How Much Does Newtown Love Their Children? Part 2

As previously reported, voters in Newtown, Connecticut, rejected a town and school budget on April 23rd partly because $770,000 that was added for extra police and school security in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre Dec.14th. In a new referendum today the town budget passed, but the school budget failed. By 52 votes.

Snipped from the Newtown Bee:

Council Chairman Jeff Capeci said that the number of voters who responded to the corresponding budget question signaled they wanted to see additional reductions.

The next time you read that Newtown/Sandy Hook is a tight-knit community where everybody pulls together in times of unspeakable horror and meaningless tragedy, don’t believe it for a minute. It’s easy to arrange makeshift memorials and displays of paper angels on the roadside; easy to hang green and white balloons on fence posts and road signs throughout the town; easy to stick a green and white ribbon to the bumper of your car; easy to hold candle vigils and send thoughts and prayers. Symbols of sympathy come cheap, but when asked to actually put their money where their mouths are, the good people of Newtown are oddly tight-lipped.

Gun Legislation Post Sandy Hook

I just spent the last few hours composing and sending the following e-mail to all my local and federal representatives. Governor Malloy got an abridged version since he has a 2,000 character limit on his contact form(!).

Before I post my e-mail I would like to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to those who lost loved ones on 12-14-12. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and suffering you are experiencing.

Dear [Recipient]

I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on legislation proposed locally here in CT and on the national level.

I’m not a gun nut who is afraid of “government tyranny”; I have my feet firmly planted in reality. I’m just a regular schmoe who happens to own a few guns, enjoys shooting recreationally at a range and keeps a loaded firearm in my house for a worst case scenario. While I do have a concealed carry permit, I choose not to carry a firearm in public. In my 53 years on Earth I have never been so afraid that I thought shooting someone was the only solution, and I’m still willing to take my chances. However, I do have issues with laws that serve no purpose and do no good to solve the violence problem our country faces, and indeed may detract from real solutions.

I don’t find myself to be a strong supporter of the NRA (too many crackpots for my liking), but the disingenuous argumentation and intellectual dishonesty from elements on the anti-side have provoked me to become a member, at least for a year, as a pure gesture of protest. After I did that I donated an equal amount to the ACLU. Let me outline some of the things I would support in terms of better gun legislation, just to start off on a positive note:

  1. I would support requiring training for the purchase of any kind of firearm.
  2. I would support extended training for a concealed carry permit.
  3. I would support 100%, no exceptions, universal background checks for the sale and transfer of firearms.
  4. I would support making it easier for those with serious mental health conditions to have relevant information included in a background check.
  5. I would support stricter laws and punishments for gun-trafficking, straw man purchases and crimes where guns are used.
  6. I would support a stronger effort to enforce the laws already on the books better.
  7. I would support removing Joe Biden as the head of President Obama’s gun task force; the man is a clown and he’s hurting any effort to reach an agreement (seriously).

Here are some of the things I would strongly oppose:

  1. I oppose banning specific types of firearms/accessories/magazine caps, specifically the so-called “assault rifles” and the erroneously named “high-capacity” magazines, which are, in fact, standard capacity. FBI statistics show – and you all know this – that the previous AWB did nothing to reduce gun crime, and that, in fact, gun crime has been on a steady decline for the past several decades, despite a rise in gun-ownership.
  2. I oppose special ammunition taxes, restrictions on how much ammunition you can purchase, and outlawing Internet purchases of ammunition. The vast majority of gun owners are recreational shooters, and making it harder and/or more expensive to get ammunition would simply inconvenience law-abiding citizens and do nothing to discourage criminals.
  3. I oppose requiring gun owners to carry special liability insurance for the simple reason that it seems, to me, intuitively unreasonable to be required to carry insurance in order to exercise a constitutionally protected right.
  4. I oppose a national gun registry. While it may seem innocent and even useful on the surface, it smacks too much of letting Big Brother know what you own and where to confiscate it. Actually, I’m on the fence on this one.
  5. I oppose gun free zones. People intent on mass murder tend to choose the easiest, least protected targets. While it has become something of a cliche to say that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, it just so happens to be true when the bullets start flying. The police can’t be everywhere all the time. While we will never know the outcome of Sandy Hook Elementary had there been a competent armed person on the premises, it seems to me that we can say with some degree of certainty that the victims would have had more than the 0% chance of survival they were afforded.

Finally, I am not a single-issue voter, I consistently vote D across the board and am not threatening to change my vote depending on your actions in this matter. I do however hope you take my thoughts into consideration before you make your decision.

Lars Dahl

Virtual State Of The Union Speech – The Right To Self Defense

Food for thought. Not vouching for the statistics he quotes, but nevertheless interesting and a crafty way to state your case. I personally find it hard to disagree with a lot of what he says.

My Hero Is Gone – Christopher Hitchens Dead

I just heard the sad news. Christopher Hitchens has succumbed to esophageal cancer. Creationists all over the  world rejoice, thanking Jesus, while reasonable people are mourning. I would say R.I.P., but that would be an insult.

If the music died 02-03-1959­, then reason and acerbic wit took a hit 12-15-2011­.

I’m not old enough to remember where I was when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, but I do have John Lennon (sitting in a van listening to the radio, waiting for the post office at St. Olav’s Square in Oslo, Norway to open) and Christoper Hitchens (right here in front of my computer in Newtown, Connecticut). Oddly enough I don’t think they would have gotten along very well.

I regard Mr Hitchens a beacon of reason and logic and unsurpassed intellectual wit and honesty in a world that suffers from ignorance and superstition, not only abroad, but increasingly so right here at home. He was the standard bearer promoting atheism (he referred to himself as an “anti-theist”) and casting off the shackles of religion.

I didn’t agree with him on everything (America’s unwarranted invasion of Iraq in 2003 being the biggie), but the world needed his passion for truth now more than ever. The world is a much, much , MUCH better place for having been lucky enough to have him around.