Love and logic

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Photo by Chion Wolf for WNPR

Photo by Chion Wolf for WNPR

Don’t be surprised if the phrase that survives from today’s presidential speech in Hartford is one uttered by Sandy Hook mom Nicole Hockley. Hockley’s role as Obama’s introducer was a huge part of the day. Gun legislation in D.C. is stalled. Bringing anything to a up-or-down vote seems unlikely. The only people who can’t be blown off by the usual Washington games are the Newtown parents, who wield a moral force that defies the usual physics of the capital.

Hockley said the parents approached Connecticut legislators with “love and logic.” That’s a nice pairing, an antidote to the distrust and fanaticism we see right now. Obama liked it enough to repeat it in his speech, which was as notable for its energy as for its rhetoric.  This was was the public policy address sponsored by Red Bull. Obama took the stage at a run, like a linebacker coming out of the tunnel onto the playing field.  People who say he needs to kick it up a notch can’t complain about his fire in Hartford. His language was tough and visceral. “What’s more important, our children or an A grade from the gun lobby?” “Let’s make it a little harder for our kids to get gunned down?”

This was less a policy address and more like a rally, with Obama in his 2008 mode, using “change” so many times I lost count. Its purpose was to shame Congress into actually voting on the key gun control measures.  Nobody wants to vote “no” right now, with universal background checks pulling around

Nicole Hockley in Hartford. Photo for WNPR by Chion Wolf

Nicole Hockley in Hartford. Photo for WNPR by Chion Wolf

90 percent support across every imaginable cross-tab, including gun-owning households. Even the idea of limiting magazine size was favored 58-38 in last week’s Q-poll.

Some of the Newtown parents left with him, heading to D.C. to thaw the frozen river.

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29 thoughts on “Love and logic

  1. peter brush

    This was less a policy address and more like a rally…
    ————————
    That’s a shocker.

    I was allowed to park at my “community” garden down below UH. A nice woman wearing a garment referring to an “event” gave me the OK. Saw quite a few bumper stickers claiming that the passengers in the vehicles “are Newtown” who “choose love.”
    Frankly, I’m grateful I wasn’t invited to the event. Can’t stand to hear any more about the Fast and Furious killing of little Mexicans. And, enough already about Benghazi. At this point, what difference does it make that our historic haole President sat on his hands, did nothing? The way Barry O. keeps ranting on about the Fort Hood shooting borders on Islam-o-phobia.
    Obama is despicable. Choose Ted Cruz and springtime soil preparation.

    1. Todd Zaino

      @peter brush,

      Here’s what Ted Cruz had to say about latest attempt to further his agenda:

      “It is saddening to see the president today, once again, try to take advantage of this tragic murder to promote an agenda that will do nothing to stop violent crime, but will undermine the constitutional rights of all law-abiding Americans,” Cruz said in a statement. “I am committed to working with Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Jim Inhofe — and I hope many other colleagues — to use any procedural means necessary to protect those fundamental rights.”

      Cruz also blamed the Obama administration for contributing to the gun violence it is now attempting to address.

      “In any conversation about how to prevent future tragedies such as Sandy Hook, our focus should be on stopping criminals from obtaining guns,” Cruz said. “Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has failed to make this a priority — in 2010, out of more than 15,700 fugitives and felons who tried to illegally purchase a firearm, the Obama Justice Department prosecuted only 44. That is unacceptable.”

      Cruz has frequently criticized Obama’s campaign against gun violence as disingenuous and ineffectual, suggesting that the president has “exploited” the December shooting in Newtown, Conn., in order to build support for proposals that Cruz claims will do nothing to stop gun deaths.

  2. Jennifer Almquist

    Hi Colin,
    Thank you for your intelligent reporting and analysis of the issue of gun control. Some thoughts:
    1. The ownership of guns, unless you are a policeman or a member of the military represents a hobby. Gun owners are hobbyists and want protections for a leisure time activity.
    2. I believe that, however difficult it would be, that Congress needs to be shown the images of those killed in Sandy Hook before they vote on gun legislation. Not the sweet smiling images – the images that show the damage done by semi-assault weapons on the bodies of women and children. If you are a member of a jury in a criminal trial, you are required to view photos of the crime scene and the victims of said crime.
    3. For those in Congress that argue “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” ask why then do they want us to send arms to the insurgents in Syria, or any other hot spot. Let them fight with their hands, for heavens sake.
    4. The most operant phrase, to me, in the Second Amendment is “well-regulated.” It does NOT say self-regulated.
    5. While we all understand that no legislation will prevent crimes from taking place, sensible gun controls make a statement about who we are as a people, it has symbolic value and thus global implications.
    6. I believe that, much in the same way that prospective employers and college admissions offices have access to people’s Facebook posts, that rants and threats made on Facebook (and other social networks) should be included in the background checks of potential gun owners. From the rants that I see daily from gun-owning Facebook friends, I have learned the level of paranoia and anger is way beyond anything I have ever conceived of. This would have a two-fold effect – weed out the true crazies and lower the tone of nasty rhetoric from more reasonable gun owners who are simply venting or reflecting the propaganda of the NRA.
    7. Someone needs to analyze the link made in advertisements for guns and ammunition between sex and guns. Spend some time going to the virulent and anarchic gun supporting websites and ads in magazines and you begin to see a pattern. So often it is a big-busted babe toting an assault weapon. Much in the same way the “Joe Camel” campaign was ended as being too influential for teenagers and smoking, maybe regulating how guns are advertised would be possible. Violent computer games are one thing, but to give a lonely young man the impression that guns will “get him the girl” is very dangerous.

    1. Richard

      And your proposal to reduce suicides and urban crime? That’s the bulk of gun deaths a year. Suicides and domestic incidents are usually registered or legal guns; urban violence is usually the unregistered or illegaly obtained firearm.

      Convention booth babes are an industry joke. Would you like some silicon with that power drill? How about some peroxide to go along with that guitar? Maybe an exotic dancer to go with that new motorcycle?

    2. Bill

      Jennifer, I also mentioned to a few folks from Newtown about the photos. But this is up to the families. If the photos are shown to Congress, they may as well be shown to everyone since they would in all likelihood be leaked anyway.

  3. Todd Zaino

    Political currency all just for looks
    Nutmeg gun laws toughest on the books
    Liberals once again being lazy
    Loughner, Holmes, and Lanza all stupid crazy
    Silly laws ignored by politicians and crooks

    1. cmcenroe Post author

      Not that Todd’s sarcasm really deserves a response but …
      at the moment this story is being reported as 14 injured.
      And that’s part of the issue, right?
      It gets into that area of lethality.
      Are we more violent and suicidal or do we have more access to more lethal means?

  4. Jim

    Sorry, but I can’t listen to Obama when the day before 11 children were killed in Afghanistan by US forces. The Afghans love their children too, don’t they? Wonder how many died this week by drone strikes. The man’s a hypocrite of the highest order.

  5. peter brush

    Are we more violent and suicidal?
    ——————-
    That’s certainly the way it feels.

    1. Cynical Susan

      Have there been periods when people have been less violent and suicidal?

      I know of course that now, with the 24-7 news cycle, we hear about EVERYthing, and it seems like it’s never been so bad. Parents walk their kids to a bus stop that’s half a block away, and they didn’t when I was a school-kid, but supposedly things are no worse now, we’re just more aware.

      But is that true? Or have there really been more peaceful times?

  6. Alvis Shaw

    Hi Jennifer Almquist,

    I’ll be in Washington,DC Wednesday and Thursday and I will echo your words, Colin should come to New Haven and I will show him kids that have come through our program Guns Down Books Up! that have given up major assault weapons that did not come from a gun store or purchased legally.

  7. Todd Zaino

    32,000 Americans will die from firearms this year. That number represents 0.01% of our population…so basically 99.99% of Americans truly have nothing to worry about regarding guns. The liberals are promoting this story you’d think 32k people are dying daily! There are six other ways that Americans are far more likely to die from:

    1. Cars 36K per year
    2. Alcohol 100k per year
    3. Tobacco 450K per year
    4. Medical malpractice 98K per year
    5. Obesity 400k per year
    6. Government in the 20th century 260,000,000 people dies at the hands of the government.

    I hope Obama is planning on flying family members of the six above groups to DC and parade them around as well. Obama is using the Sandy Hook families…only the low-information crowd can’t see it. Nice talking about gun control-it takes Obama’s horrible economic numbers off of the front page.

    1. cmcenroe Post author

      OK, some high information.
      Your car number is high … or old. The gun and car numbers are nearly identical right now. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance the lines crossed some time in the last 12 months.
      And when I say “the lines crossed,” I mean we have done an awesome job in reducing car deaths which peaked in the 1970s at around 54,000 I believe. So we vastly reduced not only the gross number of car deaths but — even more dramatically — the rate, because there are far more drivers on the road now and far fewer car deaths. This happened through a lot of different initiatives, not just one.
      By contrast, in that same period, we’ve done nothing about the rate of gun deaths. It’s exactly the same. That means the gross number goes up every year, as population increases. That’s why the lines end up crossing.
      So you’re right.
      Guns and cars are a really interesting comparison.
      But not the way you think they are.

      1. peter brush

        Would that our pols had considered their new set of gun control laws in open hearings. The numbers could have been addressed by social science types called in to testify. I gather the Feds are about to push (tomorrow,Thursday) a new set of laws similarly without hearing. We haven’t even seen the proposed laws. I’m uncertain about the point of a Republican filibuster, but oppose the trend whereby piles of “comprehensive” laws are passed without public consideration, particularly when the laws implicate, if not violate, the Constitution. God Bless Ted Cruz.

  8. Todd Zaino

    The car deaths were a stat from 2010 Colin. It’s interesting to me that more Americans will die from a hammer and or clubs vs. a rifle. FBI stats in 2005 rifle deaths totaled 445, hammers and clubs 618. The FBI also tells us that Americans are twice as likely to die from hands and fists compared to rifles.

    It is estimated that 44 million American families have guns in the house-using those numbers there is a 1 in ten million chance a child will die because of a firearm. Yet American children have a 1 in 100,000 chance of dying in a swimming pool.

    Five things to remember about gun in America

    1. Gun free zones won’t keep bad people away.
    2. Criminals and lunatics don’t obey gun laws.
    3. There are 200-300 million guns in the US.
    4. Gun owners are not required to explain a “need” for a gun.
    5. Liberals are not fooling the adults in the room. Obama’s Hartford to DC dog and pony show was all for feel good warm and fuzzy low-information crowd. The whole “Do it for the children” BS is only fooling leftists.

    “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.”
    -Sigmund Freud

    1. cmcenroe Post author

      Todd, Freud never said or wrote that. Like so many things you post here, it is garbage you picked up somewhere else and never bothered to check.

      1. Richard

        A paraphrase of Freud’s “The representation of the penis as a weapon, cutting knife, dagger etc., is familiar to us from the anxiety dreams of abstinent women in particular and also lies at the root of numerous phobias in neurotic people”.

        Or better paraphrased in 1974′s Zardoz as “Chosen ones! The gun is good; the penis is evil.”

        Nothing beats Sean Connery in orange hot pants and pony tail.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbGVIdA3dx0

        Now go forth and multiply….your guns.

        I think that’s the definitive word. Screw Snopes.

      2. Cynical Susan

        I see Freud also thought that masturbation was harmful; and he supported the use of cocaine… for a while, anyway. Ah the good old days.

  9. peter brush

    Speaking of numbers; Jeff Cohen at WNPR reported on registration of guns and magazines here in Connecticut. A Bob Crook is quoted;

    “This is going to be a horrendous operation as far as the state police go, I can tell you that right now…I have no idea how they’re going to register close to a million magazines and I don’t know how many so-called assault weapons there are in the state. They’re going to turn it into the Department of Motor Vehicles.”
    http://www.yourpublicmedia.org/content/wnpr/implementing-new-gun-laws-waiting-new-paperwork

  10. Todd Zaino

    Liberals dream of an anti-gun bill
    Shamelessly using grieving parents at their will
    Leftists want this to linger
    Giving victims the finger
    Dems all too quiet about the mentally ill

    1. Richard

      Then there is the disabled group protesting the law as a violation of their civil rights. I haven’t thought it through completely because of the number of barely disabled people I know collecting SSDI but I’m thinking there is an issue there with homeowners truly unable to defend themselves who can win that point in court.

  11. peter brush

    reality
    ———
    It is an imposition. I looked, but just barely; like with the Louisville basket-baller’s leg-breaking.
    I’m thinking legislators in Chicago should consider laws limiting the size of sticks store guys can “carry.” Background checks, registration, license… worth consideration, as well.
    Kass is often entertaining. As he notes in the piece, his family ran Chicago stores when he was a kid. The problems there, and in all of our cities, are a lot deeper than cute, clever, clueless legislation can touch.
    —————————–
    My uncle didn’t want to kill anyone. The extortionists knew it and dragged him into the meat cooler. Only the pleading of a cashier from the neighborhood saved him. My uncle left the business and never returned. He later opened a place in the suburbs.

  12. Mark O'Brien

    Peter,

    I sympathize with the victims, families, and loved ones of every gun-related crime. And I, too, want the violence ended. But by treating this as an academic/legislative exercise — and by ignoring unintended consequences as such exercises unfailingly do (see “Care, Obama”), in de-clawing the chickens we’ll unwittingly sharpen the teeth of the foxes.

  13. Todd Zaino

    Nice to see our senior US Senator is being so darn classy and using the Sandy Hook tragedy to his advantage. He should be ashamed, but like most liberals…he has no shame. I wonder how liberals and Dick are going to walk this one back?

    From the New Haven Register:

    The issue took a disgusting political turn on Thursday, though, when U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., used Sandy Hook to raise money. The money is not for one of the relief funds set up to help victims’ families, or to fund mental health services, or to support autism research.

    “In the wake of the horror of the December 14, 2012, massacre of 20 beautiful children and 6 dedicated educators,” Blumenthal is asking supporters to send money to his 2016 re-election campaign!

    “As your senator, I will continue fighting for the rights of all the people, not the special interests. But I need your help,” Blumenthal wrote in an email to supporters Thursday morning. “Please contribute $5 now as the Senate debate continues on common-sense gun reform legislation this week.”

    I also wonder if anyone from the Courant is going to write anything about this?

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