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Opponents of Gun Legislation Flock to Ellicott City Hearing

The Howard County Delegation's public hearing was dedicated, almost entirely, to testimony about newly proposed gun laws.

There were plenty of new faces in the George Howard building Thursday night at the Howard County Delegation’s regular public hearing.

“This is the second time I’ve been in this building,” said Ellicott City resident John Canham.

He joined scores of others who did not attend to speak on legislation specific to Howard County, however. They filled the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building to speak out against proposed Senate Bill 281, legislation which would ban so-called “assault weapons,” and require fingerprinting for all handgun purchase.  

“The legislation is obtusely written,” Canham said after his testimony. “It’s unclear and it’s a violation of the gun owners protection act,” he said, referring to the Firearms Owners' Protection Act of 1986

Throughout the hearing, speakers made reference to SB 281 being a reaction to the shooting in Newtown, Conn. where, in December, 20 children and six adults were killed when police say 20-year-old Adam Lanza went on a shooting spree in Sandy Hook Middle School using a Bushmaster AR-15, one of the guns which would be banned under the new legislation. 

“I find SB 281 has many flaws,” David Mackavoy testified. “It is a knee-jerk reaction to the Newtown tragedy, and does nothing to prevent another tragedy.”

Emotions ran high Thursday night and most speakers were followed by applause from audience, which filled most of the Banneker Room. 

“I get emotional,” Travis Davidson said, excusing his cracked voice. “There’s a hidden agenda to confiscate our weapons … What really should be addressed is a bill to keep the federal government from taking our guns. That’s obvious.” 

“I think anyone who is a proponent of this bill is an enemy of the Constitution,” testified Jesse Roberts, who said he was a veteran who had fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

He and Del. Frank Turner, D-Howard, exchanged a brief back-and-forth as Turner noted that he, too, had many law enforcement professionals in his family. 

Roberts, who said he was a South Carolina resident who owned property in Howard County, made note of the police officers on patrol at the George Howard Building. 

How many police officers and armed guards are in the schools, he asked, “And how many cops are guarding this county building? I count four.”

Police officers were assigned to the meeting, according to Howard County Police spokesperson Mary Phelan, though “specific details, including the number of officers, are typically not released because they are security matters,” she said. The police presence was, she said, “Routine assignment.”

At a hearing in Annapolis Wednesday, one of those people, who spoke at Thursday’s hearing in Ellicott City said he waited five hours to sign up to speak in Annapolis. 

In Ellicott City Thursday, a few residents did testify on local legislation including two people who spoke in favor of HB 713, legislation that would allow state and local law enforcement agencies to confiscate property and money “ used or intended for use in connection with a violation of specified criminal statutes relating to human trafficking.” 

Brook Hubbard February 09, 2013 at 11:12 PM
As for your mention of Sandy Hook, do you know how many mass shootings were committed with "assault weapons" in the past decade? Five... out of 27. How many of those were committed with legally purchased and owned assault weapons? Three... and Sandy Hook was not one of them. Adam Lanza killed his mother and took her firearms; he did not legally own any of it.
Nicholas Aleshin February 10, 2013 at 02:59 AM
True, every Liberal, Progressive and Leftist is not the same, but they do have much in common, and this is what I highlighted in my earlier e-mails. What they hold in common is 1) little respect for the U.S. Constitution, which they consider an obstruction on their way to a highly-regulated society with fewer and fewer rights for the individual, and 2) an authoritarian "death wish." They may not know it, but the seeds of their destruction -- and everyone else's -- are included in their leftist political remedies to society's ills. The USSR and Nazi Germany were both creatures of leftism. Both were socialist, and both were murderous regimes that caused true suffering for hundreds of millions of people. I don't believe that every Liberal, Progressive, or a Leftist is out to consciously destroy the Constitution. I also wrote that many well-meaning (and naïve) people get sucked in by the sweet-sounding rhetoric (Lenin termed them "useful idiots"). Put a frog into boiling water and he jumps out. But put a frog into cold water and gradually turn up the heat, and you will boil him. Remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Brook Hubbard February 10, 2013 at 03:48 AM
You just said "true" then reiterated the same erroneous generalization I refuted. How does that counter any argument when you're still saying the same thing over and over again without proof? No, not every Liberal, Progressive, and Leftist is the same. Gandhi and Stalin are both "left wing". Are they the same? Benjamin Franklin and Ralph Nader are both "liberal". Are they the same? No, because each may fall at the same point on one sociopolitical axis, but they vary greatly on others. No, not every Liberal, Progressive, and Leftist has little respect for the U.S. Constitution. I just provided examples of how Liberal and Progressive ideas fight to give ~everyone~ rights, the opposite of working toward an authoritarian "death wish". How do things like the 19th Amendment and various Civil Rights Acts regulate society and remove individual rights?
Brook Hubbard February 10, 2013 at 03:50 AM
The USSR arose because Stalin, who was a Leftist-Authoritarian (the opposite of a Liberal) took the teachings of Marx and Lenin and perverted them for his own. It was not because Liberal ideas are the road to Hell. Are you saying Gandhi and the Dalai Lama's teachings are the seeds of destruction? The Nazi party, despite the moniker "Socialist", was anything but. Adolf Hitler's behavior was Moderate-to-Right and completely Authoritarian. Do you know who else leans to the Right? Pretty much every major president except for Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson. What I don't understand is, if you took PoliSci and Philo in grad school, why your generalization doesn't acknowledge these facts? What school did you graduate from where you would forgo all critical thought to make such blanket, unsupported generalizations?
Sanchez February 10, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Gun legislation always brings out the most ludicrous rhetoric and yet nobody provides a clear sensible reason why any civilian would not need to own an assault weapon if they so choose. "When the inevitable next Sandy Hook happens" Already HAS, TWICE! In Chicago so far this year alone. over 50 killed.

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