Tag Archives: gun control

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.

Pistol-Packing Percents

This might not be the best day to report this — Martin Luther King won a Nobel Peace Prize for his advocacy of non-violence — but yesterday’s Middletown Press includes a fascinating story on the numbers and rates of pistol ownership in Connecticut.

Westport has 719 permit holders. That’s 2.7% of our population — the 7th lowest rate of pistol ownership of all 169 Connecticut towns and cities.

Connecticut pistol permitWe’re tied with  Danbury and Greenwich. The only places with a lower population of pistol owners are West Hartford, Darien, Stamford, New London, Mansfield, New Haven and — at the bottom — Hartford (1.5%).

The most heavily armed town in Connecticut is Canaan: 13.5%. There are 167 permit holders in the rural community of just 1,234 people.

Click here for the full story, statistics, and an interactive map.

RTM May Tackle Guns

Westport’s RTM — the Representative Town Meeting — usually tackles local topics. Our elected officials debate and vote on budgets, contracts and sewers.

RTMSometimes they decide huge Westport questions. The RTM okayed the town’s purchases of Longshore, Cockenoe Island and Winslow Park.

Every once in a while, the RTM ventures onto national turf.

In 1972 — following a petition signed by 1000 residents, and a 3-hour debate — the RTM endorsed a resolution calling on President Nixon and Congress to “take immediate action to withdraw from the war in Vietnam.” The vote was 17 to 15.

In 1982 the RTM passed a Sense of the Meeting Resolution urging the US and Soviet Union to agree to a nuclear arms freeze. That vote was 24 to 2, with 7 abstentions.

On Tuesday, January 8 (7:30 p.m., Town Hall), the RTM will discuss this item:

To take such action as the meeting may determine, upon the request of at least 20 electors of the Town of Westport, for the RTM to place an item on an upcoming agenda … involving a request to support gun control legislation in the United States and urge the President and federal legislators, as well as Connecticut state legislators, to enact a ban on automatic and semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips.  Furthermore, to support closing the “gun-show loophole” that allows people to buy guns at trade shows and from private dealers without background checks.

That discussion will not be about guns themselves; its focus is whether the RTM should discuss the topic at an upcoming meeting.

If recent comments on “06880” are any indication, both sides will come out firing.

Scenes From Newtown’s Neighbor

Today in Westport, flags flew at half-staff. This one stood outside police headquarters:

Saturday 1

A short walk away on the Post Road Bridge, a group that for several years has protested US wars added a plea for gun control.

Ruth Steinkraus Bridge, Westport CT - gun control

Meanwhile — in a scene made poignant simply by its normalcy — a group of Westport YMCA gymnasts got ready to perform.

Westport YMCA gymnasts

it was just another Saturday in Westport, Connecticut.

Except it wasn’t.