NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — A gun violence prevention discussion was held Tuesday night at Central Connecticut State University, led by students and attended by lawmakers.
The Lieutenant Governor, Susan Bysiewicz, said to a crowd at the forum that work has been done in the fight against gun violence in Connecticut, but there is still work in progress for lawmakers at the capitol.
Journalism students at CCSU hosted the panel and discussed a wide range of topics from actual gun control, to mental health services in the wake of tragedies like Sandy Hook. But, students say, they are adding to the conversation to make sure lawmakers hear them at the state level.
“Young people are leading the way.”– Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz/ (D) Connecticut
“There’s definitely room for improvement. There always can be. As far as nationwide, there are always more measures that can be taken. We were talking a lot about how there’s a lot more school shootings in general and it’s just really devastating.”– Angela Fortuna/ CCSU Student
Devastation these students with the Society of Professional Journalists hope to bring to the forefront of a national conversation on prevention measures.
Tyrek Maques was a victim of gun violence at only the age of six. He spoke candidly at the panel and added he hopes lawmakers consider victims when proposing new laws.
“The violence will never stop, it’s always going to be violence but the plan is to reduce it. We don’t want it so often.…I hope they make it harder for people to access guns.”– Tyrek Maquez/ Victim of Gun Violence
Plans to reduce tragedies like Sandy Hook and countless others are at the center of many lawmakers plans for 2020.
Like State Representative Jillian Gilchrest, who says her first bill of the year is a proposal to increase funds for gun violence prevention and reduction efforts in the state. Adding, she would propose a 35% exise tax on ammunition.
Students at the forum agree with her proposal.
“That is a big step in the right direction because you are now conflicting the people who thought it was so easy to now make it harder.”– Tyrek Maquez/ Victim of Gun Violence
The revenue from the taxes collected from that proposed bill would go to gun violence prevention measures.