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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Himes: Gun Proponents Have ‘Blood on Their Hands’

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U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (CT-4) today joined leading gun-safety advocate Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, Democratic leaders, and other proponents of gun safety in urging swift action on a bill to outlaw assault magazines.

WestportNow.com Image
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes addresses a gun control meeting in Westport on Monday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

At a Washington news conference, Himes said the argument that more Americans carrying guns “will make us safer is not founded in reality, facts or history. It is founded in the fantasy of testosterone-laden individuals who have blood on their hands for articulating that idea.”

Himes, who was in Westport Monday for a meeting discussing gun control at Christ & Holy Trinity Church, also supports reinstating the assault weapons ban and legislation to close loopholes that allow the purchase of a gun without a background check.

Here is the text of his remarks today: “Good morning, I’m Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut. We are a small state that lately has become large in the public imagination for all the wrong reasons. The Town of Newtown starts at the northern border of my district.

“We came together on Sunday, John and Joe and Rosa, myself and Chris with the Senators to be at that vigil where so many in the families were in the room for the first time collectively expressing their unimaginable emotion, and permeating the air with a question we can’t answer which is ‘Why?’

“It would be better if my friend and colleague, Chris Murphy, whose district Newtown lies in, were here today, but he’s in Newtown attending funerals. Today in Newtown we will bury Daniel Barden, 7 years old; Chase Kowalski, 7 years old; Caroline Previdi, 6 years old; Victoria Soto, a teacher who died shielding a child, 27 years old; and Charlotte Bacon, 6 years old.

“We can’t answer that question. But over time the urgency of that question has got to transform itself in the minds of every single American and certainly in the commitment of every single elected official to do all that we can to prevent what happened in Newtown from ever happening again. That is something that we cannot escape as a responsibility.

“We have talked a lot about the things that we need to do. There is absolutely no justification for weapons that were made for the explicit purpose of killing lots of people quickly to be in the hands of civilians. There is no logic for not having comprehensive and intelligent background checks.

“If six months from now we gather and we have done nothing, it won’t be because the arguments against doing something have been good. There are no arguments against doing something. And part of the point of our being here today is to ask not just our colleagues but the American people to join us in this effort.

“And there are no arguments against doing so, starting with the pernicious argument, most lately articulated by Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, this argument that more guns in a nation awash in guns will make us safer.

“The facts, the history, the data show that that is not true. A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a suicide or a murder than it is to be used in self-defense.

“A study by the Rand Corporation of trained officers of the law in a situation of an exchange ever gunfire, found that those officers hit their intended target less than two out of 10 times.

“So the notion that more Americans, quote-unquote, in the words of Governor Perry, ‘packing heat,’ will make us safer is not founded in reality, facts, or history. It is founded in the fantasy of testosterone-laden individuals who have blood on their hands for articulating that idea.

“We will not fail because there are good arguments standing against us; we will fail because of the inevitable drift of attention.

“And there are some questions apart from ‘why’ that need to be asked by all of us and by every American. We’ve got a big group up here, but we are a small fraction of the United States Congress.

“Why? Every one of us up here is a Democrat. Why? We’ve got to ask the American people to start asking that questions to their public officials and elected officials.

“And if six months from now we gather and we have drifted, I wonder what Daniel and Chase and Carolyn and Victoria and Charlotte would think of us if they were here to think of us.”

Posted 12/19 at 09:35 PM 

Comments:     Comment Policy

Himes has it wrong, I think.
The NRA and advocates of more folks carrying more guns are not the testosterone laden ones.  They are the ones who want you to THINK they are testosterone laden.

The REAL testosterone belongs to the politicians like Himes who have the balls to stand up and say that over the top “gun rights” advocates are responsible for underwriting the mayhem our schools have experienced of late.

Posted by Daniel Katz on December 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM | #

“Less than two out of 10 times” Comparatively, that is very bad I would say.  It seems like the government is looking at the wrong group of people to disarm.

Posted by Rick Spoon on December 20, 2012 at 01:48 PM | #

I am curious if there was anyone at that meeting who asked Congresswoman McCarthy if she thinks her husband and son would have been better off, if there had been someone on their train who could have stopped Colin Fergusson’s slaughter sooner.  The police are great, and WPD are the best.  After all, when seconds count, they are only minutes away.

Himes is disingenuous at best, when he says you are safer with no protection.  There are plenty of examples from both sides, which make that statement sound flat out stupid.  Close our eyes and whistle Mr. Himes?  Will that make the bad person go away?

If there is blood on anyone, it is on those who systematically deny others the ability to protect themselves and/or others – by any means necessary.

If we cannot protect our children (if that is the real goal) from inside their schools, then make sure that unwelcome people cannot get in there.  Yes, make schools a fortress.  Make them a safe place by making the building as secure as possible. Most kids think school is a prison anyway; oblige them.

If it is really all about guns, and anti-guns, or whatever, and not for the safety of children, well then none of this window dressing opportunistic garble really matters does it.  It is just another day with the lobbyists, and your self-interest groups; is it not Congressman?

Posted by Rick Spoon on December 20, 2012 at 02:39 PM | #

Himes is a hypocrite as he stands with armed State Troopers. I guess it’s okay for him to have armed securtiy, but not us.
So typical of the ruling class.

Posted by John Raho on December 20, 2012 at 05:24 PM | #

I’m with you, Mr. Katz.  The only reason citizens have military weapons is for their entertainment.  Enough!  And if we need to make a fortress of the schools, what about the churches, the trains, the movie theaters?  Where would we stop?  We need to, one day at a time, change our culture of violence, offer more sipport to people who suffer with mental illness, and get these assault weapons off the streets.  We have taken the second ammendment and allowed it to be used to protect people who want to have machine guns to play with.  It’s shameful.

Posted by Tracy Flood on December 20, 2012 at 06:50 PM | #

Do those who want to or have protected themselves and their homes with firearms have blood on their hands, too?

It is sad to hear this kind of talk by Rep. Himes, for it is the intellectual and emotional equivalent of name calling.  It is not problem solving.  One cannot help but wonder if he is pandering to what he thinks his electorate (or, judging from a couple of his remarks, his party leadership?) would like to hear?  Please, let’s have a more elevated discourse. 

We need to review information, and citation of studies, presented by all sides on the issue, not only by those who advocate stricter controls.  And, if anecdotal evidence is being submitted, then it can and should come from all people with varied points of view and experiences, and be given equal time in review.

Here’s a thought:  if in fact the problem lies not in point of sale, but point of (unwitting) transfer of firearm to an illegal owner—as it was in Newtown, and surely elsewhere—then that is an effective approach to seriously consider.  That is, if we are serious about taking a thoughtful approach to increased public safety.
And that, let us hope, is the true goal.

Posted by Judy Starr on December 20, 2012 at 06:57 PM | #

Thanks, Tracy.

Let’s remember, when we, or Mr. Obama or anyone else puts great store in tracking down and helping those with mental illness, that only SEVEN PERCENT of murders are committed by those who qualify as mentally ill.  Thus, 93% of all murders are by sane folks like you and me…so we are the ones who need to be governed in how we acquire weapons and what weapons we can acquire.

Lest I be categorized as anti gun, I say for the record that I have a gun carry permit in two states and have dozens, yes, dozens of guns…no semi automtics, however.

Posted by Daniel Katz on December 20, 2012 at 06:58 PM | #

Once more…

Assault weapons are already illegal to own in CT. 

The 2nd Amendment to our US Constitution, as well as Section 15 of our CT State Constitution do not protect anyone from playing with machine guns…they too are illegal.

But thank you for being so informed.

Posted by Rick Spoon on December 20, 2012 at 07:08 PM | #

Tracy, That is where these massacres are, schools, churches, malls, theaters all places deemed gun free zones. While your intentions are good, how exactly would it work?
How do you get the the guns from the criminals? They are not following the law now, what makes you think they will in the future?
You don’t have to make ‘fortresses’, but you must protect children at school and teachers. Unfortunately, and realistically, you have not done that.
What will?
Bullet proof glass at ground level windows or at least around doors, robust door locks, alarm systems that go off at the police station when security system is breached so no one must call 911 first, trained teachers who carry concealed weapons. I know it seems controversial, but these cowards who perpetrate these crimes prey in the innocent and vulnerable. Seeing a sign posted at the door saying, “Building secured by armed personnel”. This would be similar to our air marshals. Even Tiffany’s has a discreet armed guard. I think our children deserve the very least.
Trying to find a cure for mental illness or implementing some type of gun control doesn’t help our children today.
I want to keep them safe and secure so this NEVER happens again. That should be the goal and we should demand immediate results.

Posted by John Raho on December 20, 2012 at 07:16 PM | #

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