Williams, Looney Turn Up Pressure For Passage Of Emergency Bill In Response To Newtown Massacre

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In a letter sent Friday, Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams and Majority Leader Martin Looney formalized comments that Williams had made Thursday in a Courant interview: They want the subcommittees of the Newtown legislative task force that they formed in mid-January to submit their recommendations by Tuesday, so that legislative leaders can “begin negotiations … at 3 p.m” that same day on provisions of a comprehensive emergency bill responding to the Dec. 14 school massacre.

The gun violence subcommittee of the task force is due to submit its long-awaited recommendations earlier Tuesday.

The two Democratic senators sent a letter to their fellow Democrats in charge of the House,  Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey and Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz – and to the minority leaders in both the Senate and House, Senate Republican Leader John McKinney and House Republican Leader Larry Cafero.  All six leaders – Williams, Looney, Sharkey, Aresimowicz, McKinney, and Cafero – are co-chairs of the 50-member bipartisan Newtown task force, and thus are equals.

But it is the two top Senate Democrats, Williams and Looney, who now are seeking to drive this legislative bus.

Williams and Looney wrote that when the task force was formed in January, “leaders from both parties pledged to work diligently toward the goal of taking action by the end of February,” which was Thursday. \”The deadline is here but unfortunately Connecticut is still waiting for results. The time to act is now…. We should vote on a bill no later than Wednesday, March 13th.”

They went on: “Since the tragedy in Newtown legislators from both parties have acknowledged that the eyes of the nation are on Connecticut. During the past six weeks legislators have spent many hours listening to public testimony, learning from experts, and sharing ideas. Ultimately our colleagues identified many common-sense solutions. Governor Malloy has also offered his own proposals.

“Other states – New York, Colorado, and Maryland – have taken action since the Newtown tragedy. In Connecticut, we must not bow to pressure from those who would delay action as a way of blocking common sense reforms. Please accept our invitation to meet on Tuesday to move forward with the strong and comprehensive measures to protect our children and communities.”

The Senate Democrats\’ tactic is unusual: It\’s one thing for the Democratic Senate leaders to address such a prodding letter, seeking to call the legislative tune and sounding like a partisan press release, to Republican leaders. But it\’s extraordinary for them to direct it at their Democratic counterparts in the House, Sharkey and Aresimowicz.

Williams has been expressing dissatisfaction with the pace of things, however, and Friday\’s letter is the apparent result.

In an interview Thursday, Williams had said “frankly, I’m losing patience,” and said the emergency bill should include an expanded and strengthened ban on assault weapons and a limitation on high-capacity ammunition magazines of 10 bullets or less.  It has been unclear whether bipartisan support is there for those proposals – which also would be accompanied by proposals to improve the state’s mental health system and beef up school security. But Williams said the assault weapons ban and the limitations on magazines should be approved, with or without Republicans’ support, this month. Democrats enjoy majorities of nearly 2 to 1 in both the state House and Senate.

Williams\’ growing impatience has put a noticeable distance between his approach and that of his Democratic counterpart in the House – Sharkey, the speaker.

Sharkey has been discussing the potential legislation in more moderate terms than the Senate leaders. He said this week that if bipartisan consensus can\’t be reached on provisions of the emergency bill that\’s to be passed in mid-March, he would set aside a day or two in May for House consideration of additional provisions that Democrats want to approve by the normal, non-emergency process.

But Williams,  with unusual bluntness in relation to a fellow Democratic leader, called that a bad idea:  \”For us to pass a weak bill, and then say that maybe we\’ll get around [in May] to doing the things that we should have done now … I think would be a disaster for the state of Connecticut.\”

Asked for a reaction to Williams\’ comment amd Friday\’s letter, Sharkey\’s staff spokesman, Larry Perosino, said that the speaker\’s position hadn\’t changed: He will only sign on to an emergency-certified bill with provisions approved by the bipartisan task force. \”Speaker Sharkey has been committed to the work of the bipartisan task force, and will only sign an e-certified bill that meets the consensus of the task force. And that consensus means there has to be some level of support from each caucus.\”

There are four legislative caucuses: House and Senate Democrats, and House and Senate Republicans. If some Republicans in the House and Senate support the emergency bill — not necessarily the majority of those Republicans, but at least some — then that would likely mean the bill get majority votes in each legislative chamber, presuming Democrats stay in line with their leaders.

The separation of Williams and Sharkey on the gun issue during the week was not lost on political observers. One veteran Democratic political operative noted that Looney, one of the Friday letter\’s co-authors, is co-chairman of the task force\’s key committee on gun violence — the one that probably  has irked Williams the most with the slowness of its deliberations. \”I find it interesting that Senator Looney is sending that letter, because he is in effect telling himself to get off the dime,\” the Democrat said.

Meanwhile, a prominent group of gun control activists in the state is calling on Sharkey to join with Williams and help break the deadlock on Malloy\’s gun proposals.

\”House Speaker Sharkey has been patient in trying to reach a consensus with the Task Force, but it is becoming apparent that a consensus on comprehensive reforms cannot be reached,\’\’ said Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

\”Too much time has passed.  The three-month anniversary of the Newtown incident is coming up on March 14,\’\’ he said. \”That date should be an absolute deadline for action in the form of a floor vote of the full membership on the Governor’s proposals.\”

Pinciaro said the eyes of the nation are on the state.

\”Speaker Sharkey must join with Senator Williams and Governor Malloy for action now,” he said.





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49 thoughts on “Williams, Looney Turn Up Pressure For Passage Of Emergency Bill In Response To Newtown Massacre

  1. sam

    This is just ridiculas, these people know that banning these rifles and magazines will do nothing to curb this type of atrosicity from happening again but they want to make sure that they hurry up and pass something before people come to their senses and realize this is not the fix to the problem. These politicians should be run out of office. This state is run by fools.

      1. Paul Edward Zukowski

        Some Semi auto shotguns and pistols are on the to be banned list right now.

      2. Kim

        Bill’s statement proves the lie of the liberals claim that ‘nobody is trying to take your guns’.

        This is the truth of the matter people. Then, when the guns are gone, you’ll be ripe for total government control of your lives. If you think buying a large soft drink is NYC is not such a big deal, wait until they come to take away one of the freedoms that YOU might cherish so much (like pizza). There will be no end to the dictates FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.

        And people like Bill will be on the panel that tells us all what’s best for us.

  2. Norm Scott

    So, we need to present the nation with a timely fashion statement? The vast majority of firearms related crime here, and in the rest of the nation, involve handguns. Adam Lanza, like the Virginia Tech mass murderer who used only handguns, could have committed the same-or worse-criminal acts also with only handguns. Why aren’t the Connecticut Legislature and the Governor considering legislation banning all handguns? All rifles types combined account for only a small percentage of violent crimes, after all. It would seem that appearing fashionable is more important than anything else to the Governor, Senator Williams, and Representative Looney.

    1. Kim

      handguns are next, Norm. It’s call ‘incrementalism’. The real goal is to completely gut and ban the second amendment, a piece at a time. Once a freedom is cut away, you never get it back.

      1. Connecticut is Dying Too

        This is a hallmark of liberalism. We can see it in the immigration debate as the liberal-controlled media now call illegal aliens “undocumented immigrants.” They try to brainwash the electorate into thinking that absorbing 11 million illegals is a good thing (other than solidifying more Democrat votes). Pathetic but true Kim.

        1. The Conn-servative

          You are correct except I believe the number of illegals is at least 25 million.

          1. johngaltwhereru


            They can probably extrapolate how many undocumented illegal aliens there are through prison records and unpaid emergency room visits.

            Illegals are one of the many reasons all income and property taxation should be immediately and permanently eliminated and replaced with a Federal Sales Tax.

            Let the free loaders, both legal and illegal, have a taste of paying for Big Government, and see what other “free” services they demand. In fact, if Government goes over budget in any given year, the sales tax should be increased to an amount that will cover that deficit, plus the next year’s spending proposals.

  3. Jim

    I was always told that doing something permanent based on emotion was ALWAYS the wrong thing to do. If you have to rely on emotion to get a decision through it is likely the incorrect thing to do. By short circuiting the process without thinking about the consequences, the legislators are demonstrating hat they are not acting for the people of Connecticut, they are acting for the national stage and their own personal fame. This is disgusting. Why is it a race to punish legal gun owners? Why isn’t the core issue of menatl illness not being addressed first and foremost? It is just pathetic that Dannel Malloy cracks his whip and these spineless legislators do their little dance of appeasement. Typical dictatorial response of Malloy’s puppets. Sorry to see the gun manufacturers leave the state too. I can’t blame them when their own state government casts them aside just for some camera time and some super liberal award.

  4. Paul Edward Zukowski

    The testimony at the hearings was 10 to 1 against these new laws being enacted. That is being ignored. I hope the conductors on the railroad train realize that seats may be safely in the hand of Democrats, it doesn’t mean its going to be them. Gun ownership cuts across party lines. There rumblings that will primary challenge for each of them on Sportsman’s lists by people who live in those districts.

  5. Stan

    This is a copy of what I sent to Looney.

    Subject: Facts On Murders in Connecticut From 1994 to 2011

    Maybe you should have some facts:

    In Connecticut’s Uniform Crime reports, from 1994 to 2011, there were 2138 Murders in the state. 361 were
    committed with a knife. 139 were beaten to death with bare hands or feet. 106 were killed with blunt
    objects. The total number of people murdered with a rifle were 36. If you factor in Sandy Hook your total
    number is 63 in 18 years. This is in a state with approximately 3.4 million people. That means the odds of you being murdered in the state of Connecticut with *ANY TYPE of RIFLE* is 1 in 971,500; the odds of being hit by
    lightning is 1 in 770,000. Think about that.

    It seems to me that you, and many in your party, do not really want to prevent another Sandy Hook but are
    using that tragedy to be reelected come the next election. Attempting to ban a firearm because of the way
    it looks is nothing but political pandering.

    Just so you have some idea about how long citizens of the USA have been using semiautomatic rifles like
    the Ar 15, the Ar 15 is a semiautomatic rifle and not an “assualt rifle” as some people think, the
    Remington Model 8 was being sold in 1906 to the public. The US military did not adopt a semiautomatic
    rifle until 1936. This rifle was the M1 Garand. The average citizen of the US was using a semiautomatic
    rifle 30 years before the military. Also, just so you know. The AR in AR 15 does not mean “assualt rifle”
    but it means Armalite. This was the company that developed the AR 15, designed by Eugene Stoner, in the
    late 1950’s.

    1. The Conn-servative

      Secular regressives like facts, but only when they are used to promote things they believe in. They would not even want to hear any of the facts presented in your argument: their opinion has already been decided according to Marxist ideology : confiscation

  6. Jack


    Rifles are not the issue. Reportedly, the shooter didn’t use all the loads in the magazines and changed them often. Large capacity magazines are not the issue either. Someone should replicate what the shooter did with a stopwatch and then change out to more smaller magazines – I bet the time differential is not substantial to shoot the same number of times.

    It’s MENTAL HEALTH – the grandmother who killed her two grandsons is yet another instance.

  7. Ralph

    AWWWW your loosing patience i’ve lost patience with all of you legislators for years now along with your ring leader Dan Malloy you should all be removed from office and on top of violating your oaths of office! Those who prefer safety over liberty deserve neither safety nor liberty/ Ben Franklin!!

  8. Jessie Hartman

    This rush to pass absurd laws that will do nothing TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM is disgusting. The fact that these puppets rush to deliver garbage before the emotional 3-month anniversary arrives is criminal.

    New York is on the verge of civil war due to these abusive restrictions. WHY? GOOD LORD WHY? DON’T YOU FOOLS SEE WHAT YOU’RE TRIGGERING? Are our legislators that stupid? Are they that blind?

    And what really pisses me off is there are more medicated Adam Lanza’s out there. There are more 47 year old medicated grandma’s out there. The blood of so many more innocents will be on the hands of these useless legislators so blinded by a fear of firearms.

    We do not forget traitors.

    1. sam

      Maybe everyone should ask for their resignation. If they are only representing a certain group and not all residents of this state theN maybe they need to step down and let someone take their place that wont be so be sided. They only seem to be representing the anti gun side. they should be listening to both sides of this but unfortunately it sounds like these two have already made up their minds even though their way will not decrease gun violence, it will only penalize the already “law abiding gun owners” and not the criminal element or mental wack jobs in our society.

      1. Kim

        I have begun seeing the wisdom of their ways. I have decided to hand in my weapons to my local police department. Sometimes when I get angry, I just want to cock and load if you know what I mean. Without having a gun by my door, I don’t have the option of using it while experiencing a moment of constipation and anger.

        My fellow gun owners, it’s about time we listen to reason. I don’t want to have the deaths of those little children on my conscience.

        Let’s all of us gun owners surprise the gun control movement and lay down our arms.

        Wouldn’t it be a beautiful thing?

        1. Kim

          Billy/rally/jimmyboggs is obviously using my name for this post. It shows the level of desperation in his attempts to force his twisted beliefs on the rest of us, that he has to resort to pretending to be me.

          Good for you jimmyboggs, you know you don’t have a chance under your own name. But imitation is the greatest form of flattery. You only WISH you could be me – so pretend away.

          Readers – I don’t have any problem using my own name. I’ll be happy to confirm or deny each post when asked. One thing you can be sure of: I am a libertarian through and through. Any message that contradicts that is from wannabe’s like jimmyboggs who can only PRETEND to my level of reason and intelligence

          1. Kim

            Rick Green, if you want to control something here’s a good place to start. I’m sure you would take an interest if users started calling themselves Rick Green. Hmmmmm, something worth considering……

            You would think that with all the censorship going on on these blogs, the Courant would at least make it impossible for someone else to use your name. The simple and obvious message would be: ‘this user name or login ID is already in use – please choose another’.

        2. Kim

          like I’ve claimed all along billyboy, you are a liar and a coward. A real, honest man would own his words instead of trying to claim they belong to someone else. This can only mean you are ashamed of yourself and your views – something we can agree on

          1. Kim

            Rick Green, in fact I demand that you get rid of this ignorant man who keeps imitating me. he is known under different iterations: jimmyboggs, peggy sue, carl solomon, rally, susan, carlos, the professor and now I think, harry hoku. There might be a few others I forgot. I am going to call you again and complain and demand that you stop this.

            Just because he is a liberal doesn’t give him the right to take over my online personality. All of you liberals are full of it.

          2. johngaltwhereru

            Kim and/or Billy,

            I know Billy is posting as Kim, but I thought the Professor, Carl Solomon and possibly Mike Robinson were the former “trollright”.

            Are those really all Billy the Art Pharaoh?

          3. johngaltwhereru

            If so, was Trollright also Billy? Because not only would that be disturbing, but very entertaining.

            If that is the case, I have a couple of apologies to retract.

          4. Connecticut is Dying Too

            Wow. If all these folks are Billy, I think we’ve all been, er, framed.

          5. Bill

            jongalt: No really, you are giving me far too much credit. trollright was/is professor and he is here but i’m not sure which one. Frankly, I think you are someone else at times. As in split personality?

          6. johngaltwhereru


            There have been 2 very short periods of time when I have deviated from my fantastic name.

            The first was during the Great Conservative Censorship of early 2012, when the moderator would not allow any post from johngaltwhereru, regardless of the topic or level of kindness. During that period, I used the names of other Rand characters, until the moderator caught on and disallowed those posts as well.

            The other time was just for a couple of days when I used a name that mocked Trollright for behaving like Sharpton the Ignorant Racist.

          7. Bill

            Do you remember when you were midas mulligan? That is when I thought you were… Well you are still the same. You sound sane one moment and spastic the next. But I do respect your reasoning ability.

            Remember when you admonished me to leave Kimmerian alone because he was a little topsey turvy?

            Yes, it is me this time, LOL.

          8. johngaltwhereru


            Once again, I do not remember warning you about anything pertaining to Kim.

            What was it regarding?

          9. Bill

            Hey Kim, what is your name? You know my name. What is your real name, coward?

            You are a little man, Kimmie. A real diminutive piece of work if I do say so myself.

            So what is your real name, Kimmarian, aka Patrick Henry, and any other false personalities. You are a joke with no punch line.

  9. Mike Leone

    But CT has an assault weapons ban already, it limits how a gun can look. The new proposed bills will only affect how guns can look. Guns will still be semi automatic, still chamber the same round and will still accomodate detachable magazines. So, how exactly will that make anyone safer??
    Schools are “gun free zones” How could this have happened in there?
    If the shooters mother would have had liability iinsurance on the guns how would that have prevented this?
    The police are there to protect us, why couldn’t they on that day?

  10. sam

    Maybe everyone should ask for their resignation. If they are only representing a certain group and not all residents of this state theN maybe they need to step down and let someone take their place that wont be so be sided. They only seem to be representing the anti gun side. they should be listening to both sides of this but unfortunately it sounds like these two have already made up their minds even though their way will not decrease gun violence, it will only penalize the already “law abiding gun owners” and not the criminal element or mental wack jobs in our society.

  11. Bill

    It’s time to return real discussion on the issues at hand. I would be happy if we could do the following. And I am suggesting a compromise.

    1) Outlaw all gun shows. I can’t believe that these shows have been allowed to exist in the first place. These shows are wild west stuff.

    2) One gun purchase per month. No one needs to buy more unless they are selling them on the side.

    3) Restrict magazines to 7 bullets. Sorry, there is no need absolutely no need for those huge magazines.

    4) Ban semi automatic rifles. You don’t need these machines to go out in the woods and take a deer down.

    5) ban semi automatic hand guns. Only law enforcement needs them.

    If we we’re to get these restrictions, I would be happy. And mor people would remain alive.

      1. Bill

        Kim, that is not very nice to say of me. You should retract it. But knowing you, your probably building a miniature mens room in your house just so you can practice your evening ritual.

    1. Kim

      Here’s my compromise – it would make me happy.

      1) Support all gun shows. If you don’t like them, don’t attend. Common sense should prevail and guns should not be sold to criminals.

      2) The buyer gets to decide how many and what types of guns to buy per month. And it can be based on desire only – no one else gets to determine their ‘need’ because it’s an individual choice.

      3) Leave magazine capacity alone. People need to protect themselves against multiple defenders. No one else gets to determine their ‘need’ – it’s an individual choice.

      4) Remove regulations against semi automatic rifles. The 2nd Amendment is about self defense, not hunting. No one else gets to determine their ‘need’ – it’s an individual choice.

      5) Improve semi automatic hand guns to make them more reliable. Buyers get to decide how many and what type they want. No one else gets to determine their ‘need’ – it’s an individual choice.

      6) Enforce the laws currently in place and stop coddling criminals, especially those who use guns to commit crimes.

      If the above were followed, I would be happy. And more people would remain alive and able to defend themselves against rapists, muggers, home invaders, and out of control authorities.

      More importantly, the spirit of the constitution would be upheld and our liberties strengthened. Freedom is what our forefathers fought and died to protect. That includes freedom from people who think they can dictate what you need or can own.

      1. Bill

        The point missed in your well thought out solution to this gun mess is that it doesn’t work. Period. The mere fact that guns are circulated in society means that some of them will reach the hands of an individual bent getting one and doing evil with it.

        Get real. But suggesting reality from someone who has had his head stuck in a toilet bowel all his life is not very practical now is it?v

  12. bob march

    The stumbling block is two things: 1st) the 2nd amendment — read the gov’t brief in the Us v. Miller case 1939 and figure out why … the 2nd) is CT’s CGS Chapter 14, our freedom of information act that requires hearings of proposed bills when bills deal with basic rights; e-cert it and the law would be struck down w/o much difficulty.

    NY’s law will be struck down due to not following a proper process in its passage. I say “go ahead and e-cert Williams and Sharkly” .. you should not be passing bills that you KNOW are in violation of our rights … that’s treason (especially when N. Korea, China, Russia would love us to shred our guns) …

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