The Connecticut Effect


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

In the weeks since the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the call for more action in controlling military style guns and large capacity magazines has increased, but as of yet, nothing concrete has been done on the national level.  In fact, the NRA was recently quoted as suggesting that nothing will be done, once the country gets over the “Connecticut Effect”!  “The National Rifle Association will wait until the “Connecticut effect” has subsided to resume its push to weaken the nation’s gun laws, according to a top NRA lobbyist speaking at the NRA’s Wisconsin State Convention this weekend.” Think Progress 

I did not realize that anyone ever could “get over” the shameful massacre of 20 small children along with 6 staff members of the school they attended.  Is this kind of statement from the NRA just hubris or is it indicative of a disgusting level of ambivalence to the violence wrought upon citizens when semi-automatic guns and large capacity magazines are allowed and allowed in the wrong hands?  I know we have discussed the gun control issue many times here, but when I read statements like the one quoted above from a Wisconsin NRA official, my head explodes.

The Think Progress article linked above also discussed further statements made by Wisconsin Lobbyist, Bob Welch, that indicate that he has little or no concern over the violence of that sad day in Newtown, but rather is sad that there has been a delay in the progress of the NRA’s agenda since the Newtown shootings.  “Welch went on to bemoan the fact that the public’s focus on Newtown was preventing the NRA from pushing such bills through the legislature, but his remarks soon turned to braggadocio about the NRA’s legislative influence. He relayed an anecdote about how, following the Connecticut shooting, a pro-gun Democrat in the legislature had mentioned his desire to close the gun show loophole. “And I said [to him], ‘no, we’re not going to do that,” Welch boasted. “And so far, nothing’s happened on that.”

WELCH: We have a strong agenda coming up for next year, but of course a lot of that’s going to be delayed as the “Connecticut effect” has to go through the process. […] What’s even more telling is the people who don’t like guns pretty much realize that they can’t do a thing unless they talk to us. After Connecticut I had one of the leading Democrats in the legislature—he was with us most of the time, not all the time—he came to me and said, “Bob, I got all these people in my caucus that really want to ban guns and do all this bad stuff, we gotta give them something. How about we close this gun show loophole? Wouldn’t that be good?” And I said, “no, we’re not going to do that.” And so far, nothing’s happened on that.”
Think Progress

I was glad to read that the NRA’s massive amounts of money donated to politicians may not have as large an impact on the election process that they claim.  “The answer is no, because once again, though the NRA may spend a good deal of money in total, it spreads that money to multiple races across the country. In the last four elections, the median NRA House independent expenditure has spent less than $10,000, and the median Senate IE only around $30,000 – numbers too small to have a real impact.

All right, but is the organization spending token amounts on a large group of friendly candidates, but putting its real weight behind a few high-profile races and producing results? Yet again, the answer is no. In the last four elections, the NRA spent over $100,000 on an IE in 22 separate Senate races. The group’s favored candidate won 10 times, and lost 12 times. This mediocre won-lost record, however, tells only part of the story. Let’s take one example, the largest IE the NRA conducted over this period. In 2010, they spent $1.5 million on the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race between Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak. Toomey won by 2 points, but could the NRA claim credit? Toomey’s campaign spent just under $17 million, over twice as much as Sestak’s $7.5 million. The NRA was one of a remarkable 62 outside groups that poured a total of over $28 million into the Pennsylvania race. Put another way, in the NRA’s single largest independent expenditure over this period, the group accounted for less than 3 percent of the money spent in the race.” Think Progress Justice

Maybe the NRA is spinning its wheels because the Newtown shootings finally tipped the scales of public opinion in favor of sane and reasonable gun control measures.  I, for one, would hope that is the case.  In light of the vast amounts of weapons being purchased since the shootings, and the continued violence, I am not so sure. The latest totals that I have seen show that at least 1822 people have died due to gun violence since the Newtown shootings in December of 2012!  Reader Supported News

Does the NRA really have a significant influence on the political process?  Will the Newtown shootings force Washington to do something about the gun violence in this country?  What do you think?  What do you think should be done?

159 thoughts on “The Connecticut Effect”

  1. No. We go to the Korean store for the kimchee, and we go to the Norwegian store for . . . nah, it’s not that easy.

  2. “kimchee or lutefisk, what kind of choice is that? Is that a Morton’s Fork or a Sophie’s Choice.”

    Well, I eat both. Not at the same time, though. I’m not quite that stoic.

  3. Porkchop:

    it doesnt sound like you need my advice in the romance department.

    kimchee or lutefisk, what kind of choice is that? Is that a Morton’s Fork or a Sophie’s Choice.

    “An article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer earlier this week reported that Seattle’s Norwegian community is in mourning this holiday season because for the first time in decades, not a single Seattle restaurant will offer lutefisk. The article quoted Kathleen Knudsen, editor of the Western Viking newspaper, as saying, “The Norwegian community is in a state of shock.””

  4. Bron:

    “Mike just doesn’t understand the soul of a Northern European. 🙂 ”

    Those things might work if my wife were a Northern European, or a European, or related to a European. For some unfathomable reason, though, she prefers kimchee over lutefisk.


    “Northern European men are far too stoic and self-centered to know how to be romantic.”

    Well, stoic, anyway.

    FYI, I got her a box of Hungarian chocolate truffles from Krön Chocolatier for Valentine’s day. Does that count?

    1. “FYI, I got her a box of Hungarian chocolate truffles from Krön Chocolatier for Valentine’s day. Does that count?”


      Perfect. Beats hell out of bringing her a flowering cacti.

  5. Mike,
    I have often thought that Jung was right. When my youngest daughter was only six years old, she announced she wanted to take music lessons, and most specifically wanted to learn to play the pipes. I asked her why the pipes. She replied, “Because when I hear the pipes it makes my heart beat.”

    From the mind of a six year old.

    1. OS,

      I’m not sure Jung had it completely right, but he went in the right direction. Since I’ve been a child not only was I moved by “Jewish” music on a deep emotional level, but also by Celtic music and its derivative bluegrass. Perhaps that’s why I had blonde hair and blue eyes. The “pipes” give me chills.

  6. I was half kidding. I did not see Wicked last night, but I have seen the damned thing twice because my wife loves musical theater and does a lot of volunteer work for the theater district here. Though I can’t stand the music for the most part, I have to admit that it is interesting to see something that complicated come together without a hitch. The only musicals I’ve enjoyed were The Producers and Spamalot (both because they were funny rather than having music I enjoy) and Chicago, whose music actually works for me. Sadly, the touring company didn’t have very strong vocalists. Looking forward to The Book of Mormon this year.

  7. Porkchop:

    Mike just doesnt understand the soul of a Northern European. 🙂

    He lives in the hot south.

    1. “My wife is a really great lady.”


      I am absolutely convinced of the truth of your statement above….since she lives with you.

      ‘Mike just doesnt understand the soul of a Northern European.’

      I’m Hungarian by pre-American origin and my former blond hair and current blue eyes attest to the fact that somewhere in my ancestry some of that hot Hungarian blood intermingled with my mid-Eastern roots. Northern European men are far too stoic and self-centered to know how to be romantic. Which only goes to show that your wife has overlooked those traits, to genuinely love you for who you are, despite your failings.

  8. Porkchop,

    Bron’s laundry list of romanticism for you I think represents the height of his facetiousness, or his wife is a very unusual woman. Nothing says “My love for you is but a roll in the hay” more than “I prefer buying from Frederick’s of Hollywood or Victoria’s Secret.” My experience is that women prefer to buy their own lingerie, but as a reward to you for treating her well, not as a present from you to because you got your hopes “up” for the evening.

  9. Porkchop:

    I saw Old Yeller when my children were between 8 and 12, about a dozen years ago. I teared up when he got shot. I am not sure I am sensitive enough to teach you, I was raised by Germans from the midwest. Although my grandmother was part French and lived with us.

    I have always been conflicted, I dont know when to kiss a$$ or kick a$$.

    I will try though.

    Cook dinner at least twice per month, this is a chance to show off your BBQ skills.
    Bring her flowers 3-4 times per year, flowering cacti are pretty cool.
    Do the dishes once a week, make sure you use disposable plates, cups and cutlery.
    Take her out to dinner once a week to your favorite steak house.
    Have a date at least once a month so you can watch the newest action flick.
    Buy her little knick knacks every couple of months and tell her you were just thinking of her and thought she would enjoy it. I prefer buying from Frederick’s of Hollywood or Victoria’s Secret.

    I hope that helps.

  10. Mike,
    I also loved Wicked when my wife and I saw it in Chicago. Les Mis was fantastic and this weekend we are seeing the Book of Mormon. I am looking forward to that one as well. I never say Fiddler on the stage, but I did enjoy the movie version.

    1. Raff,

      I would love to see Wicked and the Book of Mormon. My illness and living in Florida prevented both. but I’ll find a way. What I found interesting about Les Mis the movie, that if you remember I wrote about was that through film you could actually see the poverty, thus the anger of the people, which was so hard to depict on stage. The reverse was true with Fiddler, at least for Jews I think. Both sides of my grandparents were immigrants from “Stetl’s” in Eastern Europe. As a boy, their descriptions of life there and the process of immigration to America, were horrific. The “Stetl” in the Fiddler movie was perhaps to sterilized for the screen, with the exception of the pogrom shown.
      On stage the representational detail was by necessity stylized and so you could concentrate on the messages in the words and lyrics. As for the actual music, for a Jew of my era the melodies/instrumentation were nostalgic and transporting. I imagine this is true of any ethnicity that has a rich musical history, I know OS is deeply moved by the sounds of his ancestry, for instance.

  11. porkchop:

    “I finished both volumes of Democracy in America (a bit hard to chew, like a dry, broiled pork chop, in fact, and not at all kind in its assessment of Americans). ”


    I wouldn’t say that. I ‘d say that de Tocqueville holds a clear prism up to America. It’s just that his gcrystal was ground in the Bourbon Court. Thus even as he insightfully exposes our biases he equally reveals his own.

    The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance, a revolutionary crisis, or a battle.
    ~Alexis de Tocqueville

    That’s about right.

  12. “Personally, I prefer IPA’s to wine”


    Me, too. See we have lots in common. I’m trying to lay my hands on some Pliny the Elder right now.

  13. Bron —

    You have all the sensitivity that my wife says I lack. Perhaps I can improve myself in her eyes by learning from you.

    By the way, how frequently do you watch “Old Yeller”?

    I felt a tear welling up when I first saw it in the local theater in 1957, but I was only 6 and not considered fully responsible for controlling myself at the time, even by Scandinavian immigrant standards.

  14. Mike: That’s ok, I’m seeing Wicked for the third time tonight. And pugs are the manliest dogs.

  15. porkchop:

    I was giving Bob some hooey.

    I hope you dont mind that I sometimes cry at movies [I still cry when Old Yeller dies] and like Oklahoma. 🙂

    1. Bron,

      I never liked Oklahoma, but I adore South Pacific and Guys&Dolls. Les Miz is my alltime favorote though and I did see it on Broadway. The other favorite, as uou might guess is Fiddler on the Roof. Saw that 3 different times on Broadway. Every Channukkah my wife and I would take our daughters to see a Broadway Show. Tickets were too damn expensive to go more than once a year.

  16. Mike Spindell:

    I stereotype all the time. Dont you? Germans love sausage and are prone to being authoritarian. PhD’s are absent minded, etc. Doesnt it allow you to place people in various categories? Everyone I know who works with the disabled say that they worry about a quarter inch and I do.

    Of course there are always exceptions to rules.

    Stereotyping isnt necessarily a bad thing.

    “but then I do love Broadway Musicals, Judy Garland and I cry at movies.”

    And so do I. Although not having lived in New York I have to get my Rogers and Hammerstein on the TV.

    My uncle was the manliest man I ever met and he wore a bowtie. But I think he did that because a regular tie would hang down into a dog or cat’s guts during surgery. He didnt wear scrubs like they do now.

    1. : Porkchop,

      I KNOW Bron was being facetious,we go back aways here. I’m a tolerent type of guy, but Jason’s seeing Wicked for the Third time is suspicious, as are pugs. While I’ve owned dogs, I was mainly into Cats. Pull up a chair. I think you two guys will fit in well here because you’re fun and argue your case well. Also Mespo needs to have more people around who read the classics. I’m mostly into SciFi, Fantasy and violent melodrama. BTW I actually don’t drink much wine, more Tequila, or Mezcal when I can get it. Which is pretty manly in and of itself. 🙂

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