By Katie Collins News Eagle Reporter
A heated topic for many, gun control in the News Eagle's region was one that some shop owners would not talk about. But, Stephanie Connelly of Golden Guns in Milford laid her cards on the table and told it how she saw it.
Connelly has owned Golden Guns for five years and since the December 14 shooting in Newton Connecticut that killed 26 people, sales have been "through the roof," both in the store and online she said. Everything is selling well, but particularly AR-15s, AK47, glocks and "things of that nature" she said. The AK 47, she said are the number one combat guns in the world, and yet, they are a hot item in her store. In general, Connelly said traffic in the store has been steady too.
Compared to a year ago, business would have been much slower, to where 10 AR-15s would sit for a year or more and would sell "drips and drabs," she said. But now, "you can't get them or keep them in stock."
With President Obama's attempt to reduce gun violence in the United States, he announced initiatives last week that would require legislative proposals and a need for Congressional actions, plus work on his part.
One initiative will require background checks for all gun sales, including sales by private sellers that are currently exempt. In response to the background checks, Connelly said,when she does background checks, she can only learn if the person is a lawful citizen. When she sells guns, she said that she does not know if a person is "mentally impaired by any mean shape or form." As for the overall policy, Connelly said there is "no sense in what is being done to alleviate this situation at all."
By trying to ban assault rifles, Connelley said "a mass hysteria" has been made and now people are buying guns out of fear that they will be unable to get the guns in the future. Even, she said, people who did not have a gun before. At Golden Guns, Connelly said Obama made himself "employee of the month." With the policy, she said there was no thinking and instead, Obama caused the Twinkie effect." She explained that when Twinkies went out of business, everyone ran to get them, even if they did not eat Twinkies.
Citing statistics from the National Rifle Association's website, Connelley said with the "freak accidents," big deals are being made. But, with "12,000 people being killed by a drunk driver, where's the big deal on that" she asked. She called the ratio of people killed by guns compared to those killed by other accidents "ridiculous."
Coming from a family with a large military background, Connelly said her family has fought for the Constitution and American's rights and freedoms. But, Obama's policy is a "slap" in the face of any military personal, retired or active.
Connelly said Obama needs to look at statistics because he is contradicting himself. She added that he has more security protecting him, than any other president. Although Obama feels having guns is wrong, she said, he is not being protected with "marshmallow guns" because his guards have high powered guns.
For those who have died because of the shootings, Connelly was sympathetic, but she added, that if a teacher was allowed to carry a gun, maybe then, a teacher could have saved a life.
Editor's note: Several other gun dealers in the News Eagle coverage area either could not be reached in time for this story or they chose not to comment.