Councilmember Stephanie Philips (D-2nd) says she has been rebuffed in her efforts to introduce a resolution seeking the council’s support of a federal ban on assault weapons.
In an email released to the media on Thursday, Jan. 10, Philips said that Stratford’s Town Council Chairman Joseph Kubic (R-9th) has declined to place the resolution on Monday’s agenda.
Philips said she advocates for the passage of an assualt weapons ban and would introduce the resolution at the Jan. 14 meeting to honor slain Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher and Stratford and resident Victoria Soto. Monday will mark the one month anniversary of the killings that claimed 26 lives, including 20 children and 6 adults.
Kubic has cited timing as a main reason he has left the resolution off the agenda. “I just don’t think the resolution that Stephanie proposed is appropriate for Monday’s meeting in light of the fact that we already have a resolution to rename a school in honor of Victoria Soto scheduled before the council,” Kubic said.
Mayor John A. Harkins proposed the renaming of Honeyspot Elementary School in memory of Soto on Monday, Jan. 7. The measure requires approval from the Town Council and Kubic says the resolution to rename the school will be on the council’s agenda.
Philips acknowledged the mayor’s gesture in the press release. “Although, we all agree to memorialize Vicki Soto with renaming a schooI,” Philips said, “I believe we have not done enough until we act at every level to reduce, at minimum, the opportunities for mass gun violence in our society. This resolution urges Congress and our State officials to act immediately to reduce future tragedies.”
Kubic contends that the Stratford Town Council may not be the proper forum for taking up the issue of gun control. “What happened in Sandy Hook is horrible and everybody obviously feels terrible for the people of Newtown and those affected by the shooting,” Kubic said. “But I expect the State Legislature and Congress to address the issue of gun control.”
Philips’ resolution, among other things, calls for the council, on behalf of the residents of Stratford, to express condolences to the victims and families of Sandy Hook. The resolution also calls on the Town Council “to express support for the efforts begun by the President and Congress to understand the causes of such violence, the role of firearms in such tragedies, and effective actions that can be taken to prevent and deter such acts of violence.”
“The issues in Stephanie’s resolution are all worth discussion, but I’m not sure the Town Council is the right place for it,” Kubic said. “It doesn’t mean we can’t consider taking it up in the future.”