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There is no ambiguity in Connecticut's constitutional right to armed self-defense. The right is explicitly stated as an individual right rather than a collective right. It has no connection to military service. Residents of The Nutmeg State have enjoyed an individual right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) long before the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment that way in DC v Heller (2008).

Connecticut State Capitol Building, Hartford, CT
“Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself [or herself] and the state” ---- Article I, § 15, Connecticut State Constitution

In this diary, we begin a group Study Hall series focused on the right to armed self-defense as articulated in state constitutions. Some states copied the Second Amendment of the US Constitution ver batim. Some states have language similar to the Second Amendment. And in some states the individual right to armed self-defense is explicit. The Connecticut constitutional right to arms was copied from Louisiana Mississippi. Adopted in 1818, it has remained unchanged for 195 years.  

A Gun Law Study Hall - Sponsored by the Firearms Law and Policy Group


The Daily Kos Firearms Law and Policy group studies actions for reducing firearm deaths and injuries in a manner that is consistent with the current Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment. If you would like to write about firearms law please send us a Kosmail.

To see our list of original and republished diaries, go to the Firearms Law and Policy diary list. Click on the ♥ or the word "Follow" next to our group name to add our posts to your stream, and use the link next to the heart to send a message to the group if you have a question or would like to join.

Join us below the fold.

Sidebar: The primary source for this diary is a report commissioned by the state legislature in 2013, Report No. 2013-R-0195, entitled RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS UNDER THE CONNECTICUT CONSTITUTION. The report provides brief summaries of the right to bear arms as addressed in the Connecticut Appeals Courts and the State Supreme Court.

The Connecticut Office of Legislative Research is a non-partisan resource and research service for state legislators in the Connecticut General Assembly. All their reports are free and available to the public. It is an excellent resource for non-partisan research on firearms law and policy.

Introduction

The Connecticut legislature began major gun law reform in 1993. It was the height of the crack cocaine epidemic when cities in the state had soaring crime and high murder rates. They passed a law similar to the Brady Act that limited ownership of assault weapons and large capacity magazines. They required a permit for handguns and background checks for all gun purchases. During the past 20 years, Connecticut's gun laws and regulations have been challenged and upheld multiple times in state courts. Every time the legislature drafted or amended their gun laws they took their state constitutional right to keep and bear arms into consideration.

In recent years the Connecticut legislature has requested dozens of reports on various aspects of firearms law and policy. All of them are available online for free. For example, before they updated their law limiting high-capacity ammunition magazine they requested a review of other state laws that limit magazines.

Their commissioned reports on the seminal Supreme Court decisions are worth a careful read; Heller , 2008-R-0578; and McDonald, 2010-R-0314. In 2010, they specifically asked the Office of Legislative Research to review their assault weapons laws and magazine restrictions with respect to both decisions.


The Individual RKBA Under the Connecticut Constitution

This diary presents brief summaries of a few cases in which the right to bear arms was addressed in the Connecticut State Appeals Courts and the Connecticut State Supreme Court. Report No. 2013-R-0195 was written by Christopher Reinhart, the Chief Attorney at the Office of Legislative Research. Dated March 20, 2013, it was available to state legislators as they were drafting gun legislation and holding public hearings on proposed new gun laws last spring.

Generally, Connecticut courts have upheld reasonable restrictions on the Connecticut Constitution's right to bear arms. The cases in which restrictions or regulations have been allowed include those construing the state's authority to

(1) ban the sale of assault weapons,
(2) limit a person's right to carry a gun under permitting statutes, and
(3) limit the possession of guns by felons.

A Superior Court decided the oldest and latest cases in 1979 and 2011, respectively. The State Supreme Court decided two cases in 1988 and 1995.

- Report No. 2013-R-0195 [Lightly edited for readability].


Constitutional Restrictions on the Individual RKBA

In Connecticut state courts constitutional claims were analyzed using a two-step approach. This is the same approach taken in a majority of federal courts when they evaluate claims that gun laws violate the Second Amendment.

First, the Court asks a threshold question. Is the particular expression of the right to keep and bear arms a protected activity under the state constitution, Article I, § 15? If the answer is no, the inquiry is finished. If the answer is yes, the Court then evaluates the extent of the burden imposed on the constitutional right.

[In 1995 Benjamin v Bailey] The court found that the constitution protects each citizen's right to possess a weapon of reasonably sufficient firepower to be effective for self-defense but that it does not guarantee the right to possess any weapon of an individual's choosing for such use. Thus, the court held that as long as citizens have available to them some types of weapons that are adequate reasonably to vindicate the right to bear arms in self-defense, the state can prohibit the possession of others. The court next determined whether the weapons ban infringes on the constitutional right to bear arms. It concluded that the ban is not an infringement because it continues to permit access to a wide array of weapons.

According to the court, the facts as the trial court found them showed that assault weapons pose an increasing risk to society, including police officers and innocent victims. Thus, the ban serves a legitimate interest of the state acting pursuant to its police power. The court also noted the fact that the trial court specifically discredited testimony offered to establish that the weapons subject to the ban had legitimate self-defense qualities. Lastly, the court found that the ban does not cover a significant percentage of firearms that continue to be available for citizens to possess, thus, the ban is sufficiently circumscribed so as not to intrude upon the constitutional interests involved.

- Report No. 2013-R-0195 [my bold]

The bold text in the quote above is very similar to language in the majority Heller opinion.
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884).

[US Supreme Court Opinion - DC v Heller, my bold]


Discussion - Case Synopses and Holdings

What do you think?

Four cases are presented in the comments for further study and to get the discussion going. The holdings and legal reasoning are provided and each case is linked to the decision in Google Scholar.  Geeks like me can use the "How cited" feature to find recent cases that have cited them.

Please feel free to comment in reply to each opening comment, or to start new threads. Since this is a study hall diary, feel free to post naive questions or tear into these court decisions, explaining why you believe what you do. Teach the rest of us what you know and why you know it.

Connecticut State Supreme Court

Connecticut State Appeals Court

Source: RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS UNDER THE CONNECTICUT CONSTITUTION Report No. 2013-R-0195, dated March 20, 2013. Additional cases may be found therein.


Summary

This diary introduces important concepts in constitutional firearms law.

  • An explicit right to armed self defense has been in force in the state of Connecticut since 1818.
  • It is an individual right and is very similar to the core right defined in the Heller decision.
  • For the last 20 years, state courts have upheld most of Connecticut's gun laws as constitutional restrictions on the individual RKBA.
  • The new laws passed in 2013 have not yet been vetted in state court.

Since the Connecticut state legislature has a long history of vetting their gun laws with their state constitution and state court decisions in mind, I think the recent laws very well might survive their eventual review by the US Supreme Court.

This diary is intended as an introduction/foundation diary for the state constitutional right and the legal reasoning applied to evaluate constitutional claims in Connecticut state courts. The new laws passed in 2013 are complex and have not yet been vetted in Connecticut state court. I intend to write separately about those laws and the recent Federal Court decision rejecting constitutional challenges (Shrew v Malloy).

Originally posted to Firearms Law and Policy on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

Poll

Since 1993 Connecticut has some of the most strict gun laws in the nation. Will they pass muster when they eventually get to SCOTUS?

39%9 votes
8%2 votes
8%2 votes
30%7 votes
13%3 votes

| 23 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for unambiguous constitutional law (18+ / 0-)

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:01:11 AM PDT

  •  Benjamin v Bailey, 1995, CT Supreme Court (6+ / 0-)
    In Benjamin v. Bailey, the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the statutes that ban the sale, possession, and transfer of assault weapons.

    The plaintiff's first contention was that the statutory ban on assault weapons violates the constitutional right to bear arms and as such should be declared unconstitutional because it fails to satisfy strict scrutiny.

    By phrasing their argument in this way, the court found that the plaintiffs glossed over the crucial first step in the constitutional analysis. Before deciding the standard of judicial scrutiny to be applied, the court stated that there must first be an injury or infringement of a constitutional right. Only if the statute infringes on an interest in bearing arms that is protected by the state constitution, the court stated, would the court have to decide the level of justification the state would have to proffer to support such an infringement.

    The court found that the state constitution confers on a citizen the right to bear arms only “in defense of himself and the state.” Additionally, in State v. Bailey, the court stated that “it is beyond serious dispute that the legislature has the authority to place reasonable restrictions on a citizen's right to bear arms.”

    The court found that the constitution protects each citizen's right to possess a weapon of reasonably sufficient firepower to be effective for self-defense but that it does not guarantee the right to possess any weapon of an individual's choosing for such use. Thus, the court held that as long as citizens have available to them some types of weapons that are adequate reasonably to vindicate the right to bear arms in self-defense, the state can prohibit the possession of others. The court next determined whether the weapons ban infringes on the constitutional right to bear arms. It concluded that the ban is not an infringement because it continues to permit access to a wide array of weapons.

    According to the court, the facts as the trial court found them showed that assault weapons pose an increasing risk to society, including police officers and innocent victims. Thus, the ban serves a legitimate interest of the state acting pursuant to its police power. The court also noted the fact that the trial court specifically discredited testimony offered to establish that the weapons subject to the ban had legitimate self-defense qualities. Lastly, the court found that the ban does not cover a significant percentage of firearms that continue to be available for citizens to possess, thus, the ban is sufficiently circumscribed so as not to intrude upon the constitutional interests involved.

    Having decided that the statutory ban on assault weapons did not infringe on the constitutional right to bear arms, the court found it unnecessary to consider the plaintiffs' argument regarding the level of judicial scrutiny to be applied if an infringement existed.

    In a footnote, the court stated that it did not address a claim involving the right to bear arms in defense of the state and it did not consider whether a different analysis might apply to such a claim.

    For more information, see Office Legislative Research Report 95-R-1274.

    [Judicial Opinion: Benjamin v. Bailey, 234 Conn. 455 (1995)]




    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:03:33 AM PDT

  •  State v Bailey, 1988, CT State Supreme Court (3+ / 0-)
    The defendant was convicted of a number of crimes including carrying a pistol without a permit. The defendant argued the jury should have received an instruction that self-defense could be a defense to this charge. He argued that if the permitting statute prohibited carrying a gun in self-defense, it infringed the constitutional right to bear arms.

    The Supreme Court stated that the legislature can place reasonable restrictions on the right to bear arms. It stated that the permitting statute does not forbid people from carrying a pistol to protect themselves and placed reasonable limitations on that right. The court added that the statute permits carrying a pistol at home without a permit. The court stated, “Rather than leaving to the courts the troublesome task of deciding after the fact whether the person carrying the pistol was a “reasonable” person, however, the legislature has chosen instead to require licensing to preempt the possibility that unstable or irresponsible individuals may carry pistols.”

    The court concluded that the self-defense statutes can justify a person's use of force but they were not relevant to a case involving carrying a weapon rather than using one.

    [Judicial Opinion: State v. Bailey (1988)]

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:05:27 AM PDT

  •  State v Abraham, 2004, CT State Court of Appeals (5+ / 0-)
    This case involved a jury instruction on self-defense. The trial judge's instruction stated that the statutes prohibit a person from claiming self-defense when he or she used force after agreeing to engage in combat. The defendant argued that the instruction violated his constitutional right to carry a firearm in self-defense. The court stated that the right to bear arms is subject to reasonable regulation. It stated that the legislature defined the circumstances where a person would be justified in using physical force in the self-defense statute and the instruction did not violate the right to bear arms.

    [Judicial Opinion: State v. Abraham (2004)]

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:06:34 AM PDT

    •  This is a curious case (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, john07801, WakeUpNeo

      This is a curiously long and involved case.  You could do an entire diary on this case alone.

      It wasn't clear to me after reading the verdict (linked above) that the defendant Abraham was the one who agreed to combat.  Abraham was found to have brought a gun to the place where two other disputants and agreed to meet (presumably for the purpose of settling their differences i.e by combat).  When the fighting started, Abraham used his gun, apparently shooting the victim as the victim was running away.

      As such, it seems the defendant Abraham cannot claim he was shooting in self-defense, because Abraham was 1) not the person who agree to have a fight, and 2) shot the victim as the victim was disengaging and running from the fight.

      So I think the court decided this case fairly and correctly.

      I have to tip my hat to you LG - this is a well-researched and well-written diary.  Wonderful job, and thank you for presenting it to us.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:01:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  State v Banta, 1988, CT State Court of Appeals (3+ / 0-)
    In a case before the Connecticut Supreme Court's rulings in Benjamin and Bailey, the Appellate Court considered whether the statute that punishes possession of a pistol by a felon violated the right to bear arms. The court stated that the constitutional claim was not raised at trial and it declined to address it on appeal because a limited review of the record showed that the claim was not of true constitutional proportion. The court stated that even if it assumed that the constitution provided an individual right to possess a pistol, similar constitutional provisions in other states had been interpreted to be subject to reasonable limitations. The court stated that the defendant did not show that the statute at issue was unreasonable. The court also found no factual support in the record for the claim that the statute violated the right to possess a pistol for self-defense.

    [Judicial Opinion: State v. Banta (1988)]

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:09:00 AM PDT

  •  Good grief all rights come with restrictions (5+ / 0-)

    The right to bear arms for self defense is not  a carte blanche right for everybody to have a gun let alone any type of gun. Even the US supreme court has said the states have every right to put reasonable gun restrictions in place as was clearly stated in Heller. the most recent CT gun legislation is just such a reasonable restriction.

    Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.

    by jsfox on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:44:04 AM PDT

  •  Because Slavery! Derp Derp Derp nt (3+ / 0-)

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 09:54:41 AM PDT

    •  Let's see, threadjacking, DBAD... (2+ / 0-)

      Pick your reason for an HR.

      And here's a prediction.  I'll be told I need a 12 step program in 3, 2, 1...

      I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

      by coquiero on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:04:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreeing With Diary Is A "Threadjack?" (0+ / 0-)

        And there comes the usual anti-RKBA HRs under the guise of being the "niceness police" who go around being "outraged" on behalf of others.

        If someone is threadjacking and hoping to drag this into the right margin for the rest of the day, that would be you, in addition to HR abuse.

        Too bad for you, I have actual work to do.

        But if you want to claim that you are the one being bullied and HR'd, nothing is going to stop you.  If not you, someone probably will.

        Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

        by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:21:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think this was threadjacking (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankRose, annieli

        but rather mocking would be threadjackers.  

        I would have been no different than me saying

        Because FREEDUMZ!!!  Derp Derp Derp.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:23:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Alrighty. I didn't see it as agreeing with (3+ / 0-)

        diarist, but rather than let this devolve into a threadjack which is what I was trying to avoid, I'll remove my HR to avoid further discussion on the matter.

        I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

        by coquiero on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:35:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He could have taken a more traditional and less (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero, LilithGardener, WakeUpNeo

          Infantile approach, and either
          1. said so, or
          2. recommended the diary, instead he throws up a useless, baby phrase

          And blames you for not understanding him

          The HR made more sense than his comment

          Most of his comments today are at about the same level of comprehension, insults and advertising phraseology (I am so tired of adults as babies)

          Isn't it great he's back? another one to ignore, whilst he litters the landscape  

    •  Uprated for abuse (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bernardpliers, FrankRose, annieli

      I've seen that actual argument posted here on Daily Kos, and it's not trolling to remind the community that some of our less intelligent members believe it.

      •  If you can convince me (0+ / 0-)

        that this comment is intended to be an insult to the diarist, I will remove the uprate.

        •  See above (0+ / 0-)

          bernardpliers stated that he agrees with diary.  I'm not convinced the comment is an insult to the diarist or a clever attempt to threadjack here.  

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:32:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Especially For Connecticut (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, FrankRose, annieli

        Which was not a slave state, but had regional warfare during a 60 year period spanning through the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812.  So yes, people wanted and needed guns for reasons other than slave patrols.

        Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

        by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:35:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for clarifying nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bernardpliers

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:46:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  New York faced the same regional warfare (0+ / 0-)

          yet did not adopt any provision corresponding to the 2A.

          Why not?

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:14:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe Someone Knows, Or We May Never Know (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener, FrankRose

            We might never know unless someone described a debate   in their correspondence or at some official meeting.  A lot of things were poorly documented.  It may have hinged on the personal opinions of a couple of politicians.

            Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

            by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:31:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I believe they did (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bernardpliers

            I'm just not sure of what they were.  Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton for example had their famous duel in NJ, right over the river from NYC.  The reason was because Hamilton's son had been shot in a similar duel and he had pushed to make them illegal in NYC.  NJ had restrictions but they were not as vigorously enforced which is why typically men would sail across the Hudson to say Hackensack or Weekawken (where Burr-Hamilton duel took place) and duel there.  

            That was in 1804, so gun laws were already in place by then.  I'm just not sure what kind of laws and what kind of restrictions they imposed.  It could well be that these laws simply outlawed duels with guns.  

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:52:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, NY state never adopted any RKBA provision (0+ / 0-)

              It remains one of half a dozen states that have no state constitutional right of armed self defense.

              "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

              by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:46:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  CT history with guns (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener, annieli, WakeUpNeo

          I'm writing a thesis paper on a particular Battle at Compo Beach in Westport where Benedict Arnold (of all people) led a bunch of minutemen to victory over the British forces.  The British had landed at Compo Beach in Westport and made their way up to Danbury, CT to destroy an ammunition depot.  On the way back local forces who mustered up on a minute's notice (hence the name minutemen) attacked the British and fought a famous battle in Ridgefield before the British fled towards their ships in Westport.  The whole back the local minutemen kept ambushing them and firing at them from advantageous points, engaging in a guerrilla type hit and run warfare.  The British were confronted by Arnold at Compo Beach before they could get to their ships and suffered heavy losses totaling about 10% of their already diminished forces.  The British never again ventured inland into CT after that throughout the rest of the war.  

          CT has a long history with arms.  However, CT also recognizes that these arms are deadly weapons and we should have certain restrictions on them while not entirely giving up our right to own them.    

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:44:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Do you mean to say Connecticut copied (0+ / 0-)

      the language adopted by Louisiana because of slavery?

      Any thoughts on the court decisions and doctrines laid out in diary?

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:30:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ridiculing The Idea Actually (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, FrankRose, annieli

        Here's a diary I keep meaning to publish.   For New England, the Hudson River was a natural route to French controlled  Canada, and after the French lost the French and Indian War, English controlled Canada.  Also, there were American attacks on Quebec overland from Maine.

        Gun Control And America's First World War (1754-63)

        We had militias long before the Revolution because America was dragged into a world war of empires.   Like many proxy wars such as Vietnam, much of this was guerrilla warfare, with atrocities, massacres, torture, genocide, assassination, false flag attacks, and killings that took place during truce talks.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        The Seven Years' War was a world war that took place between 1754 and 1763 with the main conflict being in the seven-year period 1756–1763. It involved most of the great powers of the time and affected Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines. In the historiography of some countries, the war is alternatively named after combatants in the respective theatres: the French and Indian War (North America, 1754–63); Pomeranian War (with Sweden and Prussia, 1757–62); Third Carnatic War (on the Indian subcontinent, 1757–63); and Third Silesian War (with Prussia and Austria, 1756–63).
        There have been claims that the Second Amendment was passed to protect slave owners,

        http://truth-out.org/...

        and Tom Hartmann cites llaws that were passed during the French and Indian war. And that just amounts to a brazenly  specious argument that amounts to an anti-intellectual poke in the eye with a blunt stick.  It's as if he's stretching to make the dumbest and most dishonest argument possible.

        For  the colonists, their main worry was being sucked into the raging conflict between the French and English over the North American continent.  "The Last Of The Mohicans" was set in 1757, if that helps people focus on what was really happening during that era.

        Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

        by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:10:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very interesting historical perspective (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TRPChicago, WakeUpNeo

          and a great topic for a stand alone diary.

          Of the 13 original colonies, 4 included a right to arms in their state constitutions before the US constitution was written.

          1776 North Carolina:  That the people have a right to bear arms, for the defence of the State; and, as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

          1776 Pennsylvania:  That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination, to, and governed by, the civil power.

          1777 Vermont:  That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State -- and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

          1780 Massachusetts:  The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence.  And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:28:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Western PA Was Like Vietnam In French Indian War (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener, annieli

            It was an ugly genocidal conflict where all sides committed mass atrocities against civilians. Keep in mind that a large chunk south of Pgh was still officially "Virginia."

            Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

            by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 01:00:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The CT restrictions used to be considered (6+ / 0-)

    common sense, widely held ideals of gun ownership and responsibility.

    I will never understand what changes brought about the current "fringe has become the new middle" style of law making.  What societal forces brought that about?

    I think this comment epitomizes what I'm talking about.  What changed from the world of the commenter to the world of the Bundy ranch supporters?

    I wish we could go back to the world where the CT rulings were seen as reasonable regulations and not "gun grabber, big government overstep, trampling on the rights of innocent Americans" style of legislation.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:02:39 AM PDT

  •  the real problem is in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, WakeUpNeo

    practice, where gun crime violations are no different since the possession is not contingent on training or registration, and so while there are responsible gun owners CCW, NFA, FFL, there are gun crimes and accidents because of no operator regulations accompanying purchases with most gun crime performed by illegal owners or untrained operators. And with respect to post Newtown, magazine regulations are ridiculous in a state that takes less than three hours to drive through. OTOH, CCW violators like the idiot who lost his because he wore a t-shirt that didn't cover his gun when he went to his local bar and someone freaked out when they saw it.

    Connecticut Is A Safe Place…
    Connecticut overall is a fairly safe state to live in, compared to the United States as a whole. Firearm homicide rates are slightly below the national average (2.71 per 100,000,compared to 2.75 nationally), while aggravated assault and robbery with firearms are well below the national average (35 to 39 and 20 to 43, respectively).
    http://www.cahs.org/...

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:04:20 AM PDT

    •  That's 11% lower than the national average (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, WakeUpNeo
      magazine regulations are ridiculous in a state that takes less than three hours to drive through.
      Why do you think this?

      Would you make the same claim with respect to cities? e.g. "Because it's possible to drive through NYC in less than 2 hours there is no point in having magazine restrictions there."

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:21:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  with respect, I wouldn't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, WakeUpNeo

        not a good demographic comparison it takes 2 minutes to cross any of the five largest CT cities... NYC's gun regulations are quite strong as we know from all the celebrity cases. And tell me when the last shooting in NYC involved a 30+ round magazine used by a citizen

        Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

        by annieli on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:26:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I guess it's a good thing then (5+ / 0-)

        that all the neighboring states have tough regulations as well.

        That way a would be criminal will have to go 4-6 hours out of their way to buy a gun and drive and 4-6 hours back to commit a crime with that purchased out of state gun.

        I don't know too many criminals who will bother and the few that do are probably on some watch list already.  

        It's no coincidence that CT ranks at the bottom of gun related crimes while LA and AZ rank at the top.  Just look at the gun laws in those states to figure out why.    

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:29:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have a hypothesis that one of the reasons (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joy of Fishes, annieli, WakeUpNeo

          that VT, NH, and Maine have gun violence lower than the national average is that the strict laws in MA, CT, NY act as a buffer against gun trafficking into the state.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:48:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That would be one reason (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener, annieli, WakeUpNeo

            I think another is that the people in those states tend not to be wild west Wyatt Earp wannabes.  They've been hunting for generations and have a bit more respect for deadly weapons than the assholes in other parts who just think they look bad ass with a gun in their hand, until that gun goes off and blows their foot or head off.  There are alot of old time Yankees in CT who cling to their guns but for the most part many are decent law abiding citizens who know how to properly use and take care of them.  So that kind of stuff is just uncommon here.

            That said though there are STILL quite a bit of gun nuts in these parts who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near sharp objects let alone deadly weapons.  Nancy Lanza was one such nut.  She should have had her guns confiscated ages ago for being a fucking mentally deranged bat shit loon who though the world was gonna end and she needed to be prepared for it.  I've met a few of them.  One guy brandished a shot gun when I was working for the local Tax Assessor and went to his house as part of the town revaluation.  A real grizzly Adams anti-govt type who will be antagonistic towards the gov't at all costs, even if it means he'll likely lose his property for unpaid property taxes because it's overassessed as a result of him not letting me do my job.  Another guy actually admitted to me he had an arsenal to defend himself from the impending invading hordes from Bridgeport (IOW Blacks and Hispanics) when the economy collapsed.  Then in the next breath he admitted to also believing that aliens walked among us and he wanted to be prepared for that.  It's those types who we should be saying, 'ok you don't get to play with these anymore because you might hurt someone.'    

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:15:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A Hartford Courant survey on cases (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WakeUpNeo, LilithGardener

              Involving gun seizures from citizens who, as we say, "need a check up from the neck up" was rather chilling. These seizures are based on a CT law which allow the police to preemptively seize weapons from people displaying questionable mental health and threatening behavior. None of these citizens had two or three weapons. Thirty-seven seemed to be a popular number for them to own.

              If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? When I am only for myself, then what am "I"? And if not now, when?

              by betorah on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 08:32:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  More Brutal Than Norway (0+ / 0-)

        Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

        by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:15:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  what does it say about the 2nd amendment (7+ / 0-)

    That Connecticut looked at the US Constitution, decided that the 2nd amendment DID NOT provide this right, and therefore wrote a broader statement into the state constitution adopted in 1818. I think it makes it clear they knew that the individual right wasn't protected by the US 2nd amendment, as any reasonable reading of the militia provision proves.

    •  It really shows the weakness of "original intent" (5+ / 0-)

      arguments. It's clear that what the 2nd Amendment meant, or should mean, differed depending on which of the "founders" we're talking about. Obviously, CT wanted to make some distinction that they thought wasn't present or clear in the 2nd Amendment.

      I find it truly strange the people talk about the "intent of the founding fathers" as if they shared the exact same interpretation of the law, and shared the same reasons for supporting or opposing it. Heck, it assumes the all supported every provision that made it into the final document.

      Whenever someone brings up the intent of the founders, my first question is, "which ones?"

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:57:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very astute observation, tj nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:10:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe Afraid US Constitution Would Change (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe they said "Hey, we like that, we'd better put that in the state constitution in case the US Constitution changes some time in the future."  

      Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

      by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 01:03:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That report doesn't match reality (0+ / 0-)
    According to the court, the facts as the trial court found them showed that assault weapons pose an increasing risk to society, including police officers and innocent victims.
    Seriously? Here are facts on the ground...

    Looks like 'assault weapons' aren't as much of a problem as the propaganda declares.

    And then, you don't even see a typical rifle caliber until the ninth-most reported:

    So 'assault weapons' aren't showing up in the data, neither in the guns themselves nor in the typical bullet caliber. What about the types of situations in which guns are encountered?

    If guns are THAT much of an ongoing Defcon Zero Code Red issue, then the cops MUST be encountering people actively using guns, right? Well, actually, that's also a way that "artistic license" is used to massage the news stories.

    So it turns out that for every one time someone killed someone else with a gun, there were THIRTY times that a gun was seized without being used.

    Where are these things coming from, anyway? Surely good upstanding folk of connecticut aren't to blame? Wrong again.

    Well, if these evil things are being bought right there in connecticut, then SURELY they are being straw-purchased for immediate turnaround to the streets, right?
    Again - WRONG.

    Okay, so let's get this straight.
    So-called 'assault weapons' aren't the problem that people think.
    Guns themselves aren't as much of an actual problem for cops as they claim.
    The great majority of the crime where a gun is used, uses connecticut guns.
    And the average time period between a gun's purchase and someone using it in a crime is over a dozen years.

    What the hell? It almost seems like the nightly news is throwing the bloodiest most-sensational stories up onto the television in a media dance to achieve ratings. Oh, wait, maybe they are doing exactly that because news rooms DO have the basic laws of "If it bleeds, in leads"

    So, is there ANY part of what the nightly news shows us actually accurate? Well, yeah. There's this...

    It looks like people attack each other more in the denser-populated areas. Maybe the problem isn't the guns, maybe the problem is the conditions in those denser populated areas.

    Maybe happy prosperous people aren't all that interested in attacking others.

    And about congressional reports and 'facts' of the court - remember that once upon a time it was considered a fact of the court that blacks were mentally inferior. How'd that so-called 'fact' turn out? Right, it was not at all truthful because it didn't match up with unbiased reality at all. Much like that report's claim that "assault weapons" were an increasing danger to society. (eyeroll)

    •  Gun trace data in 2012 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rodentrancher, annieli, WakeUpNeo

      By all means publish a diary about gun trace data in Connecticut. If anything, your report might serve as data supporting Connecticut's decades of gun control.

      If you bother to RTFD, you'll see that is is about the constitutional RKBA in the state and about court decisions, when laws were challenged. Some of the decisions were more than 20 years ago, long before Heller.

      Do you have any thoughts about the subject of the diary?

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 02:33:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hate to tell you in the middle of your epic rant (5+ / 0-)

      BUT you see that green blob called Greenwich?

      Maybe happy prosperous people aren't all that interested in attacking others.
      Greenwich happens to be one of the wealthiest communities IN THE WORLD.  I'm not talking about in the area or CT or even in the US.  I'm talking about the whole world.  Median household income is $125,000 and that's because it's skewed down by the Byram section of Greenwich.  Outside of Byram the median household income is over $200,000.

      That other green blob with Brookfield?  Yeah not so poor either.  Median household income only $110,000.  Neither is the red blob New Fairfield.  Those slackers only make $101,000.  Parts of New Fairfield are downright rural too.  Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury are what you consider poorer more densely populated areas in CT.  Median household income in those dirt poor cities?  $41,000, $29,000, $39,000, $40,000.   A bit below the national median of $51,000 but not what you'd consider extremely poor.  (BTW median household income in Newtown is $108,000 and the median income in neighboring town of Weston is $275,000 which ranks it as #2 in the US).

      Also your rant really has no context.  CT already had some of the most restrictive laws on the books prior to Newtown so you wouldn't see too many assault weapons to begin with.  CT also doesn't have too many people killing other people with guns.  Newtown in one horiffic day had more gun related deaths than Danbury has had in several years and Danbury is the 7th biggest city in CT.  You're talking about a very low number of offenses.  How low?  In your chart it indicates that there were a total of 21 traces for firing a weapon.  TWENTY ONE in. a. whole. year.  There are more than that in one day in the other parts of the country.  So when you cry out that a gun was seized THIRTY times more without it being used you are only talking about 584 incidents.  That's in a whole year in a state with 3.6 million people.  There aren't straw purchases because again, tough laws.  

      Your whole rant sounds good but the fact is that CT never has had a large amount of gun related crimes.  We have always had tougher laws.  That's why Newtown with 26 murders in a matter of several minutes was so fucking shocking.  That. shit. just. does. not. happen. in. CT.  If you wanted to really make a comparison you would compare these charts with those of Louisiana to see what kind of effect more restrictive gun laws really have.  Otherwise your rant is about as effective as a fart in the wind.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 03:09:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the local perspective nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WakeUpNeo

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:38:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Money doesn't buy happiness. (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think happy prosperous people aren't all that interested in attacking others.

        The koch's are prosperous, but not happy.

        Bloomberg is prosperous, but not happy.

        Casino guy sheldon is prosperous, but apparently not happy.

        That hobby lobby family is prosperous, but not happy.

        That chik fil a company owner is prosperous, but not happy.

        Money doesn't buy happiness.

        Greenwich may well have more money than anyone else, but that doesn't mean they are happy. It also doesn't mean that the people who are attacking others are the ones with the money.

        Your point? Broken. Defeated. Trashed.

        •  Your point? (0+ / 0-)

          Just stirring shiite?

        •  If you don't think that (0+ / 0-)

          then why did you say this?

          Maybe happy prosperous people aren't all that interested in attacking others.
          Half the towns with most attacks were prosperous.  Kinda shoots that part of your rant to complete shit.  

          I also noticed that you COMPLETELY ignored the rest of my post.  

          Maybe because you know your rant is full of shit too.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 03:34:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Confuse the forest for the trees. (0+ / 0-)

            There may well be a healthy forest, with a third of the trees in survival mode due to water levels being low.

            See how that works? As a whole, the forest is "healthy". But when you examine the individual trees you find that there are many experiencing the stress of basic survival.

            Apply that to towns and cities. Manhattan is RICH, got LOTS AND LOTS of money. According to the way you are looking at it, then manhattan is healthy even though there are many MANY homeless malnourished families suffering various levels of victim danger. Danger of not having enough to eat to survive, danger of not having enough shelter to survive, danger of assault and rape and more.

            So, I say a damned THIRD TIME, enunciating the scale at which the perspective is intended....

            Maybe HAPPY... PROSPEROUS...  PEOPLE... aren't all that interested in attacking others.

            It's at the individual level, not the aggregate level of town-wide statistics.
            Money doesn't buy happiness, which is why both prosperity AND happiness is listed.

            What. The. Fuck. Why oh why am I surrounded by people who don't stop to read?

            And as for the rest of your post? I happen to think that prevention is more effective when it is focused on subtracting the motivation for violent actions rather than removal of the method. Take a cat as an example subject to illustrate the difference between the two methods... When you want to stop a cat from being violent, is it better to provide the cat a stipend of food/water/sunbeam or is it better to chop off the ends of the paw to take away the claws?

            The republican way is to tell the cat that it must be inferior and lazy because god hasn't bestowed riches of food/water/sunbeam upon it. The liberal way is to provide the food/water/sunbeam aid to the cat and to make sure the cat has an equal opportunity to get more. Connecticut has LONG been better at following the liberal way, which I think is why there is a lower overall level of violence among the individuals of the population.

            Too long? Didn't read? : CT has done better at preventing the violence through taking action on societal equality elements rather than through the typical conservative "Take it away from them and impose austerity-related gun control AWB" methods. But while the overall water level is down, it still there and still has puddles. And it is those puddles to which I point.

  •  Yet long before Heller & Louisiana's adoption.. (4+ / 0-)

    ..in 1818 was this:
    The Second Amendment’s History by Beverly Bandler

    James Madison was the author of the militia clause in the Constitution and the Second Amendment. What was Madison’s thinking and how do we know it? Are Madison’s words undebatable?
    [...]
    What was the purpose of the Second Amendment? Was it to address self defense? To save slavery? To pacify the delegates from the South who were resisting support of the Constitution at the 1787 Convention because of the slavery issue?
    The Second Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights. As passed by Congress, it read: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
    Few Americans know that there are two opposing views of the Second Amendment: the collective right model and the individual model. They are unaware that the first view prevailed for almost one hundred years, that it was not only widely accepted it was uncontroversial.
    The Right’s Second Amendment Fraud by Robert Parry

    How Fake 2nd Amendment History Kills by Robert Parry

    Thx LilithGardener for all the excellent research.

    I have to lean towards both Beverly Bandler and Robert Parry's interpretation

    •  You're welcome, and thanks for all the links (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, WakeUpNeo

      As I've been looking into this, I was surprised that only 4 states had a right to arms prior to the bill of rights.

      It's interesting to look at how different ideas came into vogue and then passed out of vogue. E.g. In the later half of the 19th century a dozen states explicitly excluded concealed carry from the constitutional RKBA.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:41:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, LilithGardener, for yet another of your (2+ / 0-)

    excellent and informative diaries.

  •  Well done, LG! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, Oh Mary Oh

    Your account of Connecticut's journey and conviction in this matter is inspiring.

    For the sake of us lesser humans, come on, tell us where you went for study material.

    This is a Study Hall, eh? @ LG and Sharon Wraight: how would you direct a person to do a similar investigation into his or her own state's gun-rights laws and history?

    THANK YOU x 1000, from a once-proud gunowner who is both disturbed and alarmed at what is happening in the name of gun rights.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________ It seems to me that we humans take turns being dummies.

    by reasonablegunsplz on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:27:07 AM PDT

    •  I expect that every legislature has a non-partisan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      legislative research office similar to Connecticut's.

      From the diary:

      Sidebar: The primary source for this diary is a report commissioned by the state legislature in 2013, Report No. 2013-R-0195, entitled RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS UNDER THE CONNECTICUT CONSTITUTION. The report provides brief summaries of the right to bear arms as addressed in the Connecticut Appeals Courts and the State Supreme Court.

      The Connecticut Office of Legislative Research is a non-partisan resource and research service for state legislators in the Connecticut General Assembly. All their reports are free and available to the public. It is an excellent resource for non-partisan research on firearms law and policy.

      This link goes to all of the Firearms Reports from the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research.

      They also have "backgrounder" reports, such as this one: STATE GUN LAWS AFTER HELLER AND MCDONALD

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:22:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The best single resource I know of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      is the Law Center for the Prevention of Gun Violence.

      They have summaries of gun laws in each state, summaries of federal laws, and more in depth articles about almost every type of gun law. You can search by state, by policy, by federal law.

      They also have a couple good articles on the Second Amendment and the Fifth Amendment (the takings clause). They publish a post-Heller litigation summary almost every month, and the keep track of ongoing state legislation.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:29:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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