New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
Democratic leaders worry about the wrong threats
I do not condone harassment or intimidation directed at anyone. Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have experienced uncivil discourse and threatening speech. Even the most impassioned debate should never elevate to threats or violence, and we agree that any such instances must be taken seriously.
But Connecticut Democratic leaders, including Senate President Martin M. Looney and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, missed a very important piece of the conversation in their recent opinion. If they are going to take a stand when it comes to protecting lawmakers, they also must take a stand on protecting their constituents.
When Sens. Looney and Duff talk about their fears of a potential crime, they must address the very real crimes directed at the people of Connecticut.
Hartford is on pace for one of its deadliest years in decades. New Haven’s homicide rate is up over 67 percent so far this year. It has seen three homicides since Sunday, Aug. 5. Juvenile crime is on the rise, shootings are occurring in broad daylight, carjackings and auto thefts are increasing, women and children are being hit by stray bullets and killed while in their own home or sitting in a car. Five cities in Connecticut make up 16 percent of Connecticut’s population, but over one-third of crime occurs within those urban areas. Democrats have failed the cities and their residents.
Senate Democratic leaders have accused those with concerns about the rise in crime of peddling fear and have labeled advocates for public safety reform as the “#RootingForFailure Club.” That kind of rhetoric is offensive and infuriating to the people across our state who live with violence in their communities every day.
Sens. Looney and Duff should have the same concerns for their constituents’ safety as they do for their caucus.