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Letter: State, nation must reform gun laws

Published 9:32 am, Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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The Sandy Hook incident of this past week has impacted the entire state of Connecticut, and the call for tougher gun laws is re-emerging. We all went to sleep Sunday night with the thoughts of Newtown in our minds and woke up with the full knowledge that it was not any ordinary Monday. This must be particularly true for students and educators who walked through the doors of Connecticut schools Monday.

While it was good to hear that Connecticut has one of toughest gun laws at the state level, the Sandy Hook experience shows that perhaps our laws are not strong enough and we cannot take comfort in status-quo legislation. The debate on gun control at the federal level is one thing. But if I have understood things correctly, the assault weapon used at Sandy Hook was perfectly legal under our own state laws, which leads me to assume that not only do we have a national problem but a Connecticut problem as well.

So while we wait for the nation to debate the effectiveness of current gun-control laws, can we count on our state legislature to lead the nation in expediting a review of Connecticut laws and introducing and passing legislation that will protect the citizens of our state? Can we count on our local representatives to come forward with bravery and in the memory of the Sandy Hook victims legislate a ban on assault weapons?

Much is made of the second-amendment rights of gun holders and the intention of our founding fathers. I do not believe for a single moment that any of our founding fathers would ever consider the rights of bearing arms to supersede the rights and safety of the Sandy Hook victims. This constituent is of the belief that our nation's obsession with guns is a cause for national security concerns, and it is time to act.

Eliot Essagof

Westport