Lawmaker hosts town hall meeting on Syria - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmaker hosts town hall meeting on Syria

West Hartford Town Hall was packed for the Syria forum. West Hartford Town Hall was packed for the Syria forum.

U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-CT1) held a town hall forum asking locals to sound off on the crisis in Syria on Labor Day.

The West Hartford Town Hall was packed. Crowds extended throughout the halls and spilled outside with people anxiously trying to sway our congressman.

It's a decision that polarizes the country. Many people are asking if we take military action against Syria after President Bashar Assad reportedly launched a chemical attack against his own people. The attack killed 1,400, including more than 400 children. 

"If no action is taken, he'll continue on this path," said one Connecticut resident at the forum.

However, some people disagreed.

"I just don't believe the United States should go in," said one person at the forum.

Larson heard both sides of this debate Monday as hundreds ditched their holiday plans to speak out and let the U.S. representative know, we as a state will be watching his move.

"The people of West Hartford, the people of Connecticut should be very concerned about chemical warfare," said one speaker at the forum.

While Larson spent the afternoon taking the pulse of the public, many wanted to see where he stood.

"There has to be a response to Assad, and the use of chemical weapons, I just don't think it should be the United States, always, alone, and unilaterally," Larson said.

Larson voted against the Iraq War and right now, with the way this Syria proposal is written, Larson said he isn't completely on board.

"It needs an awful lot of work, it's too open-ended and broad," Larson said. "I'm not in favor of committing troops on the ground. There's no reason for that and the case still needs to be proven."

Over the weekend, in a move that critics said shows weakness, President Barack Obama decided to punt the decision to Congress. A move Larson praises.

"It's the right thing for him to do," Larson said. "I believe the American people support that. Whether they agree with his ultimate decision or not, this was the right course for him to take."

Eyewitness News caught up with Larson moments ago, after the town hall meeting ended. Eyewitness News wanted to see where Larson stood now after he heard from the people, he said he's still not sure,

But what was certain, the people in West Hartford were hesitant to go to war. 

U.S. Congress is off until Sept. 9. Leaders have agreed to schedule a debate then, when the body returns to Washington, DC.

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