Ex-Marine cites rationale for supporting gun rights

Around midday, Maureen Gard took a break from watching the political process play out on closed-circuit television nearby to remember growing up in Chicago as the daughter of a police officer. Her father, she says, instilled in her at an early age a tremendous respect for guns. “In my household, a gun was a protection unit,” she said. “He drove it home so much that it was a form of protection when used properly.”

That message was further reinforced several years later when, after joining the Marines out of high school, Gard said she was sexually assaulted on a base in Virginia.

“If I would have had (a gun) with me I would have had even better control of the situation,” she said, guardedly.

Years later, after moving to New Haven, she says that she slept with her fiance’s gun by her side when he was away. According to Gard, who is a member of the NRA but doesn’t own a gun, she was gripped in fear whenever she stepped out the door.

On Wednesday, with the gun debate raging two floors above her, she said the biggest problem with the bill is that it fails to distinguish between responsible gun owners and criminals, though she concedes that she doesn’t “have a better solution.”

“I just think it’s too extreme. It makes you almost not want to live out your rights.”

Libor Jany