It’s been a few months since the community of Newtown, Connecticut was ravaged by a horrible tragedy that took the lives of 20 children and six adults. Much of the national media has moved on to fresh horrors and controversies, even though legislative battles have kept gun control and victims of gun violence in the news. But even though the 24-hour news cycle might feel like the Sandy Hook Massacre was eons ago, that doesn’t mean that the loss might be any less fresh for the town that actually had to endure this horror. So how thoughtful of the NRA to run robo-calls in Newtown asking them to denounce gun control legislation.
The events of last December in Newtown have led plenty of local citizens and victim family members to get involved in the gun control debate. Obviously, their experience with gun violence has had a profound impact on their lives. I’m not saying that we should assume these people don’t want to talk about the issue at all.
At the same time, random automated marketing about an important issue that many in these area must feel very personally invested in is just so callous. It’s almost unimaginable that someone could decide this was a good idea.
The NRA’s advertising in Newtown is believed to be two-pronged. There are robo-calls which identify themselves as “an urgent legislative alert” and encourage voters to contact their representatives about the restriction of “gun rights.” There are also mailers that describe the gun control laws as “dangerous” being sent out in Newtown by the NRA.
The gun control debate in Connecticut is heated. It is understandable that the NRA is working to fend off the legislation. That’s what they do. But the fact that they are sending out automated phone calls to a town that lost so many of its children on a single day, as if gun restrictions are just some simple issue or these people are just some army to mobilize, is sick.
If the NRA actually wanted to go out and have a conversation with the people of Newtown about what they want to see in terms of gun control legislation. If they want out and attempted to thoughtfully make their case with these people, that even though a tragedy happened, we need to be careful about infringing on Second Amendment rights, I wouldn’t agree, but I wouldn’t be offended. I would understand that the National Rifle Association was simply doing what they believe to be their job. But sending out mailers and messages to these people, to this town, it is just so insensitive.
If they are still capable of such an emotion, the NRA should be ashamed right now.