Or Congress. Attorney Irving Pinsky filed suit last week against state taxpayers for $100 million to compensate a six-year-old girl who heard the massacre of her schoolmates over sandy Hook’s intercom system. Pinsky withdrew his claim on Monday in the face of vehement denunciations ( Attorney Dick Mehan’s comment that the suit “makes me ashamed to say I’m a trial lawyer” was one of the milder disapprobations tossed his way), but is his rush to capitalize on this tragedy different from others’?
The Greenwich Time has been “all Newtown, all the time” and selling advertising while weeping crocodile tears over the loss of human life.
The Newtown police union wants to add traumatic stress syndrome to the definition of occupational injury in its contract, and wasted no time demanding that expanded definition.
Our legislators, eager to avoid addressing a $1.2 billion budget deficit, have pledged to devote their efforts to “responding” to the shootings, regardless of whether their response is effective or not.
Lawmakers need to move quickly while the public is paying attention and willing to weigh in on proposed changes, said Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, soon to be House speaker.
State Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, and Rep. Bob Godfrey, D-Danbury, are calling for a package of changes to the state’s firearms and ammunition laws.
Their proposals include prohibiting the sale and possession of any rifle, shotgun or pistol magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds; expanding the definition of assault weapon; imposing a 50-cent sales tax on the sale of ammunition and firearms magazines; requiring a permit to purchase ammunition; and prohibiting online purchases of ammunition.
Most of these proposed laws will only affect and punish target shooters: limitations on bulk purchase of ammunition, online or otherwise and limiting magazine capacity to ten rounds; or will be useless – redefining the term “assault rifle”, a made-up description for guns that look scary; or merely to dig up a little revenue for that aforementioned budget deficit: a fifty-cent tax on ammo and firearm magazines. I certainly don’t pretend to know what demons possessed the Newtown shooter but I’m confident that once he determined to break laws banning possession of guns by a minor, theft, murder, assault, battery and violation of the school’s “gun-free zone”, paying an extra fifty-cents for ammunition wouldn’t have deterred him (besides, he stole the stuff from his mother, possibly to avoid paying even the ordinary 6.5% sales tax).
State Attorney General George Jepsen said in a statement Monday that while the families affected by the tragedy deserve a “thoughtful and deliberate examination” of the cause of the shooting, the claims commissioner “is not the appropriate venue.”
Jepsen’s right: the poor families do deserve a thoughtful and deliberate examination of the cause of the shooting (I’d start by looking under “evil” in the bible): nothing supplied so far by our local newspaper, our legislators or even (!) trial lawyers is furthering that goal.