In the wake of last month's shootings at Newtown, the residents of west-central Connecticut have many needs: compassion, respect, privacy, understanding, cooperation and answers.
What they don't need is a gun show.
Thus it was a relief to see the police chief of
In revoking permits for such events, Chief Michael Gugliotti said, with justification, that he was concerned that firearms bought at shows in his city might later be used for the type of mass shooting that happened at
The promoter of the canceled event argued, as might be expected, that security would not be helped by stopping his firearms show. He said that vendors would have "turned away people who have mental health problems." How they can determine that was not explained.
Connecticut does require criminal background checks on all handgun sales, regardless of where they're sold, and on sales of long guns by licensed dealers. (Private sales are another story.) And police can revoke gun permits of anyone involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. But diagnosing mental illness requires expertise that a gun vendor is unlikely to have.
Waterbury is not alone in curtailing such exhibitions, given the grim circumstances. Scheduled events in White Plains, N.Y., and
As the renewed debate about gun control moves forward in Hartford,