Witkos: Public Hearing on Gun Violence is a Chance for Open Dialogue [Canton Patch]

March 20, 2013

Article as it appeared in the Canton Patch on March 20, 2013

Event set to take place at Canton High School Monday, March 25.

By John Fitts

While state Sen. Kevin Witkos plans to host a hearing next week to educate the public about legislative proposals to prevent gun violence, he said he also hopes to gain valuable feedback in return.

“I’m really doing a lot of soul searching and want to hear from my constituents,” Witkos said.

On Monday, March 25, Witkos has scheduled a public hearing for the 8th district. It will take place at the Canton High School Auditorium.

Witkos said his dilemma is that in many cases, he can see valid points on both sides and continues to listen to all opinions and hopes for an open dialogue next week.

It’s one reason why six hours has been devoted to the event. Witkos said he also hopes the 5 to 11 p.m. time will give many people the chance to come out.

Witkos is a member of the General Assembly’s Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety created in the wake of the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In addition to numerous hearings, forums and other event, Witkos said he’s received thousands of e-mails on the topic and could never answer them all.

“While there are many important issues facing the state legislature today, it is clear that many constituents have concerns over the current proposals to prevent gun violence that are currently under consideration,” Witkos said in a prepared statement. “After receiving thousands of emails on the subject, I want to bring my office directly to the community so I can hear your thoughts and concerns firsthand.”

The public forum will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. Monday March 25 in the Canton High School Auditorium, 76 Simonds Ave., Collinsville, CT 06019

Witkos is seeking to learn more about constituents’ thoughts and concerns relating to the bills being proposed in the legislature. Residents from across the 8th Senate District are invited to attend.

Witkos will also share a pamphlet of the many proposals currently under consideration by the legislature that range from the outright banning of firearms to simply requiring universal background checks.

For more information, contact Katie Kenneally by email at [email protected] or by phone at 1-800-842-1421.

For more on the gun issue at the state level, see stories at CT News Junkie, and the CT Mirror.