After spending the day in Hartford, one Redding mother waited until 3 a.m. Tuesday to advise governments officials that a majority of Connecticut residents are in favor of stricter gun laws.
Lestina Trainor, a mother of three school-age children, was one of the last to address the Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety, which held a public hearing beginning at 10 a.m. Monday and lasting into the wee hours Tuesday morning.
"The majority of people in Connecticut want common sense gun laws," Trainor said. "I speak for the majority, not the fringe."
Trainor suggested a gun registry become the norm in the Nutmeg State, similar to the way the Department of Motor Vehicles requires drivers to register their automobiles. Those who have a problem with being on record owning a weapon shouldn't be allowed to possess one, she said.
"We are disgusted that it is so easy for anyone to just get their hands on an assault weapon, often without any background check or even record of sale," Trainor said.
Trainor said she was "shocked" that gun owners were defensive during the hearing.
"You can have your guns," she said. "Just not any gun, without a background check, [with] unlimited ammunition."
Like other amendments, Trainor said, the right to bear arms comes with limitations.
"Why is that so difficult to understand?" she said. "Why are the gun owners so insulted and indignant when somebody suggests that they may not need certain types of weapons or ammunition in the pursuit of normal civilian lives?"
Trainor said Connecticut residents need to feel safe going to the mall, going to school or going to places of worship.
"More guns equals more violence," she said, a notion which is "just common sense."
Some of those defending gun rights in Hartford that day, Trainor said, have no faith in police and distrust the government.
"I am so sorry that you have to live with so much fear and mistrust," she said. "It must be exhausting to carry that around."
No right, Trainor said, is more important than the public's right to life.