The bleeding hearts are shocked to find out that their own policies of going soft on violent criminals allows these violent criminals to commit as many violent crimes as they want

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 20, 2023

I’m going to start out with this obligatory scene from Casablanca:

This article is from the Hartford Courant. The study that is cited in the article is new, but its basic premise is something that I have been saying for a very long time: a relatively small percentage of violent criminals are responsible for most of the violent crime. District attorneys and judges who refuse to properly punish these violent criminals make it possible for them to commit as many violent crimes as they want.

Passing more gun control laws won’t stop these violent criminals from getting illegal guns and committing more violent crimes.

The only thing that will stop these criminals from getting guns and committing more violent crimes is to keep them in prison for a very, very long time.

CT mayors wrestle with what data show is at root of gun violence: Chronic repeat offenders

By Edmund H. Mahony

February 20, 2023

Over a career spent comforting victims of violent crime, Andrew Woods, executive director of Hartford Communities that Care, said there is a complaint he has heard over and over.

“As an individual and an organization that has provided victim services for 25 years, we have heard far too often from mothers and dads and siblings in our community asking the big question: Why are they home so soon?” he said.

The “they” to whom Woods referred to are the violent, repeat felons responsible for a three-year spike in urban gun crime in Connecticut and who, in the view of Woods’ clients and urban police departments, exploit weaknesses in bail, sentencing and parole laws to stay on the streets and terrorize neighborhoods.

Last week at the state Capitol, Woods joined Connecticut’s big city mayors, who departed from the new decriminalization orthodoxy to push a package of proposed laws that would enhance bail and sentencing laws as they apply to repeat gun criminals. They backed up the legislative pitch with a startling statistical analysis of gun crimes that shows most gun criminals are chronic reoffenders who are committing second and third offenses while released on bail or probation.

The mayors, all Democrats, arrived with the statistics and an array of inner city supporters, including mothers with emotional stories about murdered children. But it was unclear what reception their proposals would get from the Democratic-controlled legislature, where recent gun proposals trend more toward limiting gun access than prosecution. There was some support for the proposals from Republicans.

The gun criminals are, according to the numbers, a relatively small, violent group with felony records. They commit a significant percentage of urban gun crimes while free on bond and awaiting trial on other crimes, or while on parole or probation after prior convictions and prison sentences, data shows.

The analysis is based on arrest records collected by the Hartford and Waterbury police departments and was prepared by the Chief State’s Attorney’s office. The data shows the number of arrests in Waterbury is slightly less than in Hartford, but the percentages track.

In Hartford, shooting suspects had long criminal records; half those arrested over the last three years had been arrested in the city for something else within the prior year and one half. On average, they had 10 prior arrests, three for felonies. Most are men (95%), 18- to 34-years-old (70%).

Hartford data drawn from 345 gun violence incidents between January 2019 and March 2021 shows that 85% of the suspects arrested for gun crimes had been convicted of gun crimes previously.

Last year, of the 44 people arrested in Hartford for murders or attempted murders with guns, 39% had charges pending from other crimes, but had been released from custody after posting bond. Fifteen percent were on probation. Five percent were on parole. Of those arrested last year, 39% had prior convictions for violent felonies or gun crimes.

The victims, according to the data, differ little from their shooters.

In Hartford over the last three years, between 58 and 74% of both shooting victims and suspects had prior involvement with the criminal justice system and most had extensive criminal histories: 65% had been in prison, 73% had prior felony convictions and served periods of probation, the data shows.

In the cases of most victims and shooters, only one or two of their 10 prior arrests prior arrests resulted in incarceration. More than half were dismissed or expunged some other way.

The bottom line, according to a summary by Chief State’s Attorney Patrick Griffin, is that someone with a prior gun conviction is 8,000 times more likely than someone without a criminal record to be arrested for a shooting and nearly 400 times more likely to be arrested for a shooting than other convicted felons.

The mayors, working through the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, are asking the legislature to adopt a 10-point plan that would create a new category of crime — “Serious Firearms Offense” — and enact narrowly focused laws to make it easier for courts to restrict the pre-trial release of offenders and return them to prison if they reoffend after release.

“This sends a message that it is not acceptable to continue to be a violent offender and just come home and walk free to cause more harm and danger to the community,” said Loquavia Jones, who lost two sons to gun violence in New Haven, in 2020 and again in January.

“We have to send a message that if you are willing to continue to commit violent crimes you have to pay for that and that sometimes involves your freedom,” Jones said.

Jones’ group was one of several that joined the Democratic mayors of Hartford, Waterbury, Bridgeport and New Haven; big city police chiefs, state prosecutors and Gov. Ned Lamont at the state Capitol to promote the plan.

Under the proposals, prosecutors could ask courts to make repeat gun offenders post 30 percent of bail bonds rather than the tiny fraction they now post with a bondsman. The change would make it more difficult to obtain pre-trial release, while protecting the right to bail guaranteed in the state constitution. Another proposal would forfeit the bonds of repeat offenders who commit another gun crime from while on pretrial release.

The mayors also want the legislature to increase the mandatory minimum sentence for serious gun crimes by one day and require offenders to serve 85% of their prison sentences. The changes would expose offenders to special parole after prison — and a return to prison for violations.

“The group that is gathered here today is also here to say that we need to make sure there are more severe consequences for those who are repeat serious offenders, who are engaged in gun violence in our communities,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said. “And to say that if you have a record of serious offenses and you commit a new, serious firearms offense, we need to make sure that there are swift and severe consequences. This is about saving lives. This is about making our communities safer and stronger.”

Among the group was Deborah Davis of Hartford, who spoke for Mothers United Against Violence.

“This proposal, these ideas specifically, are so important to us,” she said. “Because we want to make certain that individuals are not back on the street. We are supporting every proposal that would alleviate some of the concerns that we have with some individuals being able to come back out so quickly.”

Big city support is no guarantee that the proposed legislation will succeed — even after the more punitive aspects in the proposals were dialed back to appease lawmakers who believe cities are already over-policed and prosecuted.

State Rep. Steven Staftstrom, the Bridgeport Democrat who is House chairman of the legislature’s influential judiciary committee, would not handicap chances of the mayors’ proposals being enacted, but said he personally supports “reasonable tweaks” that “enhance public safety and cut down on gun violence in our cities.”

“Connecticut actually saw a precipitous drop in crime over the last decades as we have been smart on crime rather than just being tough on crime,” he said.

“States like Connecticut that have stronger gun control laws but are smart on criminal justice have vastly lower rates of gun violence than states that are just tough on crime and may have more lax gun laws,” Staftstrom said. “That’s why the committee’s focus has really been on access to firearms, particularly over the last several years.”

Vincent Candelora, the House Republican leader from North Branford, said his party’s criminal justice agenda aligns with that of the mayors — at least on the question of bail.

“We believe the bail system is being underutilized and it is allowing violent offenders to be released,” Candelora said. “We can continue to over regulate guns all we want. But we need to start regulating the people.”

When pitching their proposals, the mayors sought to convey a message that their solutions were less a law-and-order tactic than a “targeted, narrowly focused” element in a broader solution to the problem.

“We recognize that combatting gun violence requires a comprehensive approach,” Bronin said.

“That means we need to continue to provide sustainable sources of support to community-based violence intervention, make sure that we are providing sufficient treatment for mental and behavioral health and trauma recovery both inside our correctional facilities and outside,” he said. “We need to make sure that we are providing opportunities for those who come back who have made mistakes to rebuild and reenter in a successful way.”

Regardless of how it happens, Woods said his clients are tired of seeing gunmen on the street.

He said one of the most jarring accounts he has heard was from a mother who was convinced that her son, a “perpetrator” of gun violence, would not have been shot and killed had he not been released from prison.

“These are parents who know their sons may be at high risk of perpetrating and are screaming out at the top of their lungs to keep their son in prison until they turn onto that road where they do not get released in time to perpetrate against someone else,” Woods said.

“So I am glad to see these proposals today, because public safety is key,” he said.

February 20, 2023. Tags: , , . Social justice warriors, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

In the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion, a Connecticut bill would require fire departments to hire female firefighters who aren’t strong enough to do their job

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

January 23, 2023

In the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion, a Connecticut bill would require fire departments to hire female firefighters who aren’t strong enough to do their job.

I’m against this proposal.

As always, I support 100% meritocracy.

For the record, I am male, and I am too weak to pass their strength test. Weaklings like me should not be firefighters. Any woman who is strong enough to pass the test deserves to be hired.

I support meritocracy because I want airplanes that don’t crash, bridges that don’t fall down, doctors who don’t kill their patients, and firefighters who fight fires and save lives.

Proposed Bill Could Alter Female Firefighter Test

A proposed bill is stirring up debate on whether the physical test for female firefighters should be changed.

By Briceyda Landaverde

January 19, 2023

“In the fire service, everybody pulls their own weight,” firefighter Kori Kelly said.

Kori Kelly is a 13-year veteran career firefighter.

“I know I’m held to a standard and on top of that, I hold myself to a higher standard to make sure that I don’t slip,” Kelly said.

Kelly is concerned over newly proposed legislation that would lower the physical test requirements for women to become firefighters.

“It’s a huge safety liability, the whole point of having the national standard is having a bar that everyone has to reach,” Kelly said.

Currently, all candidates regardless of gender are required to wear a 50-pound vest during the test. It is supposed to mirror the experience of wearing heavy gear and an air tank while performing firefighter duties.

The risk, Kelly said, if someone does not have to meet these capabilities, will they still be able to save lives?

“I can’t change any of the weights of the civilians I have to rescue,” Kelly said.

Five democrats introduced the bill earlier this month. According to the language, the purpose is to allow for a more diverse class of candidates by offering an alternative to the 50-pound vest component.

“We know there are not enough women involved in the fire service and really the big barrier to get into the fire academy is the candidate physical ability test,” Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett said.

Garrett is pushing for the bill to pass. In town, the fire department has been forced to turn women away because they didn’t pass the required test by a small margin.

“I’m looking at just taking a few pounds of the backpacks, the weighted vest so that we can get more women to pass the CPAT test and then not at all changing the standard with the Connecticut Fire Academy,” Garrett said.

The language did not address exactly what the alternative would be. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Public Safety and Security.

January 23, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . Equity, Sexism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Town After Town, Residents Are Fighting Affordable Housing in Connecticut

Town After Town, Residents Are Fighting Affordable Housing in Connecticut

By Lisa Prevost

September 6, 2022

In the town of Fairfield, Connecticut, nearly 2,400 residents have signed a petition opposing a project proposed for downtown that could bring 19 units of affordable housing.

In nearby New Canaan, homeowners have raised about $84,000 for a legal fund to fight a proposed apartment complex downtown on Weed Street that would include 31 rent-restricted units for households with moderate incomes.

And in Greenwich, a developer recently withdrew an application to build a project that would include 58 apartments priced below market rate, after residents living in nearby luxury condominiums objected

Throughout Fairfield County, Connecticut, local residents and elected officials are seeking to block large housing projects that include units affordable to low- and moderate-income households

The restrictive zoning “disparately harms Black and Latino households, and deepens economic and racial segregation in the area,” said Erin Boggs

That sort of suburban antipathy to density has contributed to a severe housing shortage in Connecticut, especially at the low- to moderate-income range

But many people who work in the towns cannot afford to live in them, said Karp, the developer.

“I already have a list of 20-plus people who work in town who would love to live here in a building that they could afford,” he said. “My view is, people who work in town deserve to be able to live in town.”

Affordability is a major deterrent to the many teachers in Greenwich who would like to live in town, said Aaron Hull, a longtime educator in town. Hull, who lives in Norwalk, said he and his wife had periodically contemplated moving their family to Greenwich, which he views as a “phenomenal community,” but couldn’t find anything within their price range.

His daily commute on Interstate 95, while only 14 miles, “can take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes,” he said. “That seat time takes its toll.”

September 6, 2022. Tags: , , . Housing. Leave a comment.