A Photo Shoot For Gun Safety

In the days following the Orlando massacre, Connecticut politicians have once again been in the forefront of the fight to force Congress to address gun legislation.

Chris Murphy led a 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor. Colleague Richard Blumenthal joined in. And Congressman Jim Himes earned national notice by walking out of the House of Representatives’ moment of silence, demanding real action rather than empty gestures.

Many Westporters were moved by our legislators’ stances.

Melissa Kane was moved to act.

The chair of the Democratic Town Committee sent out an email this weekend. In it, she called the three men’s actions “a wonderful lesson for my children.”

To show her appreciation, she invited anyone and everyone — especially kids — to gather for a group photo today at Compo Beach.

The shot below — taken by Pamela Einarsen — will be sent to Senators Murphy and Blumenthal, and Congressman Himes. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

Though they’d no doubt appreciate actual legislation more.

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Pamela Einarsen)

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Pamela Einarsen)

PS: After the shoot, some latecomers arrived. They posed with a few stragglers, for a 2nd image:

(Photo/Pamela Einarsen)

(Photo/Pamela Einarsen)

45 responses to “A Photo Shoot For Gun Safety

  1. A. David Wunsch

    Makes me proud that I was once a Westporter..
    ADW Staples 1956

  2. I don’t think that this has anything to do with “gun safety” as the title says. It has to do with gun control/prohibition. As a gun owner I probably agree with about 90% of what these folks are displaying signs for. In my mind “gun safety” means you own a gun and exercise safety and responsibility.

    • My original title was gun “control.” But in some people’s minds, that means Obama will be coming for their guns. I chose “safety” because I believe that if assault weapons are properly regulated, we will all be safer.

  3. We cannot continue to overlook the mental health factor correlated to this issue. What is driving these human beings to become crazed killers in what is supposed to be a civilized world? Stronger regulations to protect gun owners and non gun owners is not the worst thing in the world. I can’t speak for everyone, but I do think our friends in Washington need to pay attention to the people not just the $$$….there is legislation that can work for everyone, it’s time. But don’t continue to overlook mental health!

  4. Himes “earned national notice” by being rude and unprofessional. He made the ultimate “empty gesture.” A gentleman does not walk out on a moment of silence for slain Americans to advance his political standing.

    • Tracy Flood

      There’s been enough silence- I applaud what he did. Thoughts and prayers after each attack are not enough.

  5. Tired of people on terrorist watch lists being permitted to buy assault weapons to slaughter innocent Americans? Jimmy Izzo is right. According to a CNN/ORC poll released on Monday, the vast majority of Americans (including 90% of Republican voters) favor preventing those on terror watch lists from buying guns. If you think that assault weapons should not be sold to those on the Terrorist Watch list, here are the elections where you should put your money: the closest Senate races –in FL, NV, OH, PA, NH, AZ. That’s one thing we in CT can do to make a difference. See: http://www.270towin.com/2016-senate-election/ This Senate vote was 47 to 53. That means if we change just 4 Senate seats (to 51/49) in November, we can keep ISIS supporters who live in the USA from buying assault weapons and slaughtering our people. Our CT Senator Murphy told reporters for the Washington Post: “We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS.” But Sen. Murphy reports that “The NRA has a vice-like grip” on Senate Republicans. Only one Senate Democrat voted against Murphy’s effort to keep assault weapons out of the hands of terrorists — Heidi Heitkamp of SD; all the other 52 opponents were Republican senators. Let’s get to work and do what’s in our power as voters to make our country safe. Republican senators need to do what 90% of Republican voters want– ban those on the terrorist watch list from getting assault weapons. If some senators care more about what the NRA wants than what the vast majority of Americans want (reasonable controls), then VOTE THEM OUT! If everyone sends just $5 to Congresswoman Fitzpatrick’s race in AZ, or to the Dem challengers in FL, NV, OH, PA, and to Gov. Hassan’s in NH, we can change this assault weapon vote in November and take back our country.

  6. Michael Petrino– Non-lawyers sometimes do not understand that most Constitutional rights are qualified under our common law. Even our most precious right under the Bill of Rights (which is the First Amendment–such as Freedom of Speech) has “time, place and manner restrictions” under U.S. Supreme CT common law. So for instance, you cannot use “words” to conspire to kill a public official or other Americans, even if you assert a First Amendment Right, because of reasonable time/place/manner restrictions under our law. In my view, and in the view of the vast majority of Americans (and indeed, as upheld by the Second Circuit), there is no constitutional right to an assault weapon. Federal district courts and our federal appellate court (the 2nd Circuit) have held that the CT and NY bans on assault weapons are constitutional because there is no Second Amendment right to own an assault weapon. Certiorari was denied by the Supreme Ct. Assault weapons are different from other guns used for self-protection. If we start with a federal law banning (at a minimum) assault weapons from being sold to people on the terrorist watch list, from a cost/benefit analysis, it is a reasonable time/place/manner restriction. The people on that list can still own regular guns, just not assault weapons. Assault weapons were involved in Orlando and San Bernadino and used by ISIS sympathizers. They were used in Newtown to slaughter our CT babies. For 300 years, from the time my ancestors came in 1620 until the 1940s, my ancestors and all Americans lived freely without using, buying or selling assault weapons. They were not even invented until WWII. We Americans do not need them to be free. We DO need them gone from our streets to be safe.

    • Thanks for your response. However, you did not address the ACLU’s concerns.

      • Michael– the ACLU was not addressing assault weapons with what you cited. The Second Circuit has already found that the Constitution does not provide a right to own assault weapons, and it is my understanding that the ACLU has not argued otherwise. My view is that assault weapons could and should therefore be banned under federal law for purchase by all non-military persons. However, at a minimum, we can ban them from being sold to people on the Terrorist Watch list, as Senator Murphy advocated with his reasonable proposed bill. If it is not a constitutional violation to ban assault weapons from being sold to any Americans, it follows then that persons on a terrorist watch list have no concomitant constitiional right to purchase assault weapons. It is clearly a reasonable time/place/manner prophylactic measure to ensure that we do not sell assault weapons to people who may be disposed to slaughtering Americans. .http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/us/politics/supreme-court-gun-control-semiautomatic-connecticut.html

        • I did not say they were addressing a ban on the purchase of assault weapons. They were addressing the constitutionality of the process used to put people on the No Fly List. Perhaps you should read the decision.


          You may want to ban “assault weapons”, but using the No Fly List or the Terror Watch List as a basis for restricting sales runs the risk that any such ban will be found unconstitutional, if the process for putting individuals on the lists is found to be unconstitutional.

          BTW Assault weapons were invented long before WW II.

    • Tracy Flood

      Thank you!!!!!

  7. Mike– If there is no constitutional right to own an assault weapon, how could someone put on a terrorist watch list (even incorrectly) have a constitutional challenge to being denied a right that no one else has to own an assault weapon? That’s illogical. By way of example, there is no constitutional right to make a nuclear bomb. If you are incorrectly on a list of people prohibited from making a nuclear bomb, how do you assert a constitutional right that does not exist for anyone? We use to have a federal ban on assault weapons that has now expired. We did not have the epidemic of mass murders by assault weapons when that federal ban was in place. My preference would be to federally ban assault weapons entirely from sale to ALL non-military personnel. Banning assault weapons from sale to people on terrorists watch lists might have prevented Orlando, but it would not have prevented Sandyhook. Banning all assault weapon sales to nonmilitary personnel could have prevented Sandyhook, San Bernadino, Orlando, Columbine, etc. “During the decade of the ban, there were half as many casualties in mass shootings as the decade before, and a third as many casualties in mass shootings as the decade after,” says the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City. People who have used assault weapons for mass murders effectuate the murder of 155% more people with an assault weapon than those who do not use one in an attempted mass murder. Wouldn’t you prefer YOUR daughter to have a fighting chance of escaping alive under such circumstances, Mike? Regarding when assault rifles were invented, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_rifle: “An assault rifle is a selective-fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine.[1][2][3][4][5] Assault rifles were first used during World War II.”

    • The killer in Orlando was not on any watch list was he?
      Murphy wants to ban access to certain weapons based on an individual’s inclusion on a list. The constitutionality of that list is in question. Murphy
      must find another way to deny access to certain weapons.

      The rest of your post is not on point.

      The hand held machine gun, an assault weapon, was invented long before WW II.

  8. I congratulate Sen. Murphy for trying to break the logjam created by the NRA on reasonable assault-weapon-control legislation. You have a lot of criticisms of him, but what “better” suggestions do you have, Mike Petrino, as to what assault weapon legislation you would support? Do you believe that assault weapons should be made available to everyone? Where do you draw the line? Regarding what lists the Orlando terrorist was on, this is what is being reported: Mateen was actually listed on two federal watch lists. The Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, which contains classified information. It appears his name remained on this list. He was also listed on the Terrorist Screening Database, which is the FBI’s central watchlist. The gun background check would have run Mateen’s name against that second database, but he had been removed from it in 2014.

  9. Mateen was on no Watch List at the time he purchased his weapons. He had been removed. Why? That is the first question I would ask. Murphy’s proposal would not have stopped him from buying the weapons. The criticism I offered was of the method he would use to deny access to certain weapons. If the ACLU has problems with Watch Lists and No Fly Lists, then perhaps Murphy should find a another way.

    You raise a straw man; ” Do you believe that assault weapons should be made available to everyone?” I do not believe assault weapons should be made available to “everyone.” Minors should not be allowed to buy “assault” weapons.

    No one opposes “reasonable” legislation. The debate is over the meaning of the word.

    • Tom Feeley Sr

      Id say “hang in there,” but you are wasting your time. You are the one making sense 😉

  10. Am I to understand from the above, Mike Petrino, that the only limitation you would advocate with respect to assault weapon legislation is banning minors from buying them? Anyone else?

  11. Dick Lowenstein

    According to the gunlawscorecard.org, Connecticut has a decent A- score. Almost all the Southern states states have an F rating, including Florida

    • Tom Feeley Sr

      Thanks. Great map, Dick.

    • Thanks Dick, for that website. The map there makes the point very clear: the states with the most stringent gun laws have the lowest death rates by guns. All the states with “F” ratings (like Alaska, Ala., Miss., Mont., La., etc) for gun control have the highest death rates from gun violence.

  12. Steve Stein

    From what I read on Dan’s blog- everyone agrees that terrorists should not be able to buy assault weapons! Common sense. Does anyone disagree with this statement?

    So, it would seem the problem a few on the blog are having is in defining who deserves to be classified as terrorist by the FBI. Being unfairly classified as a terrorist would unfairly prevent that person from buying an assault weapon. Any numbers on how many innocent Americans have been misclassified as a terrorist by the FBI and prevented from buying an assault weapon?

    The worst case scenario for being misclassified as aterrorist is a delay in buying their assault weapon and having their feelings hurt while trying to get off the bad guy list.

    So it would seem for those same few opposed to using the no fly/terrorist developed by the FBI to prevent the sale of an assault weapon, their cost benefit analysis suggests that preventing just one person being misclassifed a terrorist by the FBI outweighs selling an assault weapon to a terrorist and allowing a massacre of 49 people.

    I personally would not sell an assault weapon to any possible terrorist on the FBI’s no fly/terrorist list if I thought I could save even 1 life- let alone 49 or 26 or 20 or 14 or…..

    • Steve; the ACLU’s analysis is quite different from yours. You can read the arguments they made by clicking on the link above.

      • So what do you think?

        • I think the ACLU has made a strong argument for not using these terrorists lists to determine who can and cannot buy a certain type of weapon.

          • Steve Stein

            Hi Mike- That’s great about the ACLU – but what do YOU think should be done?

            I’ve told you I would err on the side of the FBI saying there’s a good chance someone is a terrorist and delay/not allow the sale of that assault weapon- ie prove who you are before you can buy that assault weapon!

            The choice is to either do something that will probably help most of the time to save lives or do nothing until it is too late and lives are lost!

            • I would prefer FBI background checks for the purchase of certain types of weapons, weapons that can hold a more than 20 round magazine for example. I think the check should screen for criminal convictions, not allegations of membership in one group or another. Those convicted of violent felonies should not be allowed to buy guys with large capacity magazines. The FBI background check should take no more than 48 to 72 hours. Any license to purchase or carry should have the benefit if reciprocity.

              • All sound like reasonable points! We can quibble about magazine size and how long the waiting period should be allowed to be- but in general we agree. You even included criminal conviction- I would also include any one with a court restraining order for domestic violence.

                • I would not include membership on a No Fly List.

                • Jack Harder

                  That’s already the law. It’s illegal for a felon or domestic abuser to buy or possess ANY firearm. It doesn’t matter if it’s a single shot .22. In CT someone with a restraining order can’t buy/possess a gun. I’m not sure what the federal law is.

  13. The above measure suggested by Mike would not have been enough to prevent Newtown (no criminal conviction) or even most of the worse gun massacres that have occurred in recent years. Banning assault weapons, in contrast, would have prevented almost ALL of the worst gun massacres our nation has recently experienced.

    • Just trying to see how far people will go to prevent massacres and ban assault weapons. I would ban the sale of all assault type weapons. I wouldn’t quibble on what is an assault weapon- if it can be considered an assault weapon by the FBI and can be converted easily to a rapid fire mega magazine – it should be banned. .

      After a shooter fires off his six shots I want to have at least a small chance to charge him or run out a door before he starts shooting again!

    • Murphy admitted his proposal would not have stopped the shootings at San Bernardino or Orlando. Perhaps you are thinking of a different proposal.

  14. No, Mike. You misread my last post, where I was referring to banning sales of all assault weapons to nonmilitary personnel, not Murphy’s more limited proposal. Murphy appears to have tried a more limited proposal (of banning persons on a terrorist watch list from possessing assault weapons) because he perceived a federal ban on assault weapons sales to all non-military personnel would be more difficult to get, given what he characterized as the “vice grip” the NRA has on 52 Republican senators.

  15. Jack Harder

    I’m a gun owner and have been an NRA member for over 20 years. That being said I don’t always agree with the NRA’s position.

    Here is what I think:

    Background Checks- EVERY time ANY gun is sold, transferred or gifted the received should go through the background check process 100% of the time. I don’t care if the transfer happens between father/son, brother/brother or to a stranger. There is no reason any non-criminal should have a problem with a background check. The type of person who would not want to go through a background check is not a person I want next to me on a gun range or in a hunting blind.

    Assault Weapons (or whatever you want to call them)- I don’t want one. They are fun to shoot on a range. The ammo is cheaper and much less punishing than my .30 deer rifles. I PERSONALLY don’t see the need to have one in your home. I just don’t know if it’s my place to tell another American (who passes the background checks) that they can’t have one.

    The Terrorist No-Fly List- No sane person wants a terrorist to have access to a firearm. My issue is how do you get on it and if you are on it how do you get off. I’d like to see a judge somewhere in the process. About 15-20 years ago I went and saw Gerry Adams from Sinn Fein (which is now known to be a front for the IRA) speak at the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield. I didn’t donate any money but I’ve always wondered if my name is in some file somewhere in Washington DC. I’ve flown and bought firearms since then so I’m guessing I’m not on any kind of list. If for some reason I was denied to fly or buy a gun I would want to know who to talk to so it would get straightened out. I’m not saying it needs to be sorted out overnight but maybe I could get a reason within a few weeks or months. To give another example about how the government lists can work when I was in college I got a phone call that a federal warrant was being issued for my arrest. This was in 1992. The government checked the selective service list off the student loan list. My draft card had my middle initial on it and Jr. after my name. My student loan had just my first and last name. The government thought I was 2 different people. The agent told me if I had been pulled over I would have ended up in jail until the FBI could figure out that I was not a draft dodger.

    • A. David Wunsch

      “I just don’t know if it’s my place to tell another American (who passes the background checks) that they can’t have one.”

      It is my place to tell another American, who passes the background test, that he cannot have one. As I pointed out early in this debate, Adam Lanza used such a weapon to fire a bullet every two seconds for 300 seconds– he got off 150 rounds inside an elementary school.

      A man’s personality can go through changes in a lifetime. (“He used to be such a nice boy.”) . A man loses his job, hates his employer, gets divorced, loathes his ex-wife, gets dumped by his girl friend and wants her dead. He may have had a clean record when he passed his background check 5 years ago. He could be a vengeful mental case now and still own the gun he bought when he was Mr. Clean. Now he wants to spray his old workplace with bullets. He shouldn’t have been allowed to buy that gun in the first place, nor should anyone.
      ADW Staples 1956

      • Jack Harder

        We agree to disagree. I do want you to know that I very much respect your position.

      • Prior restraint is a slippery slope.
        I think we should not sell alcohol to people who we think MIGHT get drunk and drive. In fact, I think we should not sell alcohol to anyone with a driver’s license.

  16. Dear Mike, Next you are going to tell us that there should be no “prior restraint” on ownership of submachine guns, missile launching systems, rockets, tanks, grenades, and nuclear arms. I think rational people can distinguish between the innate dangerousness of a glass of Brunello versus a submachine gun. Reasonable time/place/manner restrictions are inherent in Supreme Court constitutional jurisprudence.

    • Jack Harder

      Kristan, I agree with you but I think SCOTUS has already spoken on most of this (I think you are just trying to push Mike on this). Civilians don’t have the right to own “submachine guns, missile launching systems, rockets, tanks, grenades and nuclear arms”. I do know a person in Ridgefield who owned a MIG fighter plane. Before he could take possession of it he had to remove/disable the cannon and ejection seat. I guess a civilian could own a tank but I’m pretty sure the government would make you disable all the weapons on it before taking possession.

      • Jack,
        Regarding your above point about what civilians do not have the right to own, I think you are making my point for me. Let’s add back again assault weapons as one amongst that list of too-dangerous weapons for civilians to own. We owe that to the families in Newtown.

  17. Would those people be rational before or after a few glasses of Brunello? Not my favorite, but to each his own.

  18. This conversation has run its course. I suggest Michael, Kristan and Jack get together offline. Have a nice dinner, a couple of drinks, then maybe go out to a shooting range to relax. Thanks for making your views known in a rational, respectful way — much appreciated. This thread is now closed.