TO THE EDITOR:
We live in a time where sound bites and headlines qualify as fact when in reality there is much more to what meets the eye especially when it comes to political rhetoric. This is the case in our state and how attacks on Senator Ryan Fazio, who since he took office has always strived and usually succeeded at finding bipartisan common ground including his sponsoring five bills with bipartisan support in his short tenure to date.
Among areas where Senator Fazio has been focused includes reducing gun violence and other violent crimes. This year, he has introduced legislation to take to take illegal guns off the street, toughen background checks for guns, and support school resource officers to protect children.
Recently when HB6667 was brought to the Senate, most people who actually read the bill rather than just screen its title knew that this bill was problematic. It turns a lot of law-abiding people including victims of crime into criminals without actually stopping people who commit crimes with guns.
For instance, someone who had their home invaded and legally owned a firearm only to have it stolen from a safe or other secured area might be charged with a crime. A person who legally owned a gun, yet does not register it under this new proposed law because they did not receive notice of that new requirement would also become a criminal. This law does not stop the real real criminals and it does not curtail the violence.
Maybe we should be passing new laws that actually will stop gun violence. When the bill came to the Senate, Fazio and other Senators introduced amendments to fix some of these problems as well as add new sections to the bill that would actually fight gun violence. Fazio’s first amendment bolstered the background check system to regularly investigate and remove the much too common errors in the system. These checks stop criminals from buying guns. He further wanted to re-institute police policies such as consent searches which were eliminated in Connecticut in 2020. Previously these searches removed hundreds of illegal guns from circulation. He also wanted to create a grant fund to support the employment of School Resource Officers.
These are all good implementations that reduce gun violence and should not be considered uncontroversial in any manner. However, those amendments were all voted down by the Democrat majority. The Democrats have been publicly critical of Fazio’s stance. Maybe those partisan letters and decrees should have been directed at the Democratic Senators who voted against taking illegal guns off the street, strengthening background checks, and supporting school resource officers.
Senator Ryan Fazio should be applauded for trying to create an effective plan that will reduce gun violence. He and other legislative Republicans with some bipartisan support from some Democrats were correct in opposing this bill and offering better ideas. After all, the people in charge of the State government, who passed this gun bill, are the same ones who have been in charge while murders in Connecticut have increased over 50% according to the CDC, which exceeds the national average! Should we trust those Democrats to pass good and sound policies when they have failed to do a good job on gun violence over the last four years? I think not. Be thankful Ryan Fazio is on the job.
Michael C. Nedder