On Monday, January 28th, Bill Stevens gave a short three minute testimony to a special Connecticut Congress hearings called the “Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety”.
Here’s a transcript of his powerful testimony:
My name is Bill Stevens, I live in Newtown.
My fifth grade daughter was in “lock down” on December 14th, 2012. Unfortunately, her classmate’s little sister… was murdered in Sandy Hook that day when “lock down” and 911 weren’t enough to protect her from an evil person. Not protect her from an assault rifle or some type of inanimate object, but from an evil person.
Quite different, from the elaborate security you all enjoy here at the capitol. It was fun getting frisked on the way in. [Some laughter]
I’m not here to cite the crime statistics: lives saved with a gun, or the economic impact of the proposed asinine legislation (some of these gun control bills you have proposed). I will however read from the Connecticut state constitution. Section 15 reads very clearly… We all know what the Second Amendment says… But section 15 in the state constitution says very clearly: “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.” [Applause]
There’s no registration, there’s no permitting, there’s no background check. It’s quite clear.
I’m frankly shocked by some of the testimonies today.
In case some here failed American history, there’s something called the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and a process by which to amend it. The same goes for the state constitution. These rights are inalienable and endowed by our creator — not you politicians — to all citizens regardless of gender, race or creed. In order to limit the rights of citizens, there is something called “due process”. And, “legislation” is not “due process”.
You wanna take my rights away, let’s go to court.
And with regard to due process, the final report with all the facts on Sandy Hook will not likely be issued until this Summer. It was stated clearly in the newspapers. How can any legislation be passed in good faith or good conscience without all the facts?
Again, gun ownership is a constitutional right, but it’s not for everyone. That’s okay, and shouldn’t make gun owners suspects regardless of how many guns they have or how much ammunition they may have.
My guns are not dangerous. They are at home, locked up, collecting dust and cat hair. [Laughter]
But criminals and tyrants — tyrants, especially — BEWARE! “Lock down” is not an option at the Stevens residence. And 911 will be dialed after the security of my home has been established.
Why is that same security my daughter enjoys at home with her dad not available at school in Newtown? That is what you should be considering, not making her dad a criminal.
Charlton Heston made the phrase “from my cold dead hands” famous. And I will tell you this today: You will take my ability to protect my Victoria from my cold dead hands. [Applause]
Mr. Stevens then pounded his fist on the table, closed his laptop and strutted out of the hearing like a boss. And America applauded his audacity to stand up to tyrants and criminals.
UPDATE 2/7: We have been informed that Bill Stevens is not actually a Sandy Hook parent, in fact he has gone out of his way to disabuse several media outlets of this notion. From an update at the bottom of an article at Examiner.com:
Thank you for the nice article about my testimony in Hartford. Unlike the Liberal media who don’t let facts get in the way, I just wanted to let you know that my daughter does not attend Sandy Hook Elementary, but was in “lock down” nonetheless on December 14, 2012 at Reed Intermediate School (5th & 6th grade) about a mile away with her classmates, one of whom lost his little sister that day.
As you’ll note in his testimony, at no time does he claim to be a Sandy Hook parent, instead saying simply that he is from Newtown and had a daughter in a school that was in lockdown.
We have edited the title of the post to reflect this revelation and regret the error. We were just as snookered as everyone else by the wishful thinking of the YouTube video description.