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Letter: Methods to curb gun violence

Published 10:24 am, Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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The following was prepared as testimony before the Connecticut Gun Violence Prevention Task Force:

"I am frustrated and angry by the framing of conversation about guns in our state. I support the second amendment, I support a right to bear arms.

What I do not support is the fear-mongering and bullying and manipulating of the constitution, and how that may overshadowing sensible, responsible changes.

The more I reflect the issue of gun violence, the less I think of single events -- like Newtown, Aurora and Binghamton -- and the more I think about preventing everyday gun violence, like teen victims Gary Gunlop in Bridgeport, Brian Sarks in Hartford.

Yes, enacting changes such as registration of handguns with an annual fee and background check, holding gun owners liable for negligent storage and requiring permits and license for all guns purchases -- even long guns and ammo -- may be inconvenient for law-abiding gun owners, and certainly will not stop every incident of gun violence in our state, but they will stop some.

According to a recent study by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence:

States with the most restrictive laws, have lower rates of gun-related deaths. Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that states requiring comprehensive background checks before gun purchases had lower death rates than those without such requirements. And a study at the University of Toronto found that there were lower death rates in 2011 in U.S. states that ban assault weapons and require trigger locks and secure storage for guns.

These are proven methods that work to prevent gun violence.

We are not asking for extreme measures here. We are asking for sensible gun laws that allow me, in-laws and my children to feel safe in our community. To know that our legislators are doing everything they can assure that Connecticut is revered as leader in changing the gun culture in America and not remembered as the sad place where yet another preventable tragedy occurred.

The nation is watching us, and your constituents are watching you. Please lead us by voting in favor of the proposed changes outlined by [Connecticut Against Gun Violence].

Require back ground checks and for all gun sales. Ban assault weapons and the large capacity magazines that feed them. Remove the existing assault weapons and magazines from our state.

Marcy Shinbaum

Fairfield