Constitutional Debate At State Capitol On Gun Control In Post-Newtown World

by Categorized: Newtown, Sandy Hook Date:

Ever since public hearings began on gun control bills at the state Capitol this year, the issue mentioned the most has been the Second Amendment.

Numerous witnesses at public hearings – in front of legislative committees and special committees – have mentioned the amendment that was written centuries ago.

Robert Steed, a witness Tuesday at a hearing of the insurance committee, told lawmakers that the Second Amendment is only one sentence and 27 words. But politicians, he said, have chosen to \”rip it apart, dismantle it\’\’ as the debate continues.

\”How many ways can we dissect one sentence?\’\’ Steed asked the committee. \”The words \’shall not be infringed\’ mean exactly what they say.\’\’

He added, \”It takes courage to stand on Constitutional principle.\’\’

The 27 words are: \”A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.\’\’

The Second Amendment was upheld in 2008 in a famous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court by a 5 – 4 margin with the majority opinion written by longtime Justice Antonin Scalia. The ruling struck down the strict gun laws in Washington, D.C.

But Justice John Paul Stevens, in his dissent, said that gun rights are related to those in the military because of the opening phrase of \”a well regulated militia.\’\’ He added that Scalia had taken \”a strained and unpersuasive reading\’\’ of the amendment in his majority ruling.

Justice Stephen Breyer, known as a liberal on the court, agreed with Stevens, saying that the Founding Fathers had been talking about \”militia-related, not self-defense related, interests\’\’ by specifically mentioning a well-regulated militia.

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12 thoughts on “Constitutional Debate At State Capitol On Gun Control In Post-Newtown World

  1. Fake Thomas Jefferson

    Majority Leader of the Senate, Harry Reid affirmed today the 2nd Amendment when he scuttled the AWB legislation. He said this afternoon there are not even 40 votes in support of specific weapons bans. I thought I have been hearing how all of the polls are overwhelmingly in favor of such legislation. Looks like someone has been playing games with the poll numbers. I hope there is sanity in the CT legislature on this issue also especially in light of the revelation yesterday that the kid in Newtown was more than your average mental case and the gun he used was only a piece in the cog of his plans that included many contingencies.


    It was made public today the Gov. Malloys economic team offered BUSHMASTER Inc a multi million dollar offer to bring their gun making facilities here. What a hypocrite this govenor is. How many other facts are going to come out> Why wont Malloy wait until the police report is out to enact legislation? Whats he hiding? We found out just yesterday that the state police said Lanza looked for a “gun free zone” for his killing spree . You know those gun free zones Malloy and CAGV and Cts gun control lobby pushed for. We also learned that he should of been institutionalized years ago. What else is the state hiding?


    Throw that Quinnipiac poll in the trash where it belongs.Ive read it , its bull and completely biased. Every legitimate poll says banning the ar 15 is split 50/50 or so. And since when Does Malloy and his henchmen care about polls/ 80% of this state wanted the Death Penalty and they repealed it anyway. As far as Malloy denegrating Ted Cruz ,Malloy isnt even in his class. Cruz is a brillant Princeton and HArvard scholar and debater. Malloy cant read todays weather forcast without saying ummmmmmmm, ahhhhhhhh,duuuuuhhhhhhh,ummmmmmmmmm, huhhhhhhh, ummmmmmm, duhhhhhhh lol.


    Wow, just out today Malloy tried to bring BUSHMASTER inc here to Hartford with millions of dollars in economic incentives. What a hypocrite. What else is he hiding? Is this why he is rushing legislation before the police report is done? What other facts are being withheld from us? We just found out yesterday how absolutely INSANE Lanza was and people knew it for years and he still was free amoung us and not in an institution. Malloy and company wanted GUN FREE ZONES and it turned out LAnza sought them out intentional? What else is coming.

  5. Paul Edward Zukowski

    Should you not be quoting the majority instead citing minority? The Majority Opinion is actual ruling.

  6. Julie

    Heres a poll thats is not biased like the Quinnipiac poll. It has a huge sampling and shows the real results

  7. evil libertarian

    JPS added that Scalia had taken “a strained and unpersuasive reading” of the amendment, well john when you take the first 4 words out of context and disregard the remaining 23, you are straining and not reading what is very clearly stated.

    not to mention most state constitutions are even clearer, Connecticut’s version being article 1 section 15: Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.

    and a FYI for the liberals who will instinctively grasp at “well regulated”, in the late 18th century well regulated meant well equipped not controlled.

  8. Steve (CT)

    Mr. Keating, is your purpose in this blog post to point out how wrong Mr. Steed was in his testimony by giving quotes from the losing side of DC v Heller?

    Justice Stevens, in particular, ignored much of the historical research that had been submitted in an attempt to get the outcome he desired. Even noted liberal law professor Laurence Tribe had come around to the individual right view over 10 years ago.

  9. Harry Hoku

    The law is clearly on the side of those who wish to own firearms. No matter how you want to parcel the wording, the 2nd amendment give Americans the right to possess. I don’t think we should become upset over the rush to pass restrictive laws. They will be overturned at the Supreme Court.

    It is important to elect republican presidents so that conservatives will be nominated to the Court. So let’s get cracking for 2016. Let’s unite around a true conservative which excludes Jeb Bush and Chris Christi.

  10. Brian C. Duffy

    All current gun laws in D.C are constitutional post Heller:

    –universal registration of any firearm and ammo.
    — most semi auto rifles (incl AR-15) are banned and ineligible for registration–many semi auto pistols as well.
    —no permits to carry any loaded weapon in public.
    —firearms are to remain in private residences for home defense only.

    The NRA doesn’t bring up Heller and with good reason.

    The recent New York laws (and Colorado signed today) are all
    compliant with the Heller decision. All the proposed CT laws are in compliance as well.

    One may argue the wisdom of these gun laws, but not their constitutionality. No new gun control law in the U.S. since the 2008 Heller decision has been struck down.

  11. D

    Why do we all ignore the Connecticut Constitution? No ambiguity there, every citizen has the right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.

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