UPDATE: 1:55 PM: Newtown Selectwoman Pat Llodra had this to say regarding the NRA nonsense.
"You would think Newtown is the last place they would want to start their lobbying effort against changes to the current gun laws," Llodra said. "It's a bad time for us. We are still struggling to heal."
While Llodra said the calls are inappropriate, she added that it's a typical response from the gun lobbying group.
"It seems to be their typical response to this issue," she said. "Insensitive and inappropriate."
UPDATE 1:40 PM:Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal sent the following letter to NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
Mr. Wayne LaPierre
Executive Vice President
National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
Dear Mr. LaPierre:
We write to you today on behalf of our constituents in Newtown, Connecticut who are outraged by your inappropriate automated phone calls pushing the National Rifle Association’s extreme agenda being received by members of the Newtown community. With these robocalls, the NRA has stooped to a new low in the debate over how to best protect our kids and our communities. We call on you to immediately stop calling the families and friends of the victims in Newtown.
Like all Americans, we were horrified by the shooting on December 14th at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We were with the parents that day and the days that followed and can confidently tell you that the parents of the victims, and the community as a whole, are still struggling to comprehend the horror of that day. Your robocalls pushing our constituents to contact their members of Congress to urge opposition to common sense gun safety legislation are incredibly insensitive.
In a community that’s still very much in crisis, to be making these calls opens a wound that these families are still trying hard to heal. Put yourself in the shoes of a victim’s family member who gets a call at dinnertime asking them to support more assault weapons in our schools and on our streets.
Unfortunately, this latest act is just another example in a long line of offensive steps your organization has taken in the wake of this tragic shooting. Your press conference one week after the tragedy articulated your surreal vision that the only way to solve the epidemic of gun violence in America is through the use of more guns. One month later you released “NRA: Practice Range,” an Apple app that allows individuals to shoot targets in a variety of settings and with a number of different weapons, including handguns, an AK-47 and an M-16. More recently, one of the NRA’s Wisconsin lobbyists remarked that your extreme agenda may be delayed by the so-called “Connecticut effect.”
Robocalling members of the Newtown community to promote your agenda less than 100 days after the horrific shooting is absolutely beyond the pale. Again, we call on you to show some basic decency and cease and desist these calls.
Christopher S. Murphy
Recently, the geniuses at the National Rifle Associaiton stooped to a new low by flooding the phone lines of Newtown residents with anti-gun control robocalls...listen.
In response to this nonsense, Senior Richard Blumenthal wrote the following guest post write-up for Think Progress.
NRA leadership demonstrated yet again last week just how low they are willing to go in their unconscionable effort to block any and all common sense, life saving gun violence legislation. Their most recent repugnant tactic—repeated robo calls to Newtown families—mocks and betrays the courage and compassion demonstrated by the Newtown community just barely three months after one of the world’s most horrific acts of gun violence seized 26 beautiful and heroic young lives.
Less than two months ago at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, I asked NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre if he would join the tens of thousands of people around the world in taking the Sandy Hook Promise. The Promise is a very simple message. It asks its followers to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School by promising to do everything possible to encourage and support common sense solutions to make our communities and country safer from similar acts of violence. “I promise this time there will be change,” the Promise concludes. Wayne LaPierre agreed to the Promise that day, yet every minute of everyday since then, he and his organization have poured countless amounts of time, money and effort into making that simple promise harder and harder to achieve.
In its relentless effort to defeat the Sandy Hook Promise and block common sense, life saving gun violence legislation, NRA leadership has shown no boundary it will not cross—including injecting its fear-based messages into the homes, the sanctuaries, of a grieving community.
What NRA leadership simply refuses to acknowledge is that, despite their hopes and efforts, the Connecticut effect is not going to fade. In fact, it is growing, and it will not go away until we get the weapons of war off our streets, provide law enforcement the tools they need to enforce the laws on the books, improve the safety of our schools (and I don’t mean vigilante dads and teachers with guns), and strengthen our mental health system. With or without the NRA, we will act.
My message to NRA leadership: Stop these invasive, unconscionable calls. Join the vast majority of Americans and Newtown residents in supporting common sense measures to stem and stop gun violence.
If you agree, join me in urging NRA leadership to cease and desist these inhumane calls by calling them at 1-800-672-3888.