To the Editor:

Several years ago I shot a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle at a shooting range. “Semi-auto” means that the gun loads each round so all one has to do is pull the trigger for each shot. The power of the weapon is staggering - the sound that reverberates and sucks the air out of the room. It sounds like a jack hammer and I emptied my 30 round magazine in about 40 seconds but many can do it much quicker. There were women shooting at the range, some had pink AR-15’s, some wore camo. The only thing I could think of were the 6 year olds at Sandy Hook and what sound they heard before they were slaughtered by the same weapon. A military weapon, nothing more, nothing less. I left that range shocked but informed.

The Las Vegas shooter also had an arsenal of these things, as did the shooters in Orlando and yesterday in Parkland, Florida - they copy each other you see. There is no sensible way that any civilian nor organization in the United States can justify the ownership of such a weapon by asserting a Second Amendment privilege. Note that I say “sensible” because many do assert that right and are granted it. Why? Why? Why? When so many other effective defensive guns are available to us? Why does this type of gun and others like it qualify? “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people?” I say that “People…..mentally deranged people….people that need medical help, can and DO kill many innocent people using these guns. They do it again and again and again with 8 million AR-15’s owned privately in the USA.

We are and have been in a national emergency surrounding assault rifles and the Congress needs to ignore the NRA and pass legislation banning their use among civilians. But they won’t because they are afraid of their constituencies. What these Congressmen need to understand is that the 325 Million people living in the US are their constituency. Reason and Pragmatism are their constituency under the implied powers of their office. There are many weapons of protection that can replace these types of guns: Shotguns, pistols, revolvers, so banning such weapons would not infringe on any rights of protection under the 2nd Amendment. Everybody knows this, yet nothing is done. If the deaths in Newtown didn’t change anything - these events probably wont either and our children remain exposed. Those who disagree should go down to Penfield Beach to the playground and look at the photo of a happy, beautiful and innocent Jessica Rekos - then decide how you feel about this.

Paul Brown

Fairfield

To the Editor:

A recent letter to the editor, “Not so Smart,” cites, in support of his argument, a federal law that backs highway improvement studies that would mitigate expansion.

There is a high probability that, in the case of our highways, there will always be the likelihood of the need for future expansion.

Furthermore, the state is looking to close a gap between states that do use electronic tolling and Connecticut that does not.

Keep reading the cited letter and learn the animus behind the motive.

Le us not mix the issues.

G. Coulombe

Fairfield

To the Editor:

All else is diversion.

Here is a list of our congresspeople to whom the National Rifle Association (NRA) has given money directly, and for whom they have spent on their behalf—through Oct. 4, 2017 (The New York Times): (All are Republican. The first Democrat is No. 41 on the list.)

Senate

John McCain (Ariz.) $7,740,521

Richard Burr (N.C.) 6,986,620

Roy Blunt (Mo.) 4,551,146

Thom Tillis (N.C.) 4,418,012

Cory Gardner (Colo.) 3,879,064

Marco Rubio (Fla.) 3,303,355

Joni Ernst (Iowa) 3,124,273

Rob Portman (Ohio) 3,061,941

Todd Young (Ind.) 2,896,732

Bill Cassidy (La.) 2,861,047

House

French Hill (Ariz.) $1,089,477

Ken Buck (Colo.) 800,544

David Young (Iowa) 707,662

Mike Simpson (Idaho) 385,731

Greg Gianforte (Mont.) 344,630

Don Young (Ark.) 245,720

Lloyd Smucker (Pa.) 221,736

Bruce Poliquin (Maine) 201,398

Pete Sessions (Texas) 158,111

Barbara Comstock (Va.) 137,232

Shame, shame, shame on them!

My fellow neighbors, why don’t we crowd-source an effort to raise the c. $150,000 to list in a full-page ad in The New York Times those who suspend (sell) their conscience?

Norman R. Klein,

Westport

To the Editor:

If public figures with an animus against the Catholic Church were driven out of public life, Connecticut’s Andrew McDonald would not be sitting on the Connecticut Supreme Court today. That he has been nominated by Gov. Dannel Malloy to be Chief Justice makes this story all the more surreal.

Justice Andrew McDonald

In 2011, McDonald, then a state senator, introduced a bill with Rep. Michael Lawlor that would have allowed state officials to take over the administrative and fiscal decisions of the Catholic Church in Connecticut. It authorized lay Catholics in each parish to run internal affairs, stripping the pastor of his duties.

This power grab — one of the most blatant violations of separation of church and state in American history — was announced on March 5, 2011. Importantly, the public did not learn of it until the next day, a Friday; the hearings were shoved through in stealth-like fashion on March 11, thus denying Catholics an opportunity to adequately marshal a protest.

As I said then, this was “payback” time. “This brutal act of revenge by Lawlor and McDonald, two champions of gay marriage,” I wrote, “is designed to muzzle the voice of the Catholic Church.”

I went further, calling on them to be removed from office. “By singling out the Catholic Church — no other religion has been targeted — Lawlor and McDonald have demonstrated that they are ethically unfit to continue as lawmakers. They have evinced a bias so strong, and so malicious, that it compromises their ability to serve the public good. They should therefore be expelled by their colleagues.”

How would lawmakers, and the media, treat it if a Connecticut bishop said it was time for Catholic officials in the state to take over the administrative and fiscal responsibilities of the legislature? Would he not be the subject of condemnation? Would there not be calls for him to resign? Would this not be seen as a First Amendment crisis?

When this happened, Bridgeport Archbishop William Lori (now the Archbishop of Baltimore), led the fight against this unprecedented trashing of religious liberty. We were happy to play a secondary role. The governor at the time, M. Jodi Rell, said that what the two lawmakers were seeking to do was “blatantly unconstitutional, insensitive, and inappropriate.”

It does not speak well for the current governor that he does not see what Rell saw. Worse, Gov. Malloy wants to promote McDonald to be Chief Justice.

If McDonald had singled out Muslims or Jews the way he did Catholics, he would have been run out of town, and the Catholic League would have supported his ouster. That he is poised to lead the Supreme Court on matters of religious liberty, especially as they affect Catholics, is mind-boggling.

Justice demands that someone else be chosen as the new Chief Justice in Connecticut. We will let lawmakers know of our outrage.

Bill Donohue

President, Catholic League

To the Editor:

The table found at www.ct.gov/post/cwp/view.asp?a=2058&q=394894 shows the current accredited police agencies in Connecticut and their status. Accreditation is by the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST-C) and/or the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Fairfield Police remain conspicuous by their continued absence.

It is significant to note that in 2008 both the Fairfield Police Commission and the department itself accepted the challenge, posed in a taxpayer funded $10,000 consultant's report, to obtain national accreditation for the department. The commission even reorganized the department to creat a special professional standards unit to get the accreditation. The head of the unit even has his own taxpayer funded take home emergency vehicle.

Accreditation requires, among other things, a review by peers from other agencies. That is long overdue; ten years overdue.

What's the holdup?

Jim Brown

Fairfield