The right to go shooting

To the Editor

I received a letter last month from our state senator, Tony Hwang, with the following passage setting forth his political position (after deleting politically motivated language):

“Connecticut citizens (deleted) can carry a handgun (deleted) walking down Main Street, and in many other public places. My vote on HB 5539 reflected a need for ideas (deleted) as to how this 2nd amendment legal right should also be protected when visiting publicly owned State Parks.”

So join Sen. Hwang for some good ol’-fashioned target practice and skeet shooting at Sherwood Island State Park. Bring the kids, and maybe you should also bring your hospital emergency telephone number.

In the interest of full disclosure, here is the full text of the passage in Hwang’s letter from which the edited version above is taken:

Connecticut citizens who have gone through these rigorous qualification processes to be issued a concealed carry permit can carry a handgun, with the responsibility of respecting the law, walking down Main Street, and in many other public places. My vote on HB 5539 reflected a need for ideas to be heard and exchanged as to how this 2nd amendment legal right should also be protected when visiting publicly owned State Parks.”

Roland Paul

Westport

A bad Weston intersection

To the Editor

The intersection between Route 136/Easton Road and Bayberry Lane and Bayberry Lane Extension has become even more dangerous during rush hours. It is very frightening to make a left turn onto 136 from Bayberry Lane Extension while a steady stream of traffic comes around the corner with no warning that cars may be turning.

Along with traffic turning left into 136 from Bayberry Lane and on 136 it is an accident waiting to happen. Please advise what can be done!

Sandra Rothenberg

Weston

Students Demand Action urges gun reform

To the Editor

My name is Elana Atlas, and I am a freshman at Staples High School. I am a member of the Westport chapter of Students Demand Action, which is the student-led version of Moms Demand Action, a national organization with chapters in all 50 states that is a leading force for gun violence prevention.

We partner with and have the same goals as Moms Demand Action: to demand action from legislators on a local, stat, and federal level, as well as from businesses and schools to implement common-sense gun reform and end the gun violence epidemic in the US.

June 2 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and orange is the official color of gun violence. Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore after she was shot and killed at age 15, just one week after performing at President Obama’s second inaugural parade.

The weekend of June 1 through 3 is Wear Orange Weekend, a movement launched by Everytown for Gun Safety and its partner organizations. Orange is a color that demands to be seen, so throughout Wear Orange Weekend, people all over the nation will be wearing orange in order to send our legislators a message in support of common-sense gun reform that they can’t miss. We will also be honoring all those who have been affected by gun violence.

There will be events such as rallies and marches all over the country during Wear Orange Weekend, and the Westport chapter of Students Demand Action is excited to announce that we will be holding an event of our own. In the parking lot of the Athletic Shoe Factory in Westport, on Friday, June 1, beginning at 3 p.m. we will be using washable orange window paint to write on Westporters’ car windows. We will write phrases such as “Wear Orange,” and draw orange hearts or similar images. The goal is to make Westport as orange as possible and show our support for the Wear Orange movement.

We hope that the rest of Westport is as excited as we are to participate in Wear Orange Weekend. Every person wearing or displaying orange during this time is one step closer to a future free of gun violence here in America.

Elana Atlas

Westport

Connolly out

To the Editor

Over the last seven-plus months, I traveled all over Connecticut (over 35K miles on my pickup). I met with folks in small rural communities and large urban centers. I talked with veterans, workers and business owners, students and teachers, retirees and young people. These conversations have given me insight into the concerns of Connecticut residents. They have also shown me the spirit of our great state and inspired me to pursue a vision of renewed Connecticut Opportunity.

After discussions with my family, I made the difficult decision to end my campaign for governor of Connecticut. In the end, it had become too difficult to raise enough money in the very short period of time to run a competitive primary campaign.

I am incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from all corners of the state. Every donation, call, email, social media interaction, and pledge of support means so much to me and won’t be forgotten.

On the campaign trail, I talked about ensuring and expanding Connecticut Opportunity for everyone, no matter who you are. Having that equal opportunity is what makes America exceptional and will make Connecticut excel going forward. That the son and grandson of immigrants, who attended public schools and worked as a dishwasher could be one of the final gubernatorial candidates remaining speaks to the powerful potential of Connecticut Opportunity.

I’m incredibly proud of the campaign we’ve run. From our initial kickoff in front of hundreds of people at Augie & Ray’s in my native hometown of East Hartford, I vowed to fight for all Connecticut residents to make sure that everyone had a fair shot no matter who you are or which zip code you grew up in. We attracted Democrats, yes, but also many Republicans and Independents. That’s the only way that we can reach our full potential. There’s not a Democrat solution or a Republican solution. Not a city solution or a town solution. There can only be Connecticut solutions if we’re going to achieve true success.

I’m also proud of the issues upon which our campaign was based. The fight for more and better-paying jobs, equal pay, a modern infrastructure, a thriving school-to-work pipeline, and renewed investment in tourism is critical for Connecticut’s economic success.

Finally, I want to thank my wife, Carol, sons Sean and Brendan, and family for their unwavering support, patience, and love. I owe so much to them and my incredible team, volunteers, and supporters for the sacrifices they have made along this journey.

As we turn the page on this last chapter of my campaign, I look forward to supporting the Democratic team at this weekend’s convention and through the November election.

Twenty-two years ago today, I started my public service career when I earned my commission as a U.S. Army Officer. I look forward to continuing to serve for many years to come. Thank you again, and I love Connecticut!

Sean Connolly

Hebron

Throwing politics

into tragedy

To the Editor

Just hours after a teenager shot 10 people to death and wounded 10 others in a high school near Houston, Sen. Chris Murphy took to the stage at the Connecticut Democratic Convention to immediately throw politics into the tragedy. “We’re Democrats, because we want every child in this country to grow up without fear of gun violence. ... We support the Second Amendment that allows Congress to do what the overwhelming majority of Americans wants us to do, like pass mandatory background checks and ban assault weapons,” Murphy said.

At the time Murphy stood up at that political arena, the public already knew that the teenager accused of the shooting used stolen weapons to wreak his carnage at the school. Background checks will rarely stop a thief from stealing. The public also knew that the weapons used were a shotgun and a .38 caliber revolver. Neither weapon has ever been tagged an “assault” weapon, by even the most liberal members of Congress.

Murphy and the Democrats held a majority in the U.S. Senate from the day of the Newtown school shootings in December 2012 through Jan. 3, 2015. Barack Obama held the presidency at the same time. Granted the House was Republican controlled all along, but never during that time did Murphy and his Senate Democrats pass a single piece of legislation addressing the issue he has wrapped himself around.

Murphy counts on Connecticut voters not being informed on what goes on in the U.S. Senate. Every member of the U.S. Senate, regardless of political party, wants what Murphy claims only Democrats want. Not all members of the Senate agree on how to get there. Honest debate and compromise will get them there, but that is not how Murphy has approached the issue.

Murphy might want to try addressing the issue head on with honest facts instead of always politicizing the latest tragedy.

Jim Brown

Fairfield