Back on 28JAN13, Bill Stevens delivered the following testimony (transcribed as best I could) to the public hearing of the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group of the Connecticut General Assembly:
My name is Bill Stevens; I live in Newtown.
My fifth-grade daughter was in "lockdown" on December 14th, 2012. Unfortunately, her classmate’s little sister was murdered in Sandy Hook that day when "lockdown" and 911 weren’t enough to protect her from an evil person; not protect her from an assault rifle or some type of inanimate object, but from an evil person. Quite different from the elaborate security you all enjoy here at the capitol – it was fun getting frisked on the way in.
I’m not here to cite crime statistics, lives saved with guns, or the economic impact of the proposed asinine legislation – some of these gun control bills you have proposed – I will, however, read from the Connecticut state constitution. Section 15 reads very clearly – we all know what the Second Amendment says – but Section 15 in the state constitution says very clearly "every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state." There’s no registration, there’s no permitting, there’s no background checks. It’s quite clear.
I’m frankly shocked by some of the testimony today. In case some here failed American History, there is something called a "Constitution" and a "Bill of Rights" and a process by which to amend it. The same goes for the state constitution. These rights are inalienable and endowed by our Creator – not you politicians – to all citizens regardless of gender, race, or creed. In order to limit the rights of individuals, there is something called "due process", and legislation is not "due process", so if you want to take my rights away, let’s go to court. And with regards to due process, the final report with all the facts on Sandy Hook will not likely be issued until this summer, which is stated clearly in the newspapers. How can any legislation be passed in good faith or good conscience without all the facts?
Again, gun ownership is a Constitutional right, but it’s not for everyone, and that’s ok, and shouldn’t make gun owners suspects regardless of how many guns they have or how much ammunition they may have. My guns are not dangerous; they are at home, locked up, collecting dust and cat hair.
But criminals and tyrants – tyrants, especially – beware: "lockdown" is not an option at the Stevens residence, and 911 will be dialed after the security of my home has been established. Why is that same security my daughter enjoys at home with her dad not available at school in Newtown? That is what you should be considering, not making her dad a criminal.
Charlton Heston made the phrase "from my cold, dead hands" famous. I will tell you here today you will take my ability to protect my Victoria from my cold, dead hands.
*Slams the table. Walks away like a boss.*
Wow. What he said.
I love how he pointed out that we seem to value the lives of politicians more than the lives of our children. I love how he did not bother with the statistics of the conversation, but instead stuck to Tam’s core message of, "Where the hell do you get off thinking you can tell me I can’t own a gun? I don’t care if every other gun owner on the planet went out and murdered somebody last night. I didn’t. So piss off." I love how he notes that passing laws which force people to choose between their rights or remaining a "law-abiding citizen" is not the process upon which this country was founded. I love how he observes that states, and even the country as a whole, are considering draconian legislation in response to the Sandy Hook shooting without actually knowing most of the facts of that shooting.
And I love how Mr. Stevens’ testimony has received functionally no coverage in the mainstream media whatsoever.
The reason why not should be obvious to anyone familiar with the ongoing "gun control" debate – his words simply do not meet with the standard, anti-rights narrative. Here is a man who had a child at [update] a school near [/update] Sandy Hook Elementary when the murderer was running loose within its halls; by all rights, at least according to anti-rights cultists, he should be positively screaming for additional "gun control". And, you and I both know that were he to do so, his name and face would be plastered all over all of the major news organizations. But he did not, and he is not; instead, he is relying on the very antithesis of the motivations behind "gun control" – logic, reason, and respect for basic human rights.
So now it is incumbent upon us to ensure this father’s stirring, if a bit strident, testimony gets the exposure it deserves. Spread the word, and show that not all "gun violence victims" would disarm all on account of the actions of a few.
[Update] Due to my misinterpreting Mr. Stevens’ testimony, I posted that his daughter attended Sandy Hook Elementary. This is incorrect. She attended Reed Intermediate School, a few miles down the road, but did know one of the girls murdered at Sandy Hook. I apologize for the error. [/Update]