During an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Connecticut’s Governor Dannel Malloy (D-WFP) discussed a phone conversation he had with Vice President Joe Biden on the topic of gun control.
“I had a great conversation yesterday with Vice President Biden,” Malloy said. “I think he’s got this down pretty well. He understands what we need to do.”
The governor, who has presided over the aftermath of the horrific Sandy Hook massacre in which 20 first graders and six school staff were murdered, said, “It’s a world of difference since December 14th.”
Malloy stated that the political environment around guns has changed dramatically since the tragedy, and that legislators now can pass laws and restrictions that are what he called, “common sense.”
The Governor said his first priority would be to ban the 30-round magazines that were reportedly used by the Sandy Hook shooter. The governor also indicated his support for tighter controls on procedures in treating the mentally ill, and “an honest debate about the glorification of violence” in video games.
The day before, Malloy delivered his State of the State address, during which he emotionally spoke about how the massacre has affected his state. Asserting his belief that guns should be banned in schools, Malloy said, “Let me be clear. Freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher, and security should not mean a guard posted outside every classroom.”
In the wake of the school shootings, Gov. Malloy has initiated a task force that is studying gun control, mental health, and school security issues in his state. Connecticut is among the states with the strictest gun control laws already.
The Republican minority leaders, Sen. John McKinney of Fairfield and Rep. Lawrence Cafero, Jr. of Norwalk, said they are optimistic that both parties will work together on these issues.
“I truly believe we will have a multi-faceted bipartisan approach to what happened in Newtown,” said McKinney. He noted that there are “areas of controversy,” such as making the names and addresses of gun owners public record, but added, “We should all take a step back and look at all of this.”
Despite a show of bipartisanship on the issues surrounding the Newtown tragedy, Republican lawmakers continued to protest the governor’s handling of the state’s finances.
In his address, Malloy, who faces re-election in 2014, declared his efforts to close the largest budget deficit in state history a success. Republicans observed, however, that, despite a $1.5 billion tax increase two years ago- the largest in the state’s history- legislators met to close a $365 million gap in current finances, and will need to address a much larger shortfall of nearly $1.2 billion projected for the fiscal year beginning July 1st.