Connecticut lawmakers pass gun control law

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Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn and John McKinney, R-Fairfield, who represents Newtown

Connecticut lawmakers gave final approval early Thursday to a wide-ranging bill that includes sweeping new restrictions on weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, a response to last year’s deadly school shooting in Newtown that one lawmaker called “the nation’s worst nightmare.”

Following a total of more than 13 hours of respectful and at times somber debate, the House and the Senate voted in favor of the 139-page bill crafted by leaders from both major parties in the Democratic-controlled General Assembly…

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed the bill into law at noon in a ceremony at the state Capitol.

The December massacre, which reignited a national debate on gun control, set the stage for changes in the state that may have been impossible elsewhere: The governor, who personally informed parents that their children had been killed that day, championed the cause, and legislative leaders, keenly aware of the attention on the state, struck a bipartisan agreement they want to serve as a national model…

The bill passed 26-10 in the Senate and 105-44 in the House of Representatives. Both were bipartisan votes.

House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, who helped craft the bill, said he realizes [some] gun owners are unhappy with the bill, but he stressed that no one will lose their legally owned guns or magazines under the legislation.

We did our job. We did it together,” he said. “We did the best we could and I think we did a good thing.”

Another example why Connecticut retains the mantle of Constitution state. As one of the most democratic of the original 13 colonies, the state constitution served as the model for Thomas Jefferson crafting the United States Constitution.

Though a minority party in predominantly working class Connecticut, the state’s Republican Party hasn’t been captured by Tea Party nutballs. Religious and social crazies have migrated to the state GOP in numbers sufficient to skew primaries; but, then, that’s why they continue to lose representation at the federal level. Independents vote for Democrats in federal elections.

Still, the vote on this issue shows that bipartisanship on equal terms, with an eye to real needs voiced by the majority of the people in the state means a lot more than kissing NRA butt. Even in the Arsenal of America. Another Connecticut nickname.

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