New York passed one just last month, so why doesn’t the state that recently witnessed the tragic shooting of 20 children and six teachers–a story which seemed to grab the nation–have a comprehensive gun law yet?
This is not to say that discussion has not been happening in Connecticut, in fact, legislatures in the state have met daily since the incident to discuss the issue and debate how to best move forward and enact widely-accepted gun laws.
The New York Times suggests that the outcome in Connecticut is a familiar story in a state with a evenly divided legislature–everyone wants a voice and everyone wants to win. With a bipartisan legislature, the pace has been frustratingly slow.
More than that however, Connecticut created a mind-boggling system of “solving” the problem where a gun commission set up by the state governor conducts research and gives advice on the issue parallel to the advice and research given by a legislature task force. Raise your hand if that makes sense to you. Once we do that, let’s divide into smaller groups, then raise our hands again and see if the numbers change.
Many signs do point to the fact that a conclusion is in sight with the public still being enormously supportive of a new bill and recent talks have been rather conciliatory. State House speaker, Brendan Sharkey, is confident that an agreement will come soon enough. Sharkey told The New York Times, “I’m personally very confident that what we produce will give Connecticut the strongest gun safety legislation in the country when we’re done.”
It’s interesting, albeit perhaps predictable, how slow states have generally been in tackling the issue of gun control and tweaking or strengthening their state laws. Although public opinion at large seems to be largely united on many issues regarding gun control–a Wall Street Journal report recently found that support for gun control is higher throughout the United States than it has ever been–state legislatures do not seem as easily swayed by the fear of another mass killing.