Here’s the courant.com headline that’s raising the alarm to every Middlesex – as well as Fairfield, New Haven and Litchfield – village and farm: “Connecticut Spends $22 Million Luring Gun Seller.” Are there no depths to which The Gun Industry™ won’t sink? They already have Gun Valley, now they want to further insinuate themselves into the home of Newtown? Have they no shame? What gun runner has author Kevin Rennie’s head spinning? None other than that notorious promoter of bloodshed and death, Bass Pro Shops. “Bass Pro is one of the nation’s most prominent purveyors of guns. It sells the semi-automatic rifles, known as assault weapons, that Adam Lanza used on Dec. 14 to kill 20 children and six adults. Those guns are now illegal in Connecticut, but Bass Pro sells them in stores around the country. It also sells online and in stores the high-capacity ammunition magazines that are also illegal in Connecticut.” Online magazines? Say it ain’t so . . .
Rennie, who’s described as “a lawyer and a former Republican state legislator” is distraught by what he sees as Gov. Dannel Malloy’s inconsistent commitment to civilian disarmament.
Just before the Newtown killings, Malloy tried to lure an assault weapons manufacturer into the state. His conversion to the ban was born of those horrifying events on that Friday morning. The impact on Malloy’s new attitude toward guns has not lasted eight months.
An assault weapons maker? Just before Newtown? Couldn’t Malloy have seen he was playing with fire? Obviously, ol’ Dannel’s not anti-gun enough. Gee, the People of the Gun would be excused for counting the Governor among the more ardent opponents of the Second Amendment. But that’s clearly not enough for Rennie.
Leave aside the arguments for and against state and local governments using public funds to entice businesses for the jobs and tax dollars they may (or may not) bring. Pretty much all states do it. It’s a fact of life. And you won’t find many fans of Malloy amongst TTAG habitués. But in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, Mr. Rennie apparently wants to apply a ballistic litmus test to any public expenditure in Connecticut.
Rennie says his real concern is the Newtown victims’ families.
Every time a victim’s surviving loved ones pay a tax in Connecticut, Malloy forces them to underwrite the proliferation of the weapons they despise. That’s (Malloy’s) legacy on guns.
Maybe Mr. Rennie hasn’t noticed that as taxpayers, our money – no matter where you live – goes toward all kinds of things plenty of us despise. But getting torqued about bringing a Bass Pro to the now-incongruously named Constitution State? What percentage of the typical Bass Pro outlet’s revenues do gun sales represent? Does this mean that the three WalMarts in Connecticut are now unwelcome? How about the Dick’s Sporting Goods stores? Never mind that Connecticut’s one of the most-indebted states in the country. Or that Bridgeport, the location of the proposed store, gives garden spots like Detroit, East St. Louis, Newark and the south side of Chicago a run for their money aesthetically. As far as Rennie’s concerned, if gun money’s involved, those 250-300 jobs clearly aren’t worth having.