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A different Memorial Day

The Lakeville Journal Co. Editorial

The tiny state of Connecticut has done something remarkable, something that no other state has tried: Create a coherent gun control law.

The constraints are few: You can walk around your own property with a gun. You can’t own an assault rifle unless you actually need one. You can only buy three handguns a month. You can’t own a ghost gun, an untraceable gun made from a kit bought online.

And now in Connecticut the legal age to buy a “long gun”—shotguns, rifles—will be raised to 21, in stark contrast to a state like Florida, where the legislature is in the process of lowering the long-gun age to 18, and also basically making it possible for anyone to carry guns anywhere, any time.

The story in today’s issue from our partners at CT Mirror gives the details of Connecticut’s latest effort. As Mark Pazniokas describes it: “The legislation would prohibit the open carry of firearms and further tighten restrictions on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines largely banned after the Sandy Hook school shooting. It would also target repeat gun offenders with dedicated court dockets, higher thresholds for bail and probation, and tougher penalties.”

Connecticut has been a leader in gun control legislation since the 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy. In December of that year, a 20-year-old man walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children.

Last year on Memorial Day, long-time Lakeville Journal publisher Janet Manko penned a passionate editorial just after the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre, in which 19 students and two teachers were killed.

She wrote: “Americans who value gun ownership more than the lives of children will be judged by history, whether such violence occurs on the streets in urban neighborhoods where most gun deaths of young people occur, or in classrooms in suburban and rural ones. If the United States cannot find a way to overcome its love for guns, it will continue to pay too high a price in the loss of innocent lives.”

This Memorial Day, we’ll add the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre, and other senseless episodes of gun violence, to our list of remembrances. There have already been 24 school shootings this year. There have been 168 since 2018.

Jessica Rekos (age 6), Olivia Engel (age 6), Avielle Richman (age 6), Jesse Lewis (age 6), Grace Audrey McDonnell (age 7), Noah Pozner (age 6), Ana Marquez-Greene (age 6), Emilie Parker (age 6), Charlotte Bacon (age 6), Catherine Hubbard (age 6), Josephine Gay (age 7), Daniel Barden (age 7), James Mattioli (age 6), Caroline Previdi (age 6), Allison Wyatt (age 6), Dylan Hockley (age 6), Madeleine Hsu (age 6), Chase Kowalski (age 7), Jack Pinto (age 6), Benjamin Wheeler (age 6), Victoria Soto (age 27), Lauren Rousseau (age 30), Dawn Hochsprung (age 47), Mary Sherlach (age 56), Rachel Davino (age 29), Anne Marie Murphy (age 52).

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