John McKinney (R), Connecticut’s Senate Minority Leader who represents the town of Newtown, voted in favor of An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention And Children’s Safety. Before voting in favor of the sweeping new gun restrictions for his state, he read the names of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown.
The Middletown Press reports that McKinney also said during his appeal for the legislation that the massacre changed his life forever, like it changed the lives of so many, and that it was the most important issue he faced in his 14 years in the General Assembly.
Conservative Republicans, however, are not buying McKinney’s emotional appeals, especially because he is eyeing a gubernatorial run against incumbent Gov. Dannel Malloy (D), who is signing into law the bill McKinney has praised.
Local conservative talk show host Jim Vicevich, host of Sound Off Connecticut, told his listeners on Thursday morning that many of them will now be felons if they do not register their guns.
Regarding the members of the Connecticut General Assembly who voted in favor of the gun legislation, Vicevich said:
You people politicked on the graves of those 20 children. You politicked, you danced, on the graves of those 20 children… there is nothing in this bill that would have protected those 20 children–nothing! And instead you took those 20 children and you politicked in front of their gravestones, and you should be ashamed… what you wanted to do was take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, and turn them instantly into felons, and instead what you did was politick on the graves of children…
Vicevich went on to rebuke McKinney for refusing to protect the Second Amendment rights of Connecticut’s law-abiding citizens:
When John McKinney stood up there and read the names of 26 people- as if his crummy bill was going to stop any of that- that, to me, was the most disgusting display of the evening…and a Republican! He’s no Republican! And if you are Republicans, you better start looking for yourselves a new leader right now.
It appears, however, that Republican leaders in Connecticut are planning to do just the contrary. On March 26th, the Connecticut GOP announced that they would be presenting McKinney with its highest honor, the prestigious Prescott Bush Award.
“Senator McKinney has been an exemplary leader and a fighter against the big-spending, big-taxing policies of Governor Malloy and the legislative Democrats,” Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. said in announcing the award. “The Bush Award recognizes leadership and Senator McKinney is the definition of a leader — he is a leader in his community, a leader in the Connecticut Republican Party and a forceful leader in the State Senate.”
Labriola added, “I’m proud that Senator McKinney is a member of the Connecticut Republican Party. He has served his constituents, our government and the State of Connecticut in an outstanding manner, with conscience and with common sense solutions that have moved our state forward.”