Marpe Signs Gun Control Pledge, Backs Paris Climate Accord

More than 2 months ago, 1st Selectman Jim Marpe addressed Westport’s “Democracy on Display” demonstration.

“Sign the pledge!” chanted many in the crowd of nearly 1,000, at Veterans Green.

This morning — at a board of selectmen meeting in Town Hall, overlooking the same spot — Marpe announced that on Monday, he did just that.

Westport’s chief executive joins more than 1,000 current and former mayors, from nearly every state. They’ve committed to fight for “common sense gun laws,” through the Everytown for Gun Safety initiative.

Here’s the pledge, with Marpe’s signature:

Marpe — a Republican running for re-election this fall — also affirmed Westport’s support of the Paris Climate Accord. Over 1,200 governors, mayors, businesses and universities nationwide have made similar statements, in the wake of President Trump’s decision to pull the US out of that 195-nation pact.

Pledging the town to meet and exceed the Paris agreement goals, Marpe said: 

Westport has a proud and extensive legacy of environmental leadership, and we believe in doing what’s right for our residents and the environment. 

In 2015, we announced a target of “Net Zero by 2050″ across energy, water and waste. Our goal is to create a sustainable community — from economic, social and environmental perspectives — where future generations will choose to raise their families.

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe.

66 responses to “Marpe Signs Gun Control Pledge, Backs Paris Climate Accord

  1. Climate Accord, gun control. This country needs more sane Republicans like this one. They are few in number and don’t get much inspiration from their man in the White House.
    ADW Staples 1956

    • Let’s see this for what it is; pandering during an election cycle. A Republican in a town that is overwhelmingly Democrat reaching for votes.

      • Bart Shuldman

        Michael. Shame on you. You are exactly what is destroying our country. Partisan at the worst level and critizing a person who can be fiscally conservative and socially moderate if not liberal.

        Jim Marpe-more in the Republican Party should follow your leadership and actions. You led Westport thru the difficult decision regarding our pensions and medical costs and have managed Westport with little if no tax increases. You made the tough decisions that has Westport in fantastic financial condition, while we watch the nonsense in Hartford. And you balance your fiscal leadership with social integrity. Jim-you care!!!!

        Michael-you should learn from a wonderful man. Try it.

      • Michael – I’ve known Jim for many years. You’re wrong. Jim is a good man and works his heart out for our town. He is also doing a great job. Well before he became our First Selectman, Jim was helping those in need. For example, the many times when Jim was privately delivering Thanksgiving meals to our fellow Westport residents in need he wasn’t pandering – just helping. He’s the real deal and, and, as a Democrat, I couldn’t give a damn if he is a Republican. Most people I know don’t either.

  2. Rozanne Gates

    Thank you, Jim. You did the right thing.

  3. Robert Mitchell

    Always knew we had a good man in charge. It’s not about politics; it’s about the health and safety of all.

  4. Susan Iseman

    Bravo! Perhaps our elected officials in DC will follow suit and pass some common sense gun safety laws, especially since the Majority Whip & others were shot this morning at a softball practice in Virginia. Maybe now they will reject the NRA’s “guns everywhere” agenda.

  5. Dave Feliciano

    There is no such thing as sensible gun control. Note the operative word is control. No, CONTROL!!!
    This fiction is supported and financed by Mayor Bloomberg and his fellow travelers who have a phalanx is security that makes world leaders envious.

    By the same reasoning we should have “sensibly media control” bloggers and reporters should undergo vigorous background checks, fingerprinting be licensed and their credentials renewed every five years. Should they produce fake news and their privileges because it’s not a right should be suspended until they prove themselves, from innuendo, unknown and unidentified sources.

    Yes, their columns should be limited to under 500 words, are that is equally a sensible number. After all the Bill of Rights are just outdated suggestions.

    • Sorry, Dave. Guns kill. Pens and pixels don’t.

      • Sorry, Dan, guns don’t kill and spoons don’t cause obesity.

        • I wonder if Republican House whip Steve Scalise thinks this morning that guns can’t kill.

          • No realy relevant is it Dan?

            • “Not really”

              • Actually, Michael, it could not be more relevant. You had a shooter surrounded by an experienced security detail with weapons, and he still managed to inflict damage. Yet the gun lobby still wants to allow MORE people to carry guns — including in churches, schools and bars. What could possibly go wrong.

                Just to repeat, because it hasn’t gotten through yet: This is not about “taking away” guns. It is about sensible access to weapons that have evolved considerably since the days of muskets. I am glad that over 1,000 mayors — along with plenty of police chiefs and officers, and the tens of thousands of victims of gun violence annually agree — and that our chief executive is one of them.

                • How about sensible restrictions on abortions; no abortions after six months and any child born alive during an abortion is considered a human being. How about sensible restrictions on marriage; a marriage is between a man and a woman. No? Why not? Seems sensible. It easy easy to trample on the rights of individuals in the name of sensibility isn’t it?

                  • Russell Gontar

                    Let the record show Mr. Petrino introduced the topic of abortion into a discussion about gun control. That’s called ‘what about” syndrome.

                    • No, the discussion is about individual rights that are protected by the Constitution, and those who would trample on those rights while doing what is “sensible.”

                  • Nancy Hunter

                    That is the most illogical, irrelevant comment you have ever written.

                • BTW: According to press reports the shooter was a Sanders Democrat. Does it now seem sensible to ban Democrats, or at least to prevent Democrats from owning guns?

                  • Russell Gontar

                    Responding to your comment above about the topic of the discussion, your “rights” are not absolute. We have freedom of speech, but slander is illegal. We have the second amendment, but it is illegal to personally own a machine gun, bazooka, etc…Capiche?

                    • It is not strictly illegal to own a machine gun. If you are going to try and play the game, at least learn the rules. And you are dead wrong on the rights issue; we all have inalienable rights to life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

                  • Russell Gontar

                    Regarding your comment below about machine guns, federal law makes it illegal to own such a weapon if it was manufactured after 5/19/1986. You can’t walk into Walmart and buy a machine gun. Especially you.

                    If you are suggesting that everyone should be able to own any weapon they want because it is an “inalienable right”, now you are just making things up. No sale.

                  • Russell Gontar

                    I see below for your “information” about machine guns, you went to the “firearms blog”. I must say, LOL! I’m surprised you looked somewhere other than the NRA.

              • Peter Gambaccini

                Guns kill. Okay, what’s next?

                • Russell Gontar

                  Unfortunately, some of the respondents refuse to accept this reality.

        • Russell Gontar

          70% of the deaths by firearm in the USA are done in the act of suicide. Sure, you could kill yourself in any number of ways, but there is a reason these unfortunate individuals choose this method: The means are readily available and they work, every time.

          • Bob Stalling

            So what are you saying….ban all firearms?
            I thought Dan stated above that “This is not about “taking away” guns”

            Please explain…

            • Russell Gontar

              Frankly, I’d be thrilled with a repeal of the second amendment.

              • Bob Stalling

                Of course you would, now how did I know that?

              • Rozanne Gates

                The Second Amendment should have been banned a long time ago and as soon as the British left. If you don’t have a gun in your hand you can’t kill someone with a gun. You can kill in other ways but it takes a gun to kill with a gun. And guns are designed for one reason and one reason only – TO KILL! Whether you want to kill a person or an animal you have a gun because your intent is to kill. I think one of the 10 commandments is “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and I think that is a conflict of interest.

                • Bob Stalling

                  Umm…do you know when the Constitution was written? Try to find the flaw in your statement…

        • David Stalling

          It’s true that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But people can use guns to kill people — and It’s a hell of a lot easier to kill a lot of people quickly with the right choice of weapons. It’s a lot easier to kill people when you have a weapon designed and made to efficiently kill lots of people in a short amount of time. This is why I was issued M16-A2 rifles, HK 9mm submachine guns, M60 machine guns, M203 grenade launchers and other potent, deadly weapons in the Marine Corps.

          There is no legitimate reason for citizens to own certain weapons designed and made to rapidly kill a lot of people in a short amount of time. The risks and dangers to our nation and innocent people far outweigh any benefit that can possible be gained.

          There have and always will be restrictions on Second Amendment rights. Even our “founding fathers” who crafted and approved of the amendment often fervently disagreed on it. Constitutional scholars, politicians, and others have had many rationale, reasonable, heated debates over it ever since. I’d have to justifiably go through extensive background checks and clear many restrictive hurdles to own an M60 machine gun, and I can’t own any machine made after 1986 — in accordance with the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986. None of these laws have been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

          I am lot am not allowed to have an M203 grenade launcher, an M1 Abrams tank, a LAAW (Light Anti Tank Assault Weapon), Stinger anti-aircraft missile or a nuclear warhead. Those all seem like reasonable restrictions to me. We all draw the line somewhere.

          So I am sincerely curious: Where do you draw the line? And why is it that wherever you choose to draw the line is what the rest of our nation should except —  and that any restrictions that cross your line is unconstitutional?

          Our founders were smart enough to establish a Constitution that could adapt with changing times, and they set up a process in which we the people could collectively change things through a democratic, legislative process. To further adapt and refine our 2nd Amendment is not a violation of Constitutional rights — even if it may cross wherever you personal draw the line.

          • David Stalling

            So . . . it’s a violation of my Constitutional rights to deny me ownership of a nuclear warhead? We all draw the line somewhere. There always have and always will be restrictions to the Second Amendment and other Constitutional rights. Laws are passed and it’s up to the Supreme Court to decide if they are in violation of the Constitution; the framers were clear on that matter.

          • Linda Whitney at Staples

            I’m going to remember this when talking to the local hunters. They seem to need elephant guns to do the dirty deed of “bringing down a deer”, taking a trophy, and half the time leaving the carcas somewhere because they don’t want to deal with it.
            SUCH DISRESPECT FOR THE ANIMAL AND ITS FAMILY- yes Bambi- and for the people who NEED FOOD, and for reasonably living off of the land as part of the balance in nature.

    • On December 14, 2012 Adam Lanza fired 154 bullets in 300 seconds in a nearby elementary school using a Bushmaster Model XM15-E25 rifle. Sensible gun control dictates that such a weapon should never be in private hands.
      ADW Staples 1956

    • Tyler Smith

      Haha. The paranoid really do live among us.

      • David Stalling

        May sound “paranoid” to you, but for many it’s a sad and tragic reality. The people of Newtown lived it, and they will likely re-live it every day of their lives. They will never see their children again. I don’t know how they cope. I doubt it’s something our nation’s founders could even fathom back in the days of muskets when they crafted the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.

  6. Nicole Klein

    Why is he only signing it now? I asked him at the “Defend Democracy” March why he did not sign it then and there and he did not respond. I asked him if he ever planned on signing it and his response was “we’ll see”. What has happened that he decided to sign it Monday? It’s a very straightforward pledge that I am disturbed took him so long to come around to sign.

    • Tyler Smith

      Does it really matter? It’s signed now.

    • David Stalling

      I’m assuming he wanted to think it over and perhaps confer with various people from the diverse constituency he represents. Seems reasonable to me. He said “we’ll see” and now we see; he signed it. I’m glad he did.

  7. Common sense positions from a common sense First Selectman. Thanks, Jim

  8. Thank you Jim for doing the right thing!
    330 million guns in our country, of 330 million mem, women & children, suggests the NRA with its meger 5 million members has too much political control.
    It’s a said day in America when our national pastime, (a baseball fund raiser), is interupted by rifle fire on congress members.

    3 days of unhealthy air warnings here in our great state of Connecticut, and the dope at the top wants to make our air & water worse and not better?

    Jim understands its really about a general sence of responsibility for what kind of world, America, state & town we leave to future generations.

    • Elizabeth Thibault

      I agree. You know why they have an outsized influence? Financing from manufacturers, organizational and get-out-the-vote skills, and extreme gerrymandering over the past 20 years that make primaries the de-facto election for many members of congress. We need voting days to be structured and work holidays, only then will we see moderation of viewpoints and calmer heads more likely to prevail.

      • Michael Calise

        Sorry but I do not get it. Are you saying that those who are “moderate and calmer” only vote if it’s on a day they are comfortable with or on a day when they are given a day off to vote????? Thankfully most people consider voting a privilege and a serious responsibility regardless of their own personal responsibilities or on what day the opportunity presents itself

        • Russell Gontar

          34 states already allow early voting. Exactly what would be the harm to the nation to make one day a holiday so that it easier to vote?

        • Linda Sugarman

          Unfortunately, the only way to a TRUE vote is to make it open and available to ALL who are truly qualified- HUMANS over 18 years old that are US American Citizens!!!
          YOU may have all of the papers required, a comfortable job that supports your reasonable time schedule, comfortable transportation availability, and the education to understand the lies, manipulations, and outright harassment of the GOP toward voters who don’t “pledge their loyalty” without knowing what they are voting for.
          BUT, a CLEARLY LARGE PERCENTAGE of the voting public do not have your luxuries and blessings in life!! You represent the unfortunate automatic bigotry of the comfortable rich. In that, you represent the ignorant masses that the GOP uses to guarantee the outcome of elections before the day of voting WITH MASSIVE GERRYMANDERING!!!

  9. Tyler Smith

    The right to bear arms does not extend to it being done illegally. We are headed in the right direction. Thank you Jim!

  10. Wendy Batteau

    Good work. Thank you, Jim Marpe.

  11. Thank you Jim.

  12. Linda Sugarman

    What timing for this post!!
    I hope Mr. Marpe realises how important it is to follow through all of the way on his intentions. The news today of the shooter at the GOP baseball practice is the natural outcome of the continued refusal of the GOP to address gun control despite the urging of their own moderate and reasonable constituents!!
    I am sorry that they had to be victims of their own inadequate response but there are crazy, vulnerable, and angry people on all sides of this argument. There always will be.
    Civilization requires reasoning minds to be able to support the communication and learning required to establish and maintain a platform for clear thinking and social exchange.
    Time for Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel, the NRA, and the GOP in general to grow up and get out of the Rambo mindset games that they are playing. Look where it has gotten you- gotten us as a nation.
    You ARE ASHAMED, as you should be. And now you are victims!
    Where will the INSANITY end?
    We don’t have time for this. We have too much REAL WORK TO DO!!!!

    • Bob Stalling

      Linda, let me get this straight…you are blaming the Republicans for the shooting of Republicans by a Trump hating Bernie Sanders supporter….on a post about a Republican who signed a pledge to help seek common sense gun laws.

      What am I missing?

      • Linda Whitney at Staples

        YES I AM.
        You are conveniently missing the refusal of reason perpetrated by the GOP FOR DECADES in order to keep the NRA money and support that keeps them in office.
        You are missing the GOPs willingness to keep anyone as bed-fellows to achieve their power and money goals. Look at their gift to the nation right now!!
        You started out as burgeour businessmen. Now you are acting like CEOs hired to kill the company and sell off the assets!!
        That is NOT the future of Democracy and the United States!!!
        AND, BTW, have you ever heard of “you reap what you sow”. That is the mystery of how GOD of any name works!! WE teach OURSELVES the LESSONS!!!

  13. Thank you Jim Marpe!

  14. I respectfully requests folks on all sides of this issue — and any others on “06880” — to refrain from making multiple posts, and/or responding to every comment others make. The idea of the comments section is to allow many voices to be heard. Frequent comments by one person — or constant back-and-forth — do not change anyone’s mind. But they do intimidate others from commenting. I welcome a diversity of viewpoints. I’m fine with a couple of responses. But please limit your comments to 2 or 3 per post. Thank you.

  15. I applaud Jim Marpe’s support of this initiative. The question of gun control is one that has, in my view, been highjacked by one of the most powerful interest groups in the nation – the NRA. It seems to me that the NRA has disingenuously taken a narrow view of the 2nd Amendment by truncating that part of the Bill of Rights into a short single sentence that essentially states that individual citizens have the “right to bear arms”.

    However, the 2nd Amendment states:
    “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
    Note the reference to the words “the people”.

    Consider the text of the 5th Amendment which states:
    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”
    Note the references to “person”.

    There are many other examples of this difference throughout the US Constitution.

    My point is that I have long felt, regardless of the decisions of the SCOTUS on this point, that the 2nd Amendment was never intended by the framers to be an individual right, but rather a right of “the people”. Remember that “the people” at that time had just beaten off their colonial masters and it was important for “the people” to be able to form into” a well regulated militia” in case the Brits came back (present company excepted, of course).

    Also, the framers could not have imagined the firepower that is now available at almost any well stocked gun store. The framers were a remarkable collection of free thinking people who thought very carefully about all aspects of society. The care that they took over the Constitution is one reason why it has stood the test of time. Unfortunately, in this instance, their carefully crafted words have carefully cherry-picked to produce an unintended consequence.

    We constantly hear the refrain that guns are not the issue, it is people who kill and maim. For me, the turning point in the debate came with the horror of Sandy Hook. I foolishly thought that surely that was a horror too far, even for the NRA. But no, they came back with the same refrain. I now feel that even if the Sandy Hook victims had been newborns in a maternity ward, the NRA would not have been swayed. It seems to be that. from their perspective, the “right” to bear arms is greater that the right to life.

    I am therefore grateful that in this town we can engage in meaningful and sometime very contentious debate about many issues between the political right and left but there is a fundamental decency that unites most if not all of us. Jim’s signature on the Statement of Principles is a good example of this.

  16. Dave Feliciano

    Dear Dan your write a wonderful column, and are a true Westport treasure. Words kill, apparently the Sen. Bernie Sanders, and his words with his supporter, led to a armed Democrat agent to ambush Republican Congressmen, while practicing the All American game of baseball.

    So consequently Sen. Bernie Sanders an avowed Socialist, with many Soviet ties should recuse himself from the Senate, and a special investigator appointed, till such time as all loose ends of the Democratic/ American / Socialist /Soviet Party Conspiracy is cleared up. Yes, WORDS KILL! Ask Osama Bin Laden or the baseless mudslinging accusers from the Left.

  17. Rozanne Gates

    Obviously the American educational system has done a lousy job of teaching Americans about political philosophies. I was lucky enough to have learned in my high school in Houston, Texas about communism, socialism, capitalism, democracy, and many other “isms”. I am not afraid of a definition. I am afraid of people who exploit the ignorance of those who have no idea what the words mean or how they are implemented. I challenge Mr. Feliciano to spell out the difference between socialism, communism, and capitalism and how those political ideologies have effected the lives of people in the 20th century and into the 21st.

  18. Dave Feliciano

    Dear Ms. Gates having lived in Texas, I can assure that as a Regents Scholar, my education included the many “isms”, I attended school with Hungarian children fleeing Soviet Style Communism, and dinned with Jewish friends whose uncles survived the Warsaw Ghetto. Jewish-Russian relatives who fled to Greece ahead to escape persecution. I suspect many of these fine folk were in short supply in Houston. There probably few Cuban refugees as well. But I suspect you wouldn’t have spoken their language. How’s your Italian?

    However the name calling and petty remarks and challenges you proffer is the last refuge, of the left. The Big Lie repeated.How did you do in Constitutional Law, Anatomy and Physiology, Criminal Law, and I wonder how many guns have you faced? Maybe Calculus was your forte?

    Have you ever used wood dowels to trace bullet paths through a warm body. I think not. And yes, I aced History, Politcal Science, as well.

    Thanks Ms Hunter, I value your critique, and your scintillating turn of phrase. I’m sorry that you don’t share my opinion of our Mr. Woogs Column, he truly has a gifted way of writing and appealing to our better angels.

    Mr Stalling, thank you for your service. Among other things I transported tactical nukes for use to stop the Russian invasion of Europe. I agree we should draw the line somewhere. As for the machine gun, I believe You register and pay a large fee for a Federal Permit. Several collectors I know have them. You can buy a tank, just can’t have the firing mechanism. Didn’t one of the DuPonts run around with one a few more years ago than I care to remember. Peace and Prayers for our freedoms.

  19. Julia and Scott Broder

    Kudos to our First Selectman, Jim Marpe❗️
    And thank you for your extraordinary service to our wonderful to of Westport💥

  20. I am so proud to serve with Jim, and for his non-partisan leadership. Sadly, only 11% of CT towns and cities have signed the pledge against illegal guns.
    Avi Kaner
    Second Selectman