It’s been a little over 3 months since the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn. but the NRA is acting like it never happened. They’ve been pushing back against Connecticut’s gun violence panel since that group urged lawmakers to ban high-capacity magazines and limit the amount of ammunition that can be purchased. On top of this, a state legislature-appointed committee approved a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales in the state.
This perceived attack on their rights got the NRA’s back up. They responded with robocalls and postcards urging opposition of these measures. To the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre. I can’t think of anything slimier than that. Seriously, here are 26 families who are still grieving their terrible loss and the jerks at the NRA think this is okay?
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When reports started coming in about these calls, the Newtown Action Alliance posted on their Facebook page. They got responses from many residents who had received the calls. One of them, Christopher Wenis, wrote on the Alliance’s page:
“I received one of these. I was insulted and offended. I’ve got a 5-year-old son who went to preschool on the Sandy Hook Elementary School campus and and this was a really hard week for me on a lot of levels. These calls were the very last thing I needed.” (Source)
Wenis called the NRA and requested that he be put on the Do Not Call list twice, on that Tuesday and Thursday. He was assured that he would be… but the calls kept coming. By Friday, Wenis was infuriated and desperately wanted to just be left alone.
On the Facebook page, meanwhile, Lisa Abrams was complaining about the postcards. Not only did the NRA make the robocalls, it sent out postcards instructing recipients to call their congressmen and tell them (with the misspelled message):
‘NO ASSUALT WEAPONS BAN’ [sic] … (Source)
This, naturally enough, prompted Ms. Abrams to call her congressmen and do exactly the opposite of what the card instructed. She “was not happy,” she stated.
As if that weren’t enough, The National Shooting Sports Foundation ran radio ads saying that the proposed restrictions would “punish law-abiding citizens” and that gun manufacturers would leave the state, taking jobs with them.
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Another Newtown resident, Tom Maurath, had his dinner interrupted by one of the NRA robocalls. As he heard the caller ID announce that the call was from the NRA, he scrambled to answer so that his 6-year-old wouldn’t beat him to it.
“The idea that this message could have been delivered to a sibling of one of the families who lost children at [Sandy Hook Elementary School] is just appalling.” (Source)
He also received one of the postcards. Maurath says the call and the postcard had very similar text. One wonders if the misspellings were on the script for the call, too.
Newtown has become a focal point for the gun control debate, both nationally and internationally. But the debate has stalled recently. With the future of Sen. Feinstein’s assault weapon ban in doubt and the NRA’s renewed offensive (literally), it seems as though Congress is bound and determined to ignore the wishes of the public. There is overwhelming support for universal background checks, even among gun owners (of which I am one). Yet our legislators ignore the numbers in favor of the dollars they are getting from the gun lobby. This is unacceptable and we need to make sure our Congress knows how we feel. As for the NRA’s leaders, they don’t care how we feel. All they care about is the gun makers who pad their pockets.
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…