The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is hosting a series called “Gun Law Listening Tours” around the Bay State. The theme, according to me, is “Guns and (Fill in the Blank).” The first one was held in Barnstable, MA, on Cape Cod on a Tuesday over the winter. The most recent one was on March 20, 2023 and held at Worcester State University.
The “Listening Tour” is very much like a pop-up store. You don’t know when or where it’s going to be, and if you’re lucky you’ve got 72 hours to let your group know when and where it’s being held. I found out on Friday, March 17th that one was upcoming on the following Monday. The ironic part of this is that Representative Michael Day, D-31st, made sure to tell everyone that this was a makeup event that was canceled due to a snowstorm in January. Welcome to New England.
Rep Day made it sound like they were scurrying around to find people to be on the panel and have a place to hold it. At the end, he said the next one is going to be on “ghost guns,” but he doesn’t have any further information. What we do know is that we won’t get much of a warning when it’ll be held.
The panel consisted of a pediatric surgeon, a chief of police, and three women who work with survivors of domestic violence (DV) at various groups in Worcester County. The panelist all shared stories about how they got into helping women and DV survivors. Two of them were survivors, with one of the ladies stating she had an intimate partner who threatened her life and the lives of her children at gunpoint. She also said he was a prohibited person and still was able to obtain a firearm illegally (I refused to call these guns ‘illegal guns’, because I’m sure it was manufactured by a reputable company that we’ve all heard of, and maybe own some of this company’s hardware as well).
After the panelists all spoke, they opened it up to the audience members. There were maybe 10 “red shirts” in front of us. I was with two people from Gun Owners Action League (GOAL), the director of education and the director of public policy. Also alongside me were four members of The DC Project (DCP), including the Massachusetts and Rhode Island representatives. I’m happy to say there were four others who also spoke out in support of the Second Amendment.
The red-shirted Moms Demand Action all laid out their usual nonsense. One said they don’t want to take guns away or make them hard to get, but they do want “common sense” gun control, storage requirements, magazine restrictions, live-fire training requirements, etc.
One of the men, who said he was part of the peace movement for years, stated that Mahatma Gandhi brought down the British Empire without firing a shot. He also said that when he goes to Florida he’s “in fear for his life because there’s no licenses for concealed carry in Florida.” At that moment, we all looked at each other in amazement asking each other if DeSantis signed “Constitutional Carry” while we were at the event (PS: he didn’t).
Each side had some emotional stories. One of the MDA ladies said she was in an abusive relationship with her husband and he was a gun owner. At one point during the marriage, they were fighting and he pulled out a gun and threatened her with it. She said she didn’t stand a chance to fight him physically because she was 110 pounds and he was twice her weight and size.
One of the DCP members talked about her mother being in an abusive relationship. Her mother was thrown down the stairs and she ended up having a miscarriage. But she also pointed out that as an instructor, she’s worked with several women who were in unhealthy relationships but felt empowered once they started training with firearms and in self-defense. She also pointed out that when a small petite woman has a firearm and knows how to use it, the gun is the great equalizer.
I did get up to speak as well. I wanted to talk about how the panel seemed mostly anti-gun and if they wanted to talk about guns and mental health or domestic violence, that there isn’t someone from the pro-gun side, which could make the panel more even. I also talked about the uptick I’ve seen in the last 2 months of women taking firearms courses to obtain their License To Carry (LTC). I pointed out that since they were talking about how these women need help, that the cost of taking a course, paying a license fee, buying a firearm, buying gear, ammo and targets, and joining a range (most ranges in MA are private sportsmen clubs), the cost on the low end is $800. It could easily be $1,000 or more, depending on the firearm purchased. This is very costly for anyone who lives in Massachusetts, let alone a mom who is trying to change her life and the lives of her children.
The evening ended after just over two hours of talking and listening. There were some eye rolls from us on the fertilizer they were spreading. As noted previously, the next listening tour is supposed to be on so-called “ghost guns”. Which I’m sure the panelist won’t know anything about, other than that “ghost guns are bad, mmkay.”
Typical Massachusetts political virtue signaling and shaming. How is it that they got a row of ‘Mom’s’ to be ready for the meeting but the real world had short term to find out about it? They really don’t want debate or discussion just headlines for political and woke gamesmanship!
I attended the “listening session” on the Cape. The first hour was a pontification session from the left leaning panelists. Questions from the audience forced them to admit hanging accounted for a higher percentage of suicides than firearms. One of the panelists was forced to admit that when the “RED FLAG” law is implemented they do not confiscate ropes, knives, drugs or hammers but only firearms. Why is that?, one audience member asked. The answer because that’s all the law allows us to confiscate. No one on the anti gun side seemed to even question the logic of that response.… Read more »
Having testified before the legislative sessions – prior to the pandemic – in the State House in Boston, seems to have not changed very much. Instead of focusing on CRIME or MENTAL ILLNESS, it always seems to wind up focusing on another set of laws that only us law abiding folks have to follow. Murder, rape, assaults, robbery are all serious crimes that somehow seem to be haphazardly enforced. All that means pass one more law, one more piece of bureaucratic red tap that the rest of us must follow when in fact we all know that the basic criminal… Read more »