Legal Opinion Index Home
Atty. Ralph D. Sherman
130 West Main Street New Britain, Connecticut
tel. (860) 229-0213 fax (860) 229-0235 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
A shift in public opinion
Two months ago I promised a column on suitability and pistol permits. Because of recent
events, I'm going to interrupt myself again.
I'm sure that anyone reading this column knows
about the murders at Lottery headquarters, and about HB 5746, the bill that Rep. Lawlor
introduced a few days after the murders.
I think there's a lesson to be gleaned from the
response that came after the bill was introduced. First, a little background.
HB 5746, would allow anyone to post a sign at his
home or business to prohibit concealed carry, even for permit holders. If you're a permit
holder, you don't need me to tell you that this is a frightening proposal that would strip
the right of self defense from law-abiding individuals.
On the other hand, if you're a member of Handgun
Control, Inc., you probably won't change your mind based on any comments I make here.
The fact is, the people who need to be reached on
these political issues are those in the middle-those who vote but neither own guns nor
think they should be banned.
Five to 10 years ago, when the Handgun Control
crowd started pushing very hard on "assault weapons," a lot of those people in
the middle were moved by TV images of black guns and cliches like "weapon of
Today, I think those people in the
middle-including those in the General Assembly-have become much more sophisticated.
Within a week after the Lottery murders, Governor
Rowland said publicly that new laws won't stop a madman, that new laws should not be
enacted in the heat of emotion, and that Connecticut already has some of the toughest gun
laws in the United States. I think that the silent majority, that group in the middle, has
come to agree with him. I think they see, after all these years of "gun
control," that more restrictions on permit holders will not make anyone safer.
Remarkably, even the Hartford Courant adopted
this position, in an editorial published March 25. Yes, the Courant would still prefer
"banning handguns entirely." But the Courant also wrote: "From what we know
of Mr. Beck's mind, it is doubtful he would have been deterred from his deadly mission
because he lacked a handgun permit."
I couldn't have said it any better, in the pages
of a sportsmen's magazine, delivering my monthly sermon to the choir.
Copyright 1998 by Ralph D. Sherman
Legal Opinion Index Home