The premise of Connecticut’s new gun control legislation is that crimes committed illegally with guns may be controlled by such measures as requiring once licit gun owners to register their guns. That premise is doubtful, to say the least.
Connecticut’s new gun control legislation felonizes the ownership of a gun that has not been reported to the state police. According to recent stories, the state is awash in new felons, none of whom have committed violent crimes with their weapons. Among the new felons are some who have failed to register their guns from inadvertence, others who have failed to register for reasons of principle, and still others who are determined to treat the new law in the same way as those who drive cars with expired licenses. This last group is willing to spin the roulette wheel, knowing in advance that they are not likely to commit crimes and so come to the notice of an arresting authority.
The number of gun owners in Connecticut who have not registered their guns within the time allotted by the new bill is astonishing. State police, a Hartford paper reported, had received nearly 50,000 applications for assault weapons certificates by the end of 2013, a figure that represents as little as 15 percent of those who own guns classified as “assault weapons” under the new law. The “assault weapons” classification itself has been questioned by gun groups. If an “assault weapon” is any weapon used in an assault, the list of prohibited weapons in the new bill is much too short.
Mr. Resto came by his prison title “The Razor” because his assault weapon of choice, when he wished to shake down a drug dealer, was an assault razor. But “The Razor,” once released from prison, easily managed to acquire a gun obtained illegally, as well as hollow nosed bullets, also illegal, to murder Ibraham Ghazal, a store keeper in Median. Mr. Resto, a graduate of prison czar Mike Lawlor’s Orwellian titled Earned Risk Reduction Credits program, agreed to a plea bargain in which five more years might have been added to his sentence of fifty three years because he had used an illegally acquired assault weapon to murder Mr. Ghazal – but the weapons charge was not a part of Mr. Resto’s plea agreement. It is unclear why or at whose insistence the weapons charge was dropped from the final agreement. It is highly curious, however, that a state seemingly interested in protecting its citizens from law abiding gun owners who have no intention of committing violent crimes should have dropped from a plea agreement a weapons charge that could have added five years to the sentence of a violent murderer. A plea agreement that did not expunge the weapons charge might have convinced some recently felonized gun owners that the state of Connecticut truly was interested in prosecuting the illegal, violent and criminal use of guns.
Violent criminals such as Mr. Resto – who burned his mattress while in prison and gave other indications that he was an incorrigible gang-banger upon whom Mr. Lawlor’s ill-conceived get out of jail early program would have no effect at all – can acquire banned weapons as easily as they acquired Mr. Lawlor’s UNEARNED Risk Reduction Credits, which were distributed retroactively to thousands of prisoners. Mr. Lawlor’s program was not vetted by relevant legislative committees. Instead, the former co-chair of the Judiciary Committee attached his program to an omnibus implementer bill at the end of a legislative session. Attempts by Republicans to exempt violent criminals from the program have been rebuffed by Mr. Malloy, Mr. Lawlor and Democratic leaders in the General Assembly, most of whom will be claiming implausibly during the upcoming elections that Republicans are waging a fictitious war on women. Mr. Lawlor’s program awards “Risk Reduction Credits” to violent criminals convicted of sexual assault in the first degree, assault on a pregnant woman, kidnapping in the first degree, and other violent crimes committed against women. For whom, it should be asked, do Mr. Lawlor’s credits reduce risks?
These are the festering lilies of the one-party state: A poorly constructed bill is smuggled through the General Assembly by an arrogant and unresponsive former co-chair of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee; Mr. Lawlor’s judiciary co-chair in the state senate, Andrew McDonald, is awarded a seat on Connecticut’s Supreme Court (Mr. Lawlor and Mr. McDonald, it may be recalled, were largely responsible for the passage of a bill abolishing Connecticut’s death penalty -- shortly after a mass murder in Cheshire and months before another mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School); productive Connecticut citizens are over taxed by a spendthrift Democratic dominated General Assembly after the first Democratic governor since William O’Neill declines to invite elected Republican leaders to a budget negotiation process conducted largely in secret by Mr. Malloy and tax hungry leaders of SEBAC, a politically connected union group; a criminal report that should have been made available in camera to legislators writing a bill on assault weapons is unaccountably delayed; Freedom of Information regulations are under unremitting attack. And what is done and left undone by Mr. Malloy’s administration, acting always in concert with other Malloyalists in the General Assembly, remains hidden behind an iron wall of secrecy and dissimulation.
A media alive to the baleful effects of the one-party state would allow none of this – ever, ever, ever. But Connecticut’s largely somnolent media awakens only when the Malloyalist Molotov cocktail penetrates their usually safe corner of the political barracks. And so Connecticut progresses ever forward, its progressive pennants flapping in the wind -- Detroit or Bust!