APResponding to reports that the National Rifle Association is robocalling residents of Newtown, Conn., the state’s two U.S. Senators lashed out at the organisation’s CEO in a scathing letter jointly released Monday.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both Democrats, wrote in a letter to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre that the robocalls were the latest in a “long line of offensive steps your organisation has taken” in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December.
“Robocalling members of the Newtown community to promote your agenda less than 100 days after the horrific shooting is absolutely beyond the pale,” Murphy and Blumenthal wrote in the letter. “Again, we call on you to show some basic decency and cease and desist these calls.”
The robocalls — which urge Connecticut residents to call their representatives and oppose various gun-control measures being debated in the state — gained a significant amount of local and national attention over the weekend.
Read the Senators’ full letter to LaPierre below:
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 organisation 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.
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