Group walks to protest Southport-based gun maker
FAIRFIELD — Christine Bisceglie was reading an opinion piece on gun control last month, soon after the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas that took 26 lives, when one detail struck her — the manufacturer of the gun used in the shooting was based in Connecticut.
The Norwalk resident was “horrified” to learn that the maker of the AR-556 rifle used by Devin Patrick Kelley to spray bullets at church goers at First Baptist Church in a quiet Texas town in early November was headquartered in the state she’d lived in her whole life.
“It’s a little secret, it’s off the side street. Nobody even really knows about it,” Bisceglie said Sturm, Ruger & Co., which is based in Fairfield’s Southport section.
She coordinated with New York-based Gays Against Guns to organize a protest on Sunday against Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. Bisceglie and about 15 other people from New York and Connecticut dressed up in red and green Christmas attire and marched through downtown Fairfield to the firearm company’s headquarters in Southport. They carried signs that read “Sturm, Ruger makes massacre weapons” and chanted “Sturm, Ruger is worse than Freddy Krueger.”
Sturm, Ruger manufactures firearms, including pistols, revolvers and rifles.
Protesters sang a song condemning the making of semi-automatic rifles and laid down on the ground outside of Sturm, Ruger’s headquarters for a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims of mass shootings.
“We just feel that we’re slipping back into a wild west kind of thing where the gun lobby promotes this idea that more guns is more safety,” said Tim Murphy, an organizer with Gays Against Guns. Murphy said the organization, which was founded after the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, is calling for stricter gun laws and condemning legislation such as the concealed carry reciprocity bill, which lets gun owner with permits to carry concealed weapons travel to other states with their concealed firearms.
Though the protest was against the manufacturer of the gun used in a mass shooting in Texas, it came soon after another tragic milestone — the five year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, which took the lives of 20 children and six staffers.
That mass shooting hit close to home for Bisceglie, which is why she wanted to demonstrate in the streets of Fairfield. She said Sturm, Ruger is not far from Sandy Hook “where the little children were murdered.”