NRA places robocalls to Newtown homes, upsetting residents

Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-25 23:00:13-04

The National Rifle Association advocates for gun rights but Newtown residents say the group crossed a line by making automated calls soliciting support for gun rights.

After all, it’s only been three months since a lone gunman – armed with a military style semi-automatic assault rifle — murdered 20 schoolchildren and half a dozen staffers at Sandy Hook elementary school.

“My daughter went to the school and her best friend died – Olivia Engle,” said Newtown resident Janice Markey.

The massacre is still a touchy subject here in Newtown.

Markey says she’s received several of the NRA’s robocalls at all times of the day. “I’ve gotten five of them and it’s disgusting.  It’s horrible,” Markey said.  “We just want to heal.”

Markey is not alone.

Dad of Newtown victim makes emotional plea for assault weapon ban

Dad of Newtown victim makes emotional plea for an assault weapon ban.

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who’s currently waging a campaign to enact new gun control laws, told reporters Monday he was not pleased with the NRA’s calls. “I guess the word shameless comes up. Of all the places you shouldn’t be doing robocalls – I think most people would say, that’s not a good place to do it. They oughtta be ashamed.”

Not all Newtown residents are furious with the calls, however.

“You’re gonna have people that are scared, but you’re gonna have people that are logical thinking about it,” said resident Tim Snellman.

Snellman is an NRA member and supports the organization’s efforts – including those robocalls. “Yeah I’m concerned about the people who are hurting. Obviously it’s gonna cause a little of hurt, but you know what – people have to stand up for the constitution, and their amendments. They have to stand up for the freedom. Because, once we lose that, we never get it back.”

For residents like Markey, however, gun rights are not close to the first thing that comes to their minds these days when they think about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

“Everybody hurts. It’s like a double edged sword. It’s like, we love that you come here, but we also don’t want you to be here, because we just want to heal,” Markey said.