Gun Control Advocates Looking For Momentum From Obama Speech; Concede It\’s An Uphill Battle In Washington, D.C.

by Categorized: Newtown, President Obama, Sandy Hook Date:

From today\’s Courant:

Momentum. That’s what gun-control advocates are hoping to capitalize on following a rousing speech Monday by President Obama at the University of Hartford as the battle for legislation heats up in Washington, D.C.

\"newtownNow that Connecticut has passed its landmark gun legislation last week, both Connecticut and federal officials are pivoting to increase the pressure on national leaders for federal universal background checks and other measures. They concede that it is an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate, where 60 votes are needed to break a filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced publicly that there are less than 40 votes in the Senate to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban, but that did not deter those in the crowd Monday.

Ron Pinciaro, the executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence for the past 11 years, said the presidential visit to Connecticut carries enormous weight.

“It\’s more than symbolic,” said Pinciaro, who was among the crowd of more than 3,000 who packed into the university gymnasium. “It gives us a chance at the national level. It\’s a tough fight, it\’s an uphill fight … but it shows that the president is really behind this. He wants this, and that bully pulpit thing is extremely important.”

While Pinciaro believes the best hopes for tighter restrictions on guns lies in statehouses and not in Congress, he said the Newtown families remain a powerful voice. He predicted their lobbying efforts in Washington will have an impact.

“The families are extremely important,” he said. “They\’re going to be in Washington, and they\’re going to spend some time there. They’re going to be there for a week, and they\’re going to be seeing legislators. I find it hard to believe legislators are going to be able to look them in the eye and say no.”

After Obama’s speech here, 12 family members of eight victims of the Newtown shooting rode in the motorcade to Bradley International Airport to fly with Obama aboard Air Force One to continue lobbying for federal legislation. They were joined by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy for the 48-minute ride back to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C.

At Bradley, the family members filed out of vans and walked together to greet Obama as he shook their hands. Obama then allowed the family members to board the plane first through the front stairs, and he was the last to board the plane, according to a pool reporter traveling on the plane.

While the subject matter Monday was solemn, the event at times had the trappings of a campaign rally – complete with standing ovations from the pro-Obama crowd and a woman yelling out loudly that she loved Obama. The 27-minute speech was interrupted by applause more than 40 times.

“I was totally energized,’’ said Rabbi Shaul Praver of Newtown. “I think the whole room was totally energized by President Obama’s speech. When 90 percent of the country wants something, the elected officials that represent us should vote it in. … The American revolution was started because of taxation without representation, and we want Congress to represent us.’’

Sandy Hook resident Monte Frank, who helped organize the recent bike trip for 26 riders to Washington, said, “I think it energized everyone here. I expect that Connecticut will pivot from the General Assembly to Congress to pass different laws.’’

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, one of the strongest proponents of gun control, said he is not sure how much impact Connecticut will have on senators like Rand Paul of Kentucky and other pro-gun advocates in Southern states like Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia.

“Realistically, I don’t know,’’ Looney said recently. “I’m hoping Connecticut can be a bipartisan model. The National Republican leadership is going to have to have a change of heart – Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader [Eric] Cantor. What our Republican legislators did here really is a model for the country.’’

In the same way, Pinciaro said that advocates are facing an uphill battle even if they can get a bill passed through the U.S. Senate.

“The calculus is even worse in the House,’’ Pinciaro said in an interview.

He added, “It’s very, very difficult right now. It’s very difficult to change the minds of people whose business is to not have their minds changed.’’

Courant staff writers Daniela Altimari and Jenny Wilson contributed to this report.

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27 thoughts on “Gun Control Advocates Looking For Momentum From Obama Speech; Concede It\’s An Uphill Battle In Washington, D.C.

  1. Jen

    Logically one has to question the 90% figure. If it was true this would be a done deal. You have to acknowlege that fact. All the cheerleading and campaigning changes nothing. It’s especially telling that the Dems can’t even get their own members on board.

    1. Joey


      Anyone with Common Sense would recognise this as a carnie selling snake oil.

      I hope others in Washington, D.C. will be diligent and demand proof of the 90% claim. Sad that the audience only hears all those feel good things that they want to hear

  2. Liberalism is a mental disorder

    This state has shifted so far to the left that Republicans would be considered Democrats in other states.

    If we don’t elect some real opposition and restore some balance in Hartford, we will be the next California.

    1. JaySmith

      My friends, its already much much worse than CA. As a former CA I can tell that many Democrats there would make conservative Republicans here. In CA you still don’t need a permit to own and shoot a handgun. In CT its been that way for years, just to enlight some of you to how bad our situation is here in CT.

  3. Stephen

    These “gun control” advocates want to ban all private gun ownership. They want a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. When they are asked a question such as, “What legislation has to pass for you to declare a victory on the issue of gun control?” They will say that they just want to make a small step at this time.

    Don’t let the gun control crowd get away with that answer. They want nothing short of a total ban on private gun ownership. Make them confess it in public.

    1. LBC

      I’m in favor of stricter gun control laws, but not a total ban. The idea of a total gun ban is only floated out there by gun lobbyists to inflame gun owners and muddy the debate, make it less reasonable. I think it’s quite reasonable to say every gun transaction MUST be registered and accompanied by a background check, I think the number of guns an individual can own should be limited so that they cannot easily stockpile an arsenal, I think clip size should be limited so that when LEGAL gun owners fly off the handle and decide to open fire on crowds, the damage will at least be limited.

      None of those demands are anything even CLOSE to an all-out confiscation or repeal of the second amendment. They are reasonable measures that respect the right to gun ownership but might also curb the potential for mass shootings.

      When has a thirty-round magazine EVER been necessary for a civilian in self-defense, anyway?

      1. Joey

        I would like to understand your reasoning.

        “I think the number of guns an individual can own should be limited”

        Most gun owners only have two hands. Some may be very tallented and can shoot two at once. Please don’t use the “Common Sense” argument that we only have two hands so we should only have two guns.
        Registration in England and Australlia preceded confiscation. I continually hear “This is just the first step” from the pro gun contol side. If people want the pro gun to come on board, how about disclosing step two, tree, four…

        Our legislature was able to draft and enact SB1160 with blazing speed. So disclosing step two, tree, four… will just clear up any fears anyone has.

        Step two: The act confiscation of any firearms, magazines and/or ammunition is a felony.

        No empty promises please.

        1. LBC

          The bottom line is that the will of the people will be done. Even if some individuals support a full ban and confiscation…and some do…I don’t feel that there is anything close to a majority who supports that approach.

          The pro-gun logic seems to be that NO gun control laws can be enacted because any step toward limitation is just the start of a full-on ban.

          I can only speak for myself, but I support limitation but not a full-on ban, and personally know dozens of people who think the same way.

          You anti-Obama, unlimited gun-rights people are definitely the ones that scare me the most, though. You all sound like you’re just looking for a reason to fly off the handle and start a civil war. I have no doubt that if any major legislation goes through, one of you millions of paranoid loons is going to excercise your precious freedom in a very public way, using one of your precious guns.

          1. Kim

            LBC: The Revolutionary War was kicked off when the British marched to confiscate weapons and gunpowder. If you and the government are afraid of us ‘unlimited gun-rights people’, that is as it should be.

      2. Betrayed Democrat

        LBC – the idea of a gun ban is put out there by more than the gun lobby. It’s also put out there by groups like CT Against Gun Violence’ Ron Pinciaro said after the vote that it’s time to move against handguns as well.

        You want to register guns? This can only mean that you agree with the confiscation of weapons from the citizens of New Orleans after Katrina, by the police. This act left them helpless in the face of lawlessness.

        You want to limit honest people from defending themselves against multiple threats by limiting magazine size as well.

        When you make it virtually impossible to use something, it is tantamount to total confiscation.

        1. CT Citizen

          I think we should lock up all responsible gun owners and confinscate all weapons. Except for people like Malloys son. Possesion cocaine,possesion pot with intent to sell.2 years probation. Attempted robbery of another drug dealer while on probation from the first arrest. 10yrs. suspended,5yrs probation ,priceless!

          1. Joey

            Hey, lighten up a little, It’s not Dan’s fault. He did the best he could raising this child and teaching the right values.

    2. CT Citizen

      Lets get this straight. The murders in Newtown were a tragedy! However, this B.S. from bloodsucker Blumenthal,King Malloy and the cockroach Chris Murphy has gone to far. They have done their best to keep themselves in the spot light while trying to extract every ounce of publicity possible. It amazes me how when this situation occured, the massive out pouring of help,materialy and financial came from around the country. I know in my local area,the Fire Dept. and other civic and public organazations raised thousands. Now these people and the parasite politicians are probably using some of these donations to lobby for laws against some of the law abiding gun owners who were generous enough to donate to the cause. Some one is even saying we should name a local school after one of the children who died saying he was a hero by trying to lead the others out of the building. Gee, I wonder where that info came from as none of it has been made publiic. We see the same parents daily in the news lobbying for more laws. Are these people ever going to be able to move on with their life, or just continue lobbying the parasite politicians to create more laws against law abiding citizens who donated to in an attempt to help. Maybe King Malloy can push a bill through so these people can become permanent lobbyists on the state payroll to go along with the generous donations from the public. If the Police officers and first responders in Newtown have suffered psycological damage,they should be releived of their weapons and duties until examined mentally, before they injure themselves or the public just like King Malloys proposal for the average gun owner.Yes,Newtown was a tragedy and the country agrees but how long are the parasites going to feed off this? Everybody is for reasonable laws like background checks etc. Let the first one be on the traitor Obama and the rest of the crooked government!

      1. Joey

        CT Citizen,

        Excellent point!

        “If the Police officers and first responders in Newtown have suffered psycological damage,they should be releived of their weapons and duties until examined mentally, before they injure themselves or the public”

        It seems like Common Sense should apply here.

  4. Fake Thomas Jefferson

    Party was over for the Anti 2A crowd last night. It will be a very different atmosphere in Washington where there is no support for any new legislation.

      1. Fake Thomas Jefferson

        Was not intending to demean defense of the Constitution. Was observing that the event last night looked like a party/rally and that they will not find the same greetings in Washington and that they will be diappointed in no new legislation.

  5. Joey

    Sorry Mr. President and Gov. Molloy, I reject any policy that creates legislation based on independant polls.

  6. sam

    This is a terrible injustice being done here to these grieving parents. The anti gun crowd / politicians are using these greiving parents to furhter their agenda. This is an agenda they were trying to push thru long before this happen in Newtown. Dont these politicians have any shame?

  7. justme

    how are any of the things Obama wants going to help eliminate gun violence? Then how are the recent gun laws in Connecticut going to eliminate gun violence. This entire gun campaign in s a joke while little discussion is taking place that will minimize gun violence.

    1. Scott

      minimizing gun violence was never part of the agenda. If it was they would have used the 500+ murders in Chicago to justify it before Sandy hook.

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