Friday, May 31, 2013

The Courant Awakens

The Hartford Courant has noticed -- five weeks after the General Assembly, responding to the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School, passed into law the most comprehensive gun restriction bill in the nation -- that criminal investigators have been somewhat laggard in issuing their final investigation report.

Connecticut Commentary made note of the importance of the criminal report to the pending gun legislation way back in mid-January, 16  weeks before editorial writers at the Courant were rousted from their Rip Van Winkle slumber.

It seemed to Connecticut Commentary a matter of common sense that comprehensive legislation should follow – not precede – a bill imposing severe restriction on both gun manufacturers and lawful gun owners in “Revolutionary Connecticut,” so called, among other reasons, because Connecticut supplied then Colonel George Washington’s army with munitions and war material, guns among them.

Since passage of the legislation, some gun manufactures in Connecticut have made tentative plans to leave the state; others have their eyes fastened on the exit sign.

The bill, which makes illegal the purchase of the AR15 rifle, the most popular and bestselling rifle in the United States, has provoked at least one serious suit. Stag Arms, a Connecticut company that produces the AR15, has been courted by the governors of other states. The company, treating the legislation as a specification order, is in the process of developing a rejiggered rifle that will satisfy the letter of the law.

The editorial notes that while investigators had given assurances that a final report would be completed by mid-June, “Now we are told by the state police that a final investigative report won’t be ready until the end of September, more than nine months after the crime was committed.”

The editorial quotes “the usually professional” state police spokesman Paul Vance on the point: “Nobody ever said we had to have it done by a certain time.”

The Courant’s patience, after so many months of delay, apparently has been worn out.

“The ‘hide-the-information’ game being played by the police and other state officials,” the paper declares, “is ridiculous. The only suspect in this crime, Adam Lanza, killed 20 first graders, six female educators, his mother and himself. It is almost certain there won’t be another arrest. The police have little or no excuse for dragging this out… the penchant for secrecy displayed by the state police, he governor and legislative leaders is deeply troubling. It’s obvious they don’t trust the public.”

It certainly will not come as a shattering surprise to the editorial writers at the Courant that the political course of events is determined chiefly by politicians seeking some political benefit. The only question worth asking at this point is the age old question “Qui bono?”  Who stood to benefit by a delayed investigation report?

And since the gun legislation already has been passed here in Connecticut, we may put the question in the past tense: Who DID benefit by a delayed report?

It should not take a conspiracy theorist to answer that question. The answer is: The people who passed the legislation benefited from the delay. In the absence of real data, the passage of the legislation was made possible by raw appeals to emotion, the first and most effective political trick of the practiced demagogue.
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