The event was well attended: Capitol police estimated the crowd at 3,000; those hosting the event, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL), placed the figure at 5,000. None of those present at the rally had been called upon by the General Assembly to offer testimony on the final bill, which itself was billed as an adequate and necessary response to a mass slaying at the Newtown Sandy Hook Elementary School. The final bill was passed without a public hearing by a legislature operating in the absence of information contained in a much too delayed criminal investigation.
The CCDL rally in Harford, four months in the making, was by any measure a success. The large crowd -- rallying around the U.S. and State Constitutions, the flag and what they consider misguided legislation -- were animated and goal directed: Their goal, of course, was to flush anti-constitutional demons from the building they faced and to prevent further legislative encroachments on liberties hard won by the architects of the American Republic. The statues of the founders of Connecticut looked down upon them from the heights of the building. Quotes from Jefferson and Madison adorned their signs. There were scores of women and children in the crowd -- and out of state participants from New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Mississippi, West Virginia, about a dozen states in total, according to CCDL organizers. Most of the speakers mentioned, in one way or another, the bountiful fruits of a politics of limits: Governments were not created to put men in chains, but rather to permit men and women to guard with their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor the God given fruits of liberty heralded in the founding documents.