Newtown families: We'll keep fighting for gun law

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm •  Published: April 21, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Disappointment. Disgust. Grossly unfair.

That's how some families who lost loved ones in December's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school view the Senate's defeat this past week of the most far-reaching gun control legislation in two decades, as they pledged to keep fighting for measures to prevent gun violence.

Neil Heslin, Erica Lafferty and Carlee Soto were among the Newtown, Conn., family members who spent a week on Capitol Hill describing how their loved ones died at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. But their stories of horror and heroism were no match for a threat from the National Rifle Association to rate the vote, and concern from Republicans and a small band of rural-state Democrats.

Lafferty, whose mother, school principal Dawn Hochsprung, lunged unarmed at the gunman to stop him from firing the assault weapon, said she was "honestly disgusted that there were so many senators that are doing nothing about the fact that my mom was gunned down in her elementary school, along with five other educators and 20 6- and 7-year-old children."

The Senate rejected on Wednesday a series of gun control bills that would have tightened background checks for buyers, banned assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, and loosened restrictions on carrying concealed weapons across state lines, the last measure backed by the NRA.

Within hours of the votes, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords accused senators who opposed the new regulations of "cowardice" in a piece published in the New York Times' op-ed page. Giffords was among 13 people wounded two years ago when a lone gunman opened fire as she met with constituents in a Tucson, Ariz., shopping mall, killing six others. She and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, had lobbied for the bills' passage.

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