Eight murders in ten days in gun-controlled Hartford, Connecticut

Image by stevepb from Pixabay

Connecticut already has some of the more restrictive gun laws in the nation (ranked 3rd in the U.S. in Gifford’s ranking of gun-controlled states), and they got even worse earlier this year when Gov. Ned Lamont signed an omnibus gun bill into law that goes after everything from so-called assault weapons to open carry.


When Lamont put pen to paper, he declared that the legislation “takes smart and strategic steps to strengthen the laws in Connecticut to prevent tragedy from happening,” but events on the ground in the state’s capitol city have already proven that boast to be nothing more than hot air. In the past ten days there’ve been eight homicides in Hartford, and while homicide rates are declining in many cities across the nation they’re going the wrong way in Lamont’s back yard.

This shooting is the 28th homicide this year, surpassing the number of homicides in Hartford at this time last year.

In 2022, there were 39 homicides in the city, the most since 2003, when a nursing home arson killed 16 people, boosting the year-end total to 44, according to police statistics. The only year with more homicides in the past 30 years  was 1994 when, 55 people were killed, at the height of the gang wars, police said.

The violence in Hartford this summer is overwhelmingly “targeted” according to Mayor Luke Bronin.

“What is clear is these individuals in each of these incidents are attempting to murder people, and they are working together, shooting an enormous volume of rounds, and as you saw last night, they shot at two individuals and killed them,” Bronin said.

As Bronin says, the violence in Hartford is overwhelmingly the result of targeted attacks, yet Bronin himself (along with the Democratic majority in the statehouse) insisted that imposing new restrictions on every lawful gun owner was going to be the most effective way to bring down the number of shootings in cities like Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven.


That’s not working out so well, and while Second Amendment advocates are challenging many portions of the new law in court (as well as Connecticut’s existing “assault weapons” ban), the Hartford residents interviewed by the New Haven Register don’t seem all that enthused about the impact (or lack thereof) of the state’s gun control regime on violent crime. Instead, they’re looking for ways for the city and state to address the individuals responsible as well as the circumstances in their community that they say is fostering a culture of criminal behavior.

What is causing the violence in Hartford? While the city might not be in the height of the gang wars any longer, advocate and Hartford resident Kamora Herrington pointed to poverty of “mind, body and spirit.” She said the quality of Hartford schools and the lack of housing and job opportunities teaches people low self worth.

“Everything about how we live here as citizens is set up to let us know that we are not good enough, and the only way we can be good enough is that we live a different way,” said Herrington, Herrington, founder of Kamora’s Cultural Corner said.

Herrington expressed frustration over what she says is a lack of affordable entertainment for residents in Hartford including things like roller rinks and bowling alleys. She pointed to the irony that the only bowling alley downtown is for residents of the luxury apartment building next to Dunkin’ Park.

“We don’t need more luxury housing,” Herrington said. “We need a bowling alley that people can go bowling in. What have we done? We’ve created luxury housing with a bowling alley that we’re not allowed to go to. What does that tell us?”

Violence prevention in Hartford is tackled through a patchwork of non-profit groups and the Hartford Police Department, but some advocates believe the problem runs deeper than arresting the violent people.

“What we say all the time is gun violence is a symptom of a bigger problem,” said Jeremy Stein, executive director of CT Against Gun Violence. “We do need to look at root causes. We do need to look at increasing quality of life in many of these communities, and that does include looking at poverty, and looking at racism and looking at reentry. What are we doing for people that may have committed crimes and now they’re reentering into society?”


Stein wasn’t interested in talking about “root causes” when he backed Lamont’s gun control agenda this year, and he’s certainly not going to criticize the laws now that they’re in effect. The attacks on lawful gun owners, however, aren’t doing a damn thing to make life any easier for Hartford residents, and the violent criminals inflicting damage on their communities don’t seem to have noticed the new restrictions that are now in effect.

I don’t know how much a bowling alley or swimming pool would do to bring down the number of shootings in the city, but at worst it would be a waste of money, not an infringement on the rights of Hartford residents who want to protect themselves from the growing violence. Lamont’s promise of increased public safety is just another lie from the anti-2A side… and unfortunately this falsehood comes with deadly consequences.

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