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Orlando Mass Shooting Rekindles Connecticut's Gun Debate

 Orlando Mass Shooting Rekindles Connecticut's Gun Debate

Hartford Courant, June 13, 2016
By Christine Dempsey

HARTFORD — The mass shooting Sunday in Orlando added fuel to Connecticut’s fiery debate over gun laws, prompting U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy on Monday to call on Congress to ban assault weapons and causing a Connecticut pro-gun group to denounce the disarming of citizens.

Fifty people died and 53 were injured in the attack at a packed gay bar called Pulse early Sunday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

After an appearance on FOX 61’s morning news, Murphy said Congress must no longer “sit on the sidelines” while dozens die in mass shootings. “Our assault weapons have become the weapon of choice for terrorists. Would-be terrorists aren’t sitting in their garages making bombs any longer. They’re just going down to the store and buying a perfectly legal weapon that has the capability to kill dozens of people in a very short period of time,” the Democrat said.

Allowing such attacks to happen produces “an unintentional, but important, message to would-be shooters that we don’t care,” he said. Connecticut tightened its assault weapon ban after 20 first graders and six school staff members died in the Sandy Hook massacre.

Connecticut Carry back to top

Also Monday, Connecticut Carry called the mass shooting in Orlando “horrible” and said the rampage reminds the organization of the importance of its mission to uphold the state constitution and the right to bear arms.

In a written statement Monday, the group noted that “residents of and visitors to Florida are restricted from defending themselves in an establishment that serves alcohol, the type of establishment that recently saw a massacre of innocent people in Orlando. Disarming people only enables this kind of bloodshed,” it said. “Disarming the peaceable does not prevent violence. In this case, it is apparent that a rogue law disarmed the good and innocent people having a nice night out at the club. This law denied their innate and basic human right to armed self-defense.”

“In contrast, that same law had zero apparent impact on the homicidal fanatic that decided to commit such an atrocity,” the organization said. “The only thing that will ever stop such a soulless and evil human being is a human being, or human beings, who have become resolute in their right to armed self-defense that then practice that right at the correct time.”

“The Orlando massacre showcases another example of how the Connecticut legislature is working to make Connecticut resident less safe under the guise of ‘public safety’,” Connecticut Carry said.

Asked about Connecticut Carry’s statement, Murphy said, “There is more gun violence in communities that have looser gun laws.”