'The Families of Newtown Deserve a Vote'

Newtown played a major role in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.


Newtown played a part in President Barack Obama's State of the Union Tuesday night — both in his address itself and in the physical presence of Newtown residents in the audience.

"The families of Newtown deserve a vote," he said, asking for representation for victims of gun violence.

Several Newtown residents attended the address as guests of Congress members. First Selectman Pat Llodra was present, the guest of Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.

In an open letter to the town prior to her attendance, Llodra said she accepted the invitation "because of the kindness and support that all of our elected officials, at all levels of government, have shown for our community."

In addition, teacher Natalie Hammond, who was injured in the shooting, appeared as a guest of U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty. Sandy Hook teacher Kaitlin Roig, who hid 15 first-grade students in a bathroom during the shooting, also appeared as the guest of Jill Biden, wife of the vice president, the Danbury News-Times reported.

Obama, who visited town shortly after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took the lives of 20 children and six adults, used the event to highlight calls for change in gun laws.

"This time is different," he said. "Overwhelming majorities of Americans — Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment — have come together around commonsense reform — like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun."

After the shooting, President Obama called for a string of legislation, including universal background checks and a ban on high-powered weapons.

"Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals," he said in his address. "Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned."

One such police chief is Newtown's Michael Kehoe, who has called for an assault weapons ban.

"We never like to think we're outgunned in any situation we're dealing with," he told NBC News.

yoda February 14, 2013 at 11:15 AM
G, you talk as if you know me? Living with a cop? Like I said, both of us know how to use a weapon if needed!
AHM February 14, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Anger and aggression over a VOTE!?! We are a democracy. It seems like a simple concept majority rules.
carlistojoe February 14, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Greg, Cato is a right wing org, like Faux News, hardly impartial..
carlistojoe February 14, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Panda, it is an Assualt Weapons bill. Stick to the facts please. The bill does not attempt to take all guns away.
Toni Catalina February 15, 2013 at 12:45 AM
Who told you what the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to? I believe, as I think the Founding Fathers believe, that the civilian mases should have close to equal armament that our standing army or police have. How else will we be able to defend against anarchy, tyrany or other oppression devised by our government. OK, we don't have tanks, planes or helicopters. But, neither do the Syrian rebels that are kicking but there.
Toni Catalina February 15, 2013 at 12:50 AM
I have a bridge in Brooklyn, NY I will sell you real cheap.
Toni Catalina February 15, 2013 at 12:52 AM
Without a gun in the house is equivalent to sheep in a pen waiting for slaughter. I prefer to wipe my own butt, thank you.
Toni Catalina February 15, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Another Day. Who are you to determine what was most likely to happen in the Pettit case? You vote, too, don't you!!!
Toni Catalina February 15, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Why is having an unregistered gun a problem? There are probably millions of lawful citizens in this country with Grandpa's shotgun, rifle or revolver in the closet. Guess what? None of them ever shot anyone with any of them. Any gun legislation that restricts the citizens ability to defend against a tyranical government is not reasonable.
Toni Catalina February 15, 2013 at 01:06 AM
I don't know how old you nay-sayers are. But, if you were in school when school taught undistorted history, well, tell the truth, you failed didn't you?
Toni Catalina February 15, 2013 at 01:11 AM
Amen Greg. Some people just can't, or refuse to see past their noses. These are the folks prayed upon by some (most) of our elected higher up polititians seeking re-election at any cost. Not just sad, but scarry.
Toni Catalina February 15, 2013 at 01:15 AM
Thanks Greg, keep the information comming. What we need much more than any further useless anti gun legislation is EDUCATION of the uninformed before it is too late.
Toni Catalina February 15, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Please note that all comments by Toni Catalina are actually by me, her husband, Tom
Rick Jones February 15, 2013 at 01:30 AM
With all due respect to those who hold the 2nd amendment as sacred, as opposed to driving privileges, etc., I doubt the Founding Fathers conceived of motorized transport at the time of the drafting of the Bill of Rights. I also doubt that the Founding Fathers conceived of weapons that could kill dozens in a matter of a few moments, nor did they visualize a country in which over 11,000 would fall victim to gun violence each year, including over 3,000 kids. Times have changed since the 2nd amendment was written and we need to adapt our laws to the change. How about simply going back to just those weapons available in the 1790's when the 2nd amendment was written. I be happy to see all of us have the right to own a musket with a 4 foot barrel that could only fire a single shot before requiring 30-60 seconds to reload.
Greg Burns February 15, 2013 at 03:45 AM
carlistojoe: You did not read it did you! Afraid you might learn something that would chalenge you uninformed biases. Do not worry, I believe that is not possible. Good luck out there, watch your back, not that you will be in a position to defend yourself and those near you in any case. I assure you that I shall be.
Paul Alexander February 15, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Good people are starting to fight back. “Olympic Arms to Cuomo: Repeal Ban and Apologize or No Business with NY” http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/02/14/Olympic-Arms-To-Gov-Cuomo-No-Business-With-NY-Till-You-Repeal-And-Apologize
WaxyGordon February 15, 2013 at 03:07 PM
The 2nd Amendment is in place to ensure that ordinary citizens can confront a tyrannous government. On December 13th 2012 I never thought that an event as horrific could ever happen the next day in Newtown, but it did. With the way our gov't is being run these days, I would never rule out the need for citizens to mobilize against it could ever be warranted, it very well could. We must be able to be on at least the same level of fire power as them. Remember Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jung Il, they all took away citizens guns and look what happened to their countries. It can happen here if we let it happen.
WaxyGordon February 15, 2013 at 03:13 PM
News flash..the 2 guys/monsters that broke into Dr Petits home had a gun already. They told him that they would shoot him if he did not cooperate. These guys had a long history of violence...they never should have been out of jail! The lib judges let these guys go free to kill over and over.
Greg Burns February 15, 2013 at 06:47 PM
WaxyGordon - has a critical point few have addressed in Connecticut about everybody's security. Those who killed the Petit family were career criminals that OUR GOVERNMENT let out of jail. OUR GOVERNMENT ALSO LET OUT 7,500 MORE CRIMINALS OUT OF PRISON EARLY LAST YEAR. Two of them have murdered people that we know of so far. Close to 70% of those released will be back in prison over the next 5 years after EASH committing many more crimes. Why have I not heard much more about that from those who do not think we need guns to protect ourselves. WHY?? ANYONE who picks up a weapon to do a crime needs to be delt with harshly with no consideration, mercy or ple barganing under the law. They also shoud not be released from prison early. Those who would pick up a gun to do crime ARE MENTALLY ILL CRIMINALS (many animals), A SERIOUS DANGER TO SOCIETY, AND NEED TO BE KEPT IN A CAGE FOR A LONG TIME. But in Connecticut we are letting thousands of them out of prison early. Also, we are not enforcing our current laws to the max as it applies to those criminals who threaten us with crime by guns. Criminal terrorists who use guns can not be tollerated. Our government has not done it's job. They have not made us safe. We can not rely on them to do, especially in a liberal PC state like Connecticut.
Greg Burns February 15, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Rolf Wessel - Pushing Fear. Rolf I do not have to '"push fear", watch the news every day. You have good reason to fear that you and your family are not safe. I believe you will have more reason in the future. Keep watching the news.
WaxyGordon February 15, 2013 at 08:21 PM
Mental health ..its the 800 lb gorilla in the room...not the guns. Our politicians are bankrupting us, mental health is very difficult to provide, no money in most budgets, insurance companies provide very little assistance...and God forbid we should 'label' someone...that would not be politically correct....Well all of you soccer mom and dads who think everyone deserves a trophy just for having a pulse have contributed to the ruination of our country....you reap what you sow!
Greg Burns February 16, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Violence is not a mental health problem. It is for the most part a criminal problem. It is also a cultural problem. People who grow up with violence tend to adopt it. It takes no genius to understand that, even for a liberal. Anyone who picks up a weapon to assault or attack another person has a mental health problem. We do not have enough money to address that, nor would it work. We have prisons for people who would hurt other innocent people, with or without a weapon. We have guns to protect ourselves against people like that. If you meet such a person intending to harm you you will wish you had a gun.They are not going away. Spending billions we do not have "to help them" (we will help few) will not make them go away. Those who would prey on the innocent are growing. The sheep and their mice politicians better come back with something better than banning magazines and more background checks. It is all smoke against what all will soon see is a rising tide of violent crime in America. If you are at the mall, movie house, convenience store, church, parking lot or garage, grocery store or Wal- Mart --- you better be alert and when the shooting starts you nbetter hope a legal gun owner is there with an extra 10 round magazine.
chick45 February 16, 2013 at 05:56 PM
The problem is no one is getting to the bottom of what makes someone want to go on a murdering spree. Question: if Lanza had used gasoline and matches, or a homemade bomb would everyone be calling for legislation on the materials used? Probably not. In almost every mass murdering case, the murderer was on a psychotropic medication. If we don't get to the bottom of the cause, no law will stop anyone from wanting to go on a murdering spree. If we enforce the laws we have and keep the criminals in jail and made tougher penalties for criminals rather than tougher laws for law abiding gun owners would be a much better solution. We don't know anything about Lanza except that he had Asperger's and lacked social skills. He also didn't have a violent past or a criminal record. Apparently the school system can't address kids like him. He tried to purchase a gun but do we know if he was rejected or did he not want to wait the 2 week waiting period? People are assuming he had mental illness but we don't know for sure and can't know due to Hippa laws. The best thing to do is to wait for the investigation to be completed and go from there.
chick45 February 16, 2013 at 06:01 PM
One more thing, while we wait for the results of the investigation, lets focus on making he schools a safer place to be.
chick45 February 16, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Here is a very interesting speech made at the Gun Violence Prevention hearing last month. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tztG8WYgqKA
chick45 February 16, 2013 at 06:39 PM
And another http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk-PC4Ro4J4
Greg Burns February 17, 2013 at 01:55 AM
Chick45, thank you for your rational pespective and comments. Also your utube references. I was at the Gun Violence Prevention hearing -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tztG8WYgqKA . That man made so much sense most of us there did not want him to stop, except many of the politicians there. As for the Sany Hook parent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk-PC4Ro4J4 who lost his son - that testimony was heroic and courageous in the face of his great loss. He chose to be rational, honest and realistic for finding effective and lasting solutions to the tragety in his family as well as all the Sandy Hook families. They deserve that. They do not deserve the many hysterical, ineffective and false solutions being considered by our legislature in meaningless gun control regulations that accomplich nothing. The problem is those who break the laws we have. Criminals threaten and hurt people without being held accountable and severely punished. In most cases we will never know WHY they do what they do or why they become who they are. Often it is because they have just become a person with no regard for others. I do not care why. We do not have the time, resourses or even the ability to discover why. Even when we can understand why, we can do nothing to prevent who people become. What we must do is stop them, enforce our criminal violence laws and put them away from us for a long time.
chick45 February 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM
Greg, I watched the hearing on tv. Based on that there are a lot of law abiding gun owners out there and we should be heard. I feel as though we are made to look like the bad guy.
chick45 February 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM
And here is another speech from a man from Newtown. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRpYHzWiU8s What gets me is neither of these were shown on mainstream news. Fox was the only to show Mark Matiolli.
SO March 21, 2013 at 07:27 PM
No, if the 1st Amendment were treated like the 2nd, you would need a background check and permission from the government just to have the opportunity to speak publicly. Citizens with mental health issues would be prohibited from speaking at all. Felons would forever give up their right to speak freely.............


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