar "...gun show loop hole." I do believe it contains provisions for automatic and semi-automatic weapons (a no-no) as well as the large capacity magazines (carbines? Not sure about the terminology here.) Also, they requested that a director of the ATF be appointed, a seat left vacant for a few years apparently, so that any new provisions under this latest gun regulation legislation at a Federal level be consistently enforced.

Having heard, in part, the State of the State speeches by Governors Cuomo, Malloy and Christie, I think what has become clear is that consistent and across the board legislation does need to be either enacted or enforced at the Federal level. Otherwise, CT could have tight rules and bad gun owners could just bring weapons in from another state without consequence.

My concern is this: that lawful gun owners be protected while those who shouldn't have guns, don't. "Those that shouldn't" have them would be those involved in unlawful gun running, drugs or killing human life, among other categories. It would seem like gun owners would be eager to accept these criteria since it does not prevent them from owning guns while limiting those guns used exclusively or designed exclusively to kill human beings.

A long time ago, I lived in a very fashionable area of the West that bordered on a place called "Ghost Town" (local reference.) During the summers, it was hard to sleep because GT was the place where all drug trafficking occured in the area and police heliocopters were common. I had to "hit the deck" of my home at one point because a few "bad" gun owners were racing by my near-beach home sitting in the back of a pick up truck and spraying the air with Uzi gunfire (gun of choice at that time by drug dealers.) I can't help but think that if ATF regulations and gun trafficking regulations and drug dealing regulations were being enforced appropriately, the fear I had for my life would have been unnecessary. I never want to have that experience again. More guns, even if lawful, does not comfort.

lwitherspoon:

@Paige

Thanks for your thoughts below.

It sounds like we may be in agreement that the government should decide what weapons citizens can own. That being the case, what is your justification for the government allowing citizens to own a weapon of mass murder such as the AR-15? What is your justification for citizens NOT being able to own surface to air missles?

I do own a kitchen knife that's over 4 inches long. But I'm not sure what that has to do with this discussion. My kitchen knife is designed for food preparation. Yes, it could also be used to kill someone, but it's a highly inefficient means of doing so. The AR-15 is ONLY designed for killing. You can't use it to chop vegetables. Around the same time as Newtown, a mentally ill person in China used a knife to injure 20+ children, but the big difference is that none of them died. No doubt with better knife training this mentally ill person could have achieved more deaths, but I have not heard of mass murders via knife occurring in countries where nobody owns guns. To be clear, I'm not arguing that nobody in the US should own guns. As far as I'm concerned, the genie is already well out of the bottle and we just have to make the best of it.

What do you think of the idea of funding armed guards at all schools and public places with a tax on gun and ammunition purchases? It seems to me that no matter how tightly people are screened, some crazies will manage to slip through. That's an unintended side effect of legitimate gun ownership. So why not impose the tax to better protect us from that unintended side effect?

Paige:

Hi Spoon,

Here's the second part of my post and the answer to your question about "imposing a tax to better protect us from that unintended side effect".

Okay, most of the guns used to commit crimes are stolen. As I said in a previous post to Kybrdplyr, any police officer will tell you that if someone wants to steal something badly enough, they will find a way. To date, I have not heard that Nancy Lanza had her firearms unsecured.

One of the things that is a big crime deterrent is not knowing who is armed. So, the fact that schools are "gun free zones", as are city properties actually makes them a target. One of the reasons that perps run when they either hear or see the police coming is because they know the police are armed and will shoot. The point in committing a criminal act is to get away with it. Most perps don't want a fire fight, they want to get the "goods" and get away without detection.

When you have an armed guard at a building, he becomes a primary target. In a major crime, he's the one you have to get past first, so he's the first one to remove. But the assumption is that NO ONE else is armed, which means free and clear access. However, if the general population doesn't know who is armed, the risk factor becomes much, much higher. A perp wouldn't know if the secretary, a janitor, a teacher or a house master was armed or even all of them. Someone on another site pointed out that we guard our gold, we guard our banks, airports, airplanes, buses and various other items, but we won't do that for the most vulnerable population we have, our children? He had a point that bears thinking about.

That's why I always sigh when I see stories about how a company will fire an employee who uses a gun to a criminal on their premises. They've just sent a message that "Hey, it's okay to come and rob, steal or murder people on our property. We'll gladly give you what you want."

And there are people who will sue businesses because they were "hurt" while committing a crime, like the guy who was breaking into a business through the skylight and fell through to the floor. He sued the owner of the business and WON! What that did was tell criminals who has the upper hand.

And about the use of a tax to pay for the crimes...well, let's see, the lottery money was supposed to pay for education. The cigarette tax was supposed to be used to pay for health care costs. Are the taxes actually being used to support the causes they were intended, or is the State just putting the revenue in to the general fund and doling it out as the legislators see fit? I suspect the second is the case since State law forces the City to handle the funds in the same way, i.e.(and this is totally, totally, totally made up out of thin air) if Recreation and Parks raises $10,000 by charging out of town attendees to use Veterans Park at an event, the $10,000 has to go to the General Fund. It may or may not be given back to Recreation and Parks in their budget.

So, the taxes that people pay on cigarettes, lottery, gas and other items probably doesn't go to the stated "cause". It probably goes into the general fund. Oh, we may know that there is $125,000 from ammo sales floating around in the budget, but with a projected State budget deficit of some astronomical number I'm not even sure of for the next two years, that $125,000 is going to be used as part of the patch for the fiscal hole in the dike.

So, to sum it all up, I don't think there is an easy answer. There needs to be some major reforms.

First of all, stop creating these "gun free zones" that tell people where it's safe to commit armed felonies. I'm not advocating Wild West shoot outs. Look at Kennesaw, Georgia where the residents are required to own and maintain firearms.

Secondly, stop blame placing and put the responsibility for the crime where it belongs, with the criminal. People will give every benefit of doubt to the perp (he was autistic, he was on medication, his parents were divorced, he was a goth, he was...etc.) At the same time, wide sweeping statements about how evil the NRA or permit holders or gun enthusiast are made (the head of the president of the NRA should be on a stick, the NRA is responsible, Nancy Lanza is responsible, blah, blah, blah). Oddly enough, it wasn't Nancy Lanza, an NRA member, a permit holder, a gun owner or enthusiast that committed this evil act, it was Adam Lanza, who was none of the above.

Third, reform tort law, so that someone who is perpetrating a criminal act does not have the right to sue if he's injured during the commission of that act. If a perp comes into a school, or other place with the intent to cause harm and gets shot, too bad. No legal recourse against the victim for the injuries.

The Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, whose senseless rampage left 77 people dead last summer, complained that his cell was too small and claustrophobic. My response??? Okay, let's talk about claustrophobic areas. What about those nice 3 foot by 6 foot caskets his 77 murder victims now occupy? No parole for them, no hot coffee, no outside time. Cry me a river, Anders. I'll be back in about seven decades to hear what you have to say.

Those are three initial steps that I personally think would help the situation enormously.

Paige:

Hey Spoon!

How are you doing?

Uh, about the AR-15...well, I gotta admit, it's a sweet firearm, especially with a laser sight. I had the chance to try it at a firing range with supervision. But for me, the recoil was too much even with the stationary tripod. There are gun enthusiasts that just adore that type of firepower. I don't happen to be one of them. There are always going to be people who want the top of the line item and I don't really understand that. But I'm not sure I want to decide they can't have it because I don't necessarily want or think they should. Congress allowed the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban to sunset in 2004. There have been attempts to re-enact it, but none of those attempts have made it to the floor of the House, to the best of my knowledge.

Regarding the 4 inch knife, Mayor Knopp issued an administrative directive forbiding scissors, knives, and basically anything else with a 4 inch blade from any city owned property.

While the children who were involved in the most recent Chinese school stabbings were fortunate to survive the attack on December 14, 2012, the eight elementary students stabbed were not so fortunate on March 23, 2010. During the month of April 2010, there were three separate attacks on elementary and kindergarten students in China. All those children were fortunate and survived. However, on May 12, 2010, another man attacked and murdered 7 students and two adults and managed to injure 11 more before he was stopped. Six days later, there was yet another attack at a vocational college, injuring 9 students. None of those attacks involved guns.

Unfortunately, I have to run. I'll catch up with you later.

Paige:

This just showed up recently in my email box.

http://www.khou.com/news/crime/Burglary-suspect-shot-by-15-year-old-son-of-deputy-97430719.html

kybrdplyr:

Too bad every example cited shows a problem solved using gun violence. Another example: "Forgiven", NYT Magazine, 01/06/13, pp. 30, on restorative justice. If only the techniques used to forgive in this case had been applied before the fiance killed his fiancee using a gun.

Paige:

The issue isn't really "gun violence", it's self-protection.

The woman in Georgia, the father with the two year old and the 15 year old in Texas were all going about their lives peaceably. Then suddenly someone who had a gun (I'll put money on the word "illegal" as an adjective for gun) came forward and threatened their safety. Had they not had the firearms, we probably wouldn't be hearing about it because they would be in the obituary column instead. Trust me, the perps didn't know these people were armed.

Now, Broad River has mentioned that on two occasions, he found himself looking down the wrong end of a firearm. Personally, his guardian angel should get double time and the week-end holiday differential for those, because he walked away. God bless him. Not everyone can do that, especially when children are around or the victim is outnumbered.

I am not a pacifist. Never have been, never hope to be. But I hate confrontation. I'm all for working things out. However, I like living -- very much. I love my spouse and our son. And anybody who doesn't know enough not to mess with a mother's offspring deserves what they get.

In a perfect world, things like this would never happen. However, it's been a long, long time since the Garden of Eden. Ever since Cain, people continues to do inhuman things to others. I've been to a concentration camp (not Auschwitz, I couldn't bring myself to go there knowing the atrocities that happened there) but another where the remains of family members were.

The inmates in those camps were defenseless. Bit by bit, those inmates lost their standing in society, they lost their jobs, they lost their possessions, and eventually their very lives. I don't intend to be defenseless.

john.real.965:

AR-15 is a weapon of mass murder? Handgun is not? Please explain.
AR-15 is ONLY designed for killing? Handgun is not? Please explain.

What is your justification for citizens NOT being able to own surface to air missiles? I believe the US supreme court has defined "arms" in the constitution as "commonly available" arms. So in the future **IF** (very unlikely) surface to air missiles become commonly available, then civilians should be able to own them.

kybrdplyr:

Well, this has certainly been a disappointing interchange. Paige, I was referring to the article that john.real.965 referred to in making an argument for using more bullets rather than less in a home invasion scenario described in the Atlanta Constitution. I never said nor alluded to the list of "facts" this poster placed in comment: rather, what I said was such a list does not help in trying to come to some kind of strategy when it comes to mass killings like the one our CT community just experienced.

Now I am being characterized as a "liberal" because I don't agree with everything this person has written: that is just not it. What got me started on this to begin with was the lack of civility between people making the comments and the lack of prooffering ideas as to how this situation might be successfully addressed. I have no interest in making someone's trip to the parking lot with a gun so difficult nor do I have any interest in inhibiting gun ownership in this country.

What I do have is an interest in weaponry that is used by our military (or close facsimiles thereof), who are trained and deployed into war with the ability to kill many people at one time, not be freely available on our streets. I know they already are there, I know the "wrong" people own them but, in this mass murder case, whether those types of weapons were used or not (and no factual/official report has been released to verify), they were available to be used by who, you must agree, someone who had no business having access to them: and Mrs. Lanza had done all of the correct things as a gun owner and they were legally owned.

I grew up with guns on the farm, I am only vaguely familiar with how to shoot a 22 and 12-gauge. I understand why people want to own guns and I also understand that it is guaranteed by the constitution as a fundamental right. However, just like the press cannot print anything they want about you or me or spread salacious lies, just like a woman cannot be legally turned away from the polls, etc., there is interpretation that bears some thought here. Clearly more guns is not the answer and clearly more rules that are controlling guns unenforced or unenforceable is not the answer. So what is?

I was hoping, maybe, for some more thoughtful ideas than anecdotes, statistics, name-calling, I know guns better than you do taunts, rabble-rousing and divisiveness. If we can't dialogue about this, how in the heck are we going to ever address this problem (if, that is, gun owners are willing to admit that a problem exists at all.)

Paige:

An interesting observation turned up following an article about a shooting at a Northern California school on an alternative news site:

The Background:

A judge ruled on Monday that a man accused of killing seven people at a small Northern California Christian college is not mentally fit for trial.Goh is charged with seven counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the April 2 attack at Oikos University in Oakland.He has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail.Authorities have said Goh, a former Oikos student, planned the killing spree at the school that caters to Korean immigrants after becoming angry with school officials over a tuition dispute. He previously decided to drop out of the school's nursing program.

The Comment:

Today's Constitutional law course;

Ahem;
"He's not responsible for killing those people... but 100 million legitimate gun owners, who harmed no one last year, are and must be shamed into submission."

My comment:

This, of course, begs the question of whether Adam Lanza would have been found mentally fit to stand trial, had he not died. It also raises questions about how Jared Loungher (Tucson, Az.); James Holmes (Aurora, Co.) or Seung-Hui Cho (Viriginia Tech) will be treated.

Paige:

Well, this has certainly been a disappointing interchange. Paige, I was referring to the article that john.real.965 referred to in making an argument for using more bullets rather than less in a home invasion scenario described in the Atlanta Constitution.

Okay, kybrdplyr, I'm sorry I misunderstood your point. I'm willing to discuss any aspect of the case within the range of my knowledge and hear your points too. I wasn't aware that I called you any names or even labelled you as a liberal. To me, that's counter productive and if I did, you have my apologies

Regarding the number of shots the Atlanta woman fired at the perp, she was scared out of her mind - and rightfully so. The perp didn't go down and was actually able to get back outside the house under his own steam.

I have heard eyewitness testimony about people who took a .357 magnum to the chest and still kept moving towards the vic. A .357 is major fire power.

Here's an interesting 2008 article on Kennesaw, Georgia.
http://voices.yahoo.com/firearm-ownership-mandatory-all-households-1418143.html

The fact that people in that particular town have firearms and know how to use them deters crime.

One thing that I would point out is that having all schools labeled as "Gun Free Zones" actually tells the criminally minded that this is the prime target. And part of the protection is that people shouldn't know whose carrying a firearm. Okay, we all know police officers do. Prison guards and those who are in other high risk security fields do also. I'm not going to name them and give people ideas. Either you know or you don't. But someone is less likely to pull out a gun and start shooting if he/she doesn't know how many others might be carrying. There's other points I could make, but I don't want to reveal strategies that might cause harm to someone else.

The following two links are stories, both here and abroad where the rampage was stopped by others carrying firearms.

Israel, 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercaz_HaRav_massacre

Virgina, 2002 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_School_of_Law_shooting

The bottom line, for me at least, is the capability for self defense. There were great discussions after the Aurora shootings about whether or not someone would have been able to return fire in a crowded, dark theater. There are so many variables, where the shooter is, where you are, what's between you and the shooter, the lighting that just having a gun is no guarantee that you will be safe. However, it increases the odds significantly.

I don't know if that helps any.

john.real.965:

Last year 2,500 legal gun owners stopped violent crime when confronted with it long before any police assistance. (Keep in mind: Often times, cops are minutes away when seconds count)

Few of them:

* A 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah, ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened.

* A 2012 church shooting in Aurora, CO, was stopped by a member of the congregation carrying a gun.

* A 2002 terrorist attack at an Israeli school was quickly stopped by an armed teacher and a school guard.

* A 2009 workplace shooting in Houston, Texas, was halted by two coworkers who carried concealed handguns.

* A 1998 middle school shooting ended when a man living next door heard gunfire and apprehended the shooter with his shotgun.

* A 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, VA., came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter.

* A 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, Miss., was halted by the school's vice principal after he retrieved the Colt .45 he kept in his truck.

* At the recent mall shooting in Portland, OR., the gunman took his own life minutes after being confronted by a shopper carrying a concealed weapon. (The mall was a gun-free-zone, but luckily the armed shopper didn't realize that the mall was a gun-free-zone.)

kybrdplyr:

OK, john.real.965, you are officially a mouthpiece for the organization, "Gun Owners that Make no Sense" and, therefore, are continuously detracting from any legitimate discussion on the matter. Keep on going: you are just repeating what thousands have already repeated out there leading to not one iota greater understanding as to how our country and community is going to deal with this difficult situation that killed so many in our community: 20 children, 7 adults.

john.real.965:

Don't let facts stop you liberals from pushing for more gun control laws. I know, facts are so annoying when they don't agree with you.

john.real.965:

# of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 120,000.
Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.

# of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000.
# of accidental gun deaths per year is 1,500.
# of accidental deaths per gun owner is .0000188.

Doctors are 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners!!!

No one should be allowed to practice medicine. Doctors are evil.

kybrdplyr:

That you DV, for the dupe post.

kybrdplyr:

john.real.965: Have you ever taken a Logic course, Philosophy, in University? Your reasoning is just silly.

john.real.965:

There's no self-defense need for high capacity magazines. One bullet is enough to stop and kill any intruder. Wrong! Sometimes you need more than 10 bullets to stop the bad guy.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/mother-of-two-surprises-burglar-with-five-gunshots/nTnGR/

kybrdplyr:

john.real.965: If you are referring to the mother protecting her kids in your link above from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, she used just five bullets to stop the intruder. While he is still alive and very wounded, an automatic weapon in this case would have been risky given the close quarters and the fact that her children were hiding just behind her (ricochet risk.)

L. Witherspoon: I am flummoxed as to how mentally ill people will not be able to purchase guns. Most have not spent verifiable time in a hospital or, if they have received a diagnosis, is everyone purchasing a gun going to be required to exhibit medical records to prove diagnosis?

And just which medical conditions are going to be considered "dangerous?" For every schizophrenic that has committed a crime, there are thousands who have never hurt anyone. Same with depression, bipolar disorders, borderline personality disorders and all other diagnosed (or not) brain dysfunctions.

Clearly Mr. Lanza had some kind of mental illness based on media reports, firsthand accounts, etc. The speculation that he may have had Asperger's Syndrome (now part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder group) does not speak at all to his violent act (A Dr. Goldenberg wrote an editorial opinion piece on this I believe in this newspaper that explains what AS does to an individual.)

While mental illness treatment could only be improved in this country, there is still a severe lack of parity with other illnesses, I don't see how this could become a distinguishing characteristic for weeding out "good" and "bad" gun owners.

And while it is a person who activates the inanimate object, the gun, that is causing the harm, I believe gun owners know that the damage potential for a gun, especially an automatic weapon, is a whole lot greater than the knife in the drawer, the hammer, the automobile and anything else people can conceive of as an equivalent wound "detonator."

I, likewise, believe a line must be drawn and have used an IED and grenade comparison as possible weapons people could own if the 2nd Amendment is intepreted continuously NRA-style. I prefer the idea of regulation: just like with children's toys, automobiles, washer and driers, stoves, etc., all are regulated in someway to increase their safety but are still available to the consumer.

john.real.965:

More people are killed by hammers than killed by "assault weapons/rifles". Hammers kill people. They are evil. They need to be banned or registered.
Or at least we need to ban 8+ oz hammers....no one needs a heavier hammer. A heavier hammer kills people more easily. Enough is enough with this craziness. Only skilled and licensed contractors should be allowed to own and use a hammer.

lwitherspoon:

@Paige

Happy New Year! Hope you enjoyed the holidays.

You seem to have done a lot of thinking and writing about this issue. My own opinion is that those who advocate a complete ban on guns ignore the reality that there are something like 300 million guns in circulation in the USA. Even if it were politically possible to repeal the second amendment tomorrow, what would happen to all those guns?

At the same time, several points that have emerged in the wake of Newtown are very troubling. Do you know the percentage of guns sold in America that change hands at a gun show, with no background check? I have heard figures approaching 40%. I believe you or someone else mentioned that CT doesn't allow unregistered gun show transactions, and that's all well and good, but it means very little if NY or NJ do allow unregistered transactions.

It seems to me that as a society we also need to consider whether or not the highly efficient killing machines of the sort used by Adam Lanza need to be owned by anyone. Some have argued that cars can kill, but it would be ridiculous to ban them. That's true, but the difference is that a car isn't uniquely and solely designed to inflict maximum damage on another human being. Its intended purpose is safe transportation. You've got to seriously pervert the car's intended use to kill 26 people with it, and even if you do, you'll have a much harder time accomplishing that goal with a car than if you were using a semi-automatic. Which brings us to the other issue - mental illness. You can institute tougher checks to prevent mentally ill people from acquiring a gun, but it seems inevitable that some number of undiagnosed crazies will either slip through the cracks, or will acquire guns and then snap at some later date. So yes, tougher checks would be great, but a reduction in the power of available weapons would be good too. Some of the other measures being discussed, such as mandatory background checks at gun shows, sound like they would make sense too. The idea of armed guards at every school makes some sense but it's very expensive and therefore difficult to make a reality in this era of tight budgets. Also I believe that an armed guard was present at Columbine, but it didn't make any difference because he was massively outgunned. So what's the answer in that situation? A platoon of armed guards at every school, with giant assault rifles? The scenarios quickly become ridiculous, and the NRA's answer of MORE guns seems like an absurd response driven by the fact that they're in bed with gun manufacturers. Would the NRA support a tax on all arms sales, with the proceeds used to fund the entire cost of armed guards in every school and public gathering space in America?

Big City mayors - including Mike Bloomberg as well Norwalk's own Mayor Moccia - generally favor tighter registration and controls. I think their view is that if done right, changes to the law can keep guns out of the hands of crazy people and criminals, which we all support.

Reducing the prevalence of these military-style weapons of mass destruction would be a good move too. I often wonder how it's decided what weapons can and can't be owned by the general public. The constitution says that the right to bear "arms" shall not be infringed. So why stop at machine guns? How about making shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missle launchers widely available too? It would certainly make air travel more adventurous, to sit in your seat and wonder if any crazy person or terrorist managed to procure a SAM and aim it at your plane. My point is that the government has to decide how and where to draw the line regarding what weapons individual citizens can own. In my opinion, at the very least we would benefit from reducing the firepower of weapons generally available. Considering the number already in circulation, it would take a while for these tighter rules to have an effect, but eventually they would make us all safer.

Paige:

Hey Spoon,

I suppose this will be one of the areas where we will have to agree to disagree. You are correct in that I have given this subject a great deal of thought. One of the key principles of Libertarianism is that of individual responsibility. Unfortunately, our society tends to paint with very broad strokes and blame everyone. I can remember hearing a woman talking about breast cancer and she said that she would never be satisfied until no one ever died of breast cancer. That goal, like removing all firearms from everyone without exception, is unrealistic. Just like everyone else in this town, I want to live a peaceful life and I never want to answer the door to find a police officer there to tell me our son or my spouse has been shot.

I happened to be present a few years ago when the Mayor asked former Police Chief Rilling about the Norwalk permit holders. The Chief replied that there had been basically no problems with permitted holders. The problem comes with those who procure firearms illegally. Once again, New York City, Chicago (and the State of Illinois) and Washington, D.C. have some of the strictest (if not the strictest) firearm regulations in the nation. And, sadly, Chicago logged it's 525th homicide before January 1st. Both New York and New Jersey have very tight laws about the sale of firearms, as does Massachusetts.

One of the competitive target shooters I saw at an exhibit told us after the competition, that she performs in "Wild West" rodeo type events. She ordered a Winchester rifle from a dealer and arranged to pick it up at the Springfield Massachusetts Armory gun show. All this is thoroughly legal. All the paperwork was duly filed. She met the vendor, and received the gun, in a sealed carton. When she went to leave the show area, she was required by the State Police to show that the gun had a trigger lock on it. She pointed out that the gun was still in the factory sealed box. Didn't matter. Okay, open box, open carrying case and display gun. No trigger lock. She points out that since it is a Winchester, the whole trigger guard drops down when the lever was activated. No matter. She put the trigger lock on, the officer take the gun and checks the trigger lock which immediately falls off when the lever is activated. Okay, he then requires her to repack and reseal the box, which she does. She leaves the Armory and goes to the garage to store the firearm in the car, but is stopped again by another State trooper who demands all her paper work, which she turns over, and wants to see the trigger lock on the gun. Second verse, same as the first. After the gun is repacked, the trooper demands to see the vehicle so that "he knows" it will be secure. When she opens her trunk, he spies one lone brass casing in the corner of the trunk (the casing, no gun powder, no bullet, just the brass). Another 10 minutes wasted while he debates whether he should write her a ticket or not. She calls her lawyer on her cell phone. The State trooper finally backs off and lets her leave with her gun.

And I know kybrdplyr thinks that the poster who listed all the times when people who had firearms stopped crimes in progress was a plant, but I could have easily posted the same statistics and same stories.

Someone else commented that the mother who hid in the closet with her kids and shot a perp in the face when he found them shouldn't have had an AR-15 or else one of the kids could have been hurt....uhm, a quick couple of points. The fact that she hid from the home invader means that she DIDN'T want a confrontation. She didn't have an AR-15. If she had, most likely she wouldn't have been hiding in a closet with the kids. The kids would have been in the closet, she'd have been in front of it.

You don't need a platoon of armed guards at schools. You just need a few teachers or staff who are armed. With one of the school shootings, a teacher had his gun in the car, parked it 1,000 feet away from the school and when the episode happened, he ran, got the gun and stopped the perp. It wasn't reported in the mainstream news.

When you say the government should decide which "weapons" an individual can own, they already do. And I bet you own at least one kitchen knife that is over 4 inches long, you may have a baseball bat and most likely have a tire iron in your car. All of these have been used to commit murder.

So as I said earlier, we'll most likely have to agree to disagree on this subject.

Take care.

Paige.

Bottom line, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns.

kybrdplyr:

Paige, thank you very much for a clear and cogent report on what is known so far about the shooting as well as subsequent responses to it. I wish it was an opinion piece so that more people would read it.

I guess I am still looking for a response to the subject of the article, the Gun Show. I think your writing about the public printing by another media outlet of permit holders does address that in a way but I also wonder what people are thinking about this specific Show so close to the original tragedy and with all of the vitriol, including from Stamford's Mayor, about this event.

Again, thank you for your clear points. Maybe it will help others settle down a bit and understand where all of their emotions are coming from, a shooting by a disturbed person that killed twenty children and seven adults.

Paige:

Sorry, Kybrdplyr, I saw your post and actually replied, but apparently it didn't go through.

Basically, what I said was that until I actually saw the article about the gun show, I was unaware it was happening. I did contact two other friends and we discussed going, but decided not to because it was more of a collector's show than a vendor's show. Also, since I didn't see the article until later, we all had other commitments. And I will admit that part of my motivation in considering the show was actually in reaction to all the negative comments about permit holders and gun owners.

My questions about whether it would be "too soon" to have an event like this after the Newtown tragedy would focus on who decides how long a mourning period should be and which communities are involved? I can understand not having the Danbury show due to timing and proximity but I can't see cancelling this show.

Events like this are often planned months if not a year or more in advance. There are rental fees and permits that have to be issued. Vendors have to be contacted and publicity has to be done. I realize there are those who want to punitively punish everyone and anyone who has anything to do with guns, but the bottom line is that none of these people had anything to do with the Newtown tragedy.

I'm sorry Stamford's mayor feels the way he does, but he won't always be in office. Perhaps the next mayor will feel differently. And does the Stamford Mayor have the right to decide what type of events the various hotels and other venues can sponsor? Okay, so gun shows are discouraged today, perhaps it will be liquor tomorrow, Furries the following month and so on. None of those things are illegal, but maybe some people don't like them. Is that how Stamford's governing body is set up?

One of the things that has disturbed me greatly is the tendency for commentators to paint with wide brush strokes. The though process seems to go like this: someone killed children with guns, therefore guns are bad. Gun (bad) are owned by permit holders. Therefore permit holders must be bad. The fatal flaw is in the first premise. Guns are neither inherently good nor bad, just like the knives in the kitchen drawer, the car parked on the street, and the rope coiled in the tool box. It's intellectually easier to just stick with the first line of reasoning, but the problem is that it is flawed. It all goes back to the fact that it isn't the gun that kills, it's the person pulling the trigger.

Those are my thoughts on the subject.

kybrdplyr:

It's the crazies, it's the Republicans, it's the NRA member, it's Democratic legislation in Hartford and everywhere else, it's avoidance, it's because you are stupid, it's grandfathered weapons, it's because you're a moron, a hack, insane, skull-f---ked, close-minded or simply wrong: the gun control blame game.

Anyone recognizing the true complexity of this issue of gun regulation in this State and nationwide, please, raise your hand (or something) then write something thoughtful about the subject of this article: the East Coast Fine Arms Show being held in Stamford this week end. (National news outlets say it will be at the Crowne Plaza but this photo says the Stamford Plaza Hotel.)

Honestly, there has been so much invective regarding this issue, it might just be a good education for everyone to attend (in protest or as a attendee, I don't care) to ground these thoughts in reality. If you do go, refined observations of what is seen and experienced would be appreciated.

Paige:

Okay, Kybrdplyr - just a few points.

Several articles have said that Nancy Lanza should have never allowed her sons (yes, both of them) to learn how to shoot. Teaching a minor to shoot is not illegal. As a matter of fact, it's actually a safety issue since those who have experience with firearms learn how to take the magazine out first and empty the chamber.

However, for those who still insist, I would point out that we allow 16 year olds to obtain driver's licenses. Now Connecticut has restricted licenses for 16 year olds, but by 18, the restrictions are lifted. In Connecticut, 18 year olds are also allowed to purchase firearms, vote, sign up for the military and a variety of other privileges. Kindly remember that Adam Lanza was 20.

Although Adam had not aged out of the educational system (that's 21 in CT), he was old enough to refuse to enter programs and it would have taken a physician's declaration that he would be a harm to himself or others to have him committed to a psychiatric facility. Even then, Adam Lanza could have appealed for a 72-hour hearing and a sympathetic judge could have ordered him released.

Several stories have declared that Ms. Lanza was at fault for not securing her firearms properly. However I have yet to see an actually official statement supporting this. Any police officer will tell you that if someone is determined to steal something, the locks and other safety measures will only slow him/her down.

Adam Lanza went to purchase a firearm, but decided against it when he was informed of the mandatory waiting period. To me, this is a critical piece of information that is often being overlooked. He was determined to get a firearm - any way he could. Sadly, his method of doing so involved murdering his mother as she slept. Yes, he shot her. I personally don't know if he used a shot gun or a hand gun for that initial murder, but he was already at that point, well on his way down the murderous path.

His decision was made not when he murdered his mother, took her guns, stole her car and went to the school, but when he walked into the sporting good store.

There are a million questions about this entire tragedy, some of which may never be answered. However, despite the hatred and vitriol of other posters against the NRA, Republicans, gun owners, etc. on this thread, the blame rests solely on Adam Lanza. This was premeditated murder.

There are many people who are desperate to blame somebody - anybody - for this horrible tragedy. It's fundamental to some to believe that we could legislatively prevent it from happening. Right after the shootings, someone else on another site totally up the number of laws that Adam Lanza broke in his killing spree. When I checked it last, it was up over 40.

And for those who are gleeful at the thought of "outing" firearm permit owners (and not every permit holder actually owns a gun) I would like to point out that the recent publication of the names and addresses of permit holder put many innocent people at risk. Those include, but are not limited to the families - including young children - of people like police officers, prison guards and others involved in security businesses. It also neatly indexed the names and locations of people who have been victims of abuse, have filed restraining orders against others and have permits for safety reasons. Yes, it is public information. However, should any of the above named parties suffer harm, the responsibility for that harm will rest not only on the perpetrator, but also on the newspaper involved. I'd also like to point out that when the newspaper which performed this "public service" received some dissenting emails, they did not hesitate to hire armed security.

For what it is worth, those are my thoughts.

Paige:

This story just turned up on another news site:

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/mother-of-two-surprises-burglar-with-five-gunshots/nTnGR/

Of course the question that this raises is what would the perp have done with the mother and two children if she didn't have her gun? My gut says it wouldn't have end with the three family members unharmed.

Texan:

Tim T really? Are you that sadly submissive and skull f..ked?

Tim T:

Typical filthy Republican Reply.

Texan:

Lewisink you really should be somewhat informed before writing a comment as incredibly ignorant as that. Automatic Weapons have been banned since the National Firearms Act of 1934 known casually as the NFA. So you wondering about protesting and asking for the banning of something that is already banned is moronic at best.

Blabbermouth68:

If you ban semi-automatic guns, you might as well ban all cars that go over--say--70 MPH. Why does anyone need a car that can violate the law? Do the filthy Corvette-drivers need this speed capability that can kill?

DLB:

The issue is not guns, it's the people who get the guns (usually illegally, like the guy who shot the fire fighters). The issues are mental health treaments, disturbed people's right to roam free and violent games/movies. Until those of you screaming about guns come to your senses, the problem will persist and not be addressed. Please explain then, with your logic, what you say about the guy who stabbed babies to death with a knife in a Belgian day care center a few years ago?

meatball:

As an aside, regarding the numerous horrific shooting events that have taken place over these past years, I still find it interesting that nothing is ever said about the role that pharmaceutical drugs have and are playing in this. .... There is very significant evidence to show that so often psychiatric drugs cause individuals to become suicidal and or homicidal. This needs to be addressed, but it's not likely it ever will be, because we have given way too much power to pharmaceuticals and to the pharma industry. .............. In regards to this I would add, that we have have been brainwashed into believing that there is no other or better way to address psychiatric illness, and this is simply not true.

Blabbermouth68:

Show up at the gun show and irritate the anti-freedom political hacks.

flageb:

I think it is important to remember that the guns used were not obtained legally and they were weapons that were grandfathered in. Instead of protesting gun shows, why don't we stop grandfathering semiautomatic weapons designed to kill as many people in as little time as possible? To me that's the issue, not gun shows.

Personally I don't "get" gun shows just like I don't "get" boat shows, but to each their own. lol

Ken P Jr:

Why worry about the type of gun? Do you think a person cant kill 20 6 year olds with revolvers in a gun free zone? Her gun wasnt grandfathered, you can go buy one tomorrow. Its a very popular gun in CT & nationwide.

M. Murray:

Connecticut gun shows must follow all laws regarding transfers in ownership, background checks etc. Connecticut has some of te strictest gun laws in the country. The loopholes that are frequently discussed regarding gun shows don't apply in Connecticut.

Tim T:

Afraid you are wrong Murray.

Ken P Jr:

Exactly, but dont expect these people to be bothered with reality. Theyre too busy screaming about the sky falling for that.

Lewisink:

Wonder if any protests are being scheduled. Maybe some signs banning the sales of automatic weapons? It's a thought.

Ken P Jr:

A thought that avoids the issue but knock yourself out. Besides, they cant sell automatic weapons to the public. Might be a good idea to learn about the issue a little more before you go protesting irrelevant things.

Tim T:

Do the filthy Republicans and the NRA have no shame?

Ken P Jr:

Umm, do YOU have no shame? Democrat/liberal legislation ensured Lanza would face zero resistance and could kill at will. Thats the FACT which Hartford is trying to ignore & you just might not be smart enough to figure out. But anyway none of that should have any bearing on a gun show. Its a silly thing to worry about. Likely ten times that many kids died in car accidents last year, would you boycot or lobby against car shows? Silly man you are.

Tim T:

Once again the filthy Republicans show just how insane they are...This is the reason for gun control.

Ken P Jr:

Good, it should go on. How ridiculous is it to consider canceling it? Very IMO. Maybe this reporter should visit the show with an open mind & see exactly what goes on in one & how the "gun show loophole" is a myth in CT. I can almost relate to canceling the Danbury show given the timing & proximity to Newtown but not a show in Stamford several weeks later.

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