Families of 12/14 Victims Pen Letter Urging Gun Reform

'In the midst of our anguish we have learned about the dangerous loopholes in our nation’s gun laws and we are compelled to speak out to save others from suffering what we have endured,' reads a portion of the letter.

Thirty-two family members of victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy -- including 20 family members of slain Newtown teacher and Stratford native Victoria Soto -- sent a letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday as they resumed their markup of gun bills. 

The family members called on Congress to require background checks on all gun sales, limit military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and make gun trafficking a federal crime.

The full letter follows, and also is attached as a PDF in the gallery right.


Dear Chairman Leahy and Senators Grassley, Blumenthal, and Murphy:

We are 32 family members of victims who were killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 – innocent children and their educators responsibly going about their day.

No one can describe our pain and the brutal day-to-day emotions we suffer. No one can bring our loved ones back and no one from our community of Newtown, Connecticut will ever go back to “normal.”

In the midst of our anguish we have learned about the dangerous loopholes in our nation’s gun laws and we are compelled to speak out to save others from suffering what we have endured. We are writing today to express our deep conviction and support for the President’s plan to reduce gun violence in America.

Specifically we are asking members of Congress to:

1. Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America that includes
 a review of all disqualifying records and meaningful record keeping for all sales – in the same manner that Federally licensed dealers are currently required;

2. Ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines; and

3. Make gun trafficking a federal crime, with real penalties for straw purchasers;

The epidemic of injury and death from gun violence is a plague on America, especially since the toll it takes on our families is preventable. Our nation’s families deserve to be safe and free in their schools, movie theaters, workplaces and their homes. We ask Congress, in honor and memory of our loved ones, to support the measures that the President has put forward to help stem the epidemic of gun violence.

Our precious children and family members who were so brutally murdered on December 14th deserve nothing less.


Jackie Barden, Mother of Daniel Barden
Mark Barden, Father of Daniel Barden

Neil Heslin, Father of Jesse Lewis

Veronique Pozner, Mother of Noah Pozner

Len Pozner, Father of Noah Pozner

Gilles Rousseau, Father of Lauren Rousseau 

Teresa Rousseau, Mother of Lauren Rousseau

Andrew Rousseau, Brother of Lauren Rousseau

Matthew Rousseau, Brother of Lauren Rousseau

Suzanne Connors, Sister of Mary Sherlach

Jane Dougherty, Sister of Mary Sherlach

Joseph Greene, Brother of Mary Sherlach
Carlos Soto, Father of Victoria Soto

Donna Soto, Mother of Victoria Soto
Carlee Soto, Sister of Victoria Soto

Carlos M. Soto, Brother of Victoria Soto

Jillian Soto, Sister of Victoria Soto

Donald Fagan, Grandfather of Victoria Soto

Debra Cronk, Aunt and Godmother of Victoria Soto

Robert Cronk, Uncle of Victoria Soto

Dean Fagan, Uncle and Godfather of Victoria Soto

Denise Fagan, Aunt of Victoria Soto

Don Fagan, Uncle of Victoria Soto

Linda Fagan, Aunt of Victoria Soto

Alex Fagan, cousin of Victoria Soto

Brianne Cronk, cousin of Victoria Soto

Christopher Fagan, cousin of Victoria Soto

Donald Fagan, cousin of Victoria Soto

Douglas Fagan, cousin of Victoria Soto

Heather Cronk, cousin of Victoria Soto

Wesley Cronk, cousin of Victoria Soto

Zachary Fagan, cousin of Victoria Soto


Lois Imbriano Barber March 14, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Best advice ever! I will write to my legislators rather than waste my time here.
Jeff March 14, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Gee, mom of two. Ignore facts, present nothing in return and answer a question with a question. Common tactics of the misinformed. Did you read the article about the Norwich Police using 41? Did you read the data provided about the shockingly low incidence of crime by CCW holders? Of course not. You do know that you need to click the links I provided. They should be highlighted in blue. To answer your one question. How many bullets do I need? As many as it takes! Gun violence is a problem. It's a problem in cities and often gang related. Do you really believe they have permits and walk in to stores and buy these weapons? Fact- 23 people die everyday as a result of drunk driving. Is that the only fact you need to revisit prohibition or outlaw cars? Maybe we could pick an arbitrary # and outlaw all V8 engines? If it could save even one life it would be worth it. CDC research? Yes, lets fund some more government research and create some more bureaucracies and debt. A sharp mind and google will provide all the data you need for free. The NRA is one of the largest civil rights group in the world. Read my two post above, either slower or a couple times.
Jeff March 14, 2013 at 03:16 PM
@Why? Thank-you for being so knowledgeable on the subject. You bring a wealth of info to the blog in support of your desire to infringe on my rights. You did give one bit of good advice. "Don't engage these people". You should have added , if you don't know what you are talking about! Close minded is one thing we are not. Is it a coincidence that the anti-gun crowd never has any facts or logic? When you want to take a right away from someone, you better be able to defend that position. Defend with supporting data. Facts are a stubborn thing. You have nothing and that's why you resort to name calling. All your statements are based solely on emotion.
Mom of two March 14, 2013 at 03:44 PM
You are so right! It's a waste of time. People like Jeff, will never get it and will never open up their closed minds.
Donald Borsch Jr. March 14, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Lois, You said: "William, if Nancy Lanza would not have been able to buy that gun or those bullets legally, her son would not have had them." And there it is. Logically, your statement points to one conclusion: ban guns and ammo, period, even for people who wish to purchase them LEGALLY (as Nancy Lanza did, by the way), because these things, GUNS and AMMO, are used solely to kill innocent schoolchildren. Total fail, Lois.
Joe March 14, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Fact 24 - far more people (10X, over 3000 last year) die as a result of distracted driving than by rifle. I want to start a movement to ban the iPhone.
Joe March 14, 2013 at 06:15 PM
There are 4 guys in New London, CT being tried right now for stabbing a guy to death because they were bored. I'm not making this up, look it up. I'd say he could have used at least 8, probably 12 to be sure. How many do you think?
Joe March 14, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Another good question....why haven't we heard a thing about what meds this kid was on? Do HIPA protections still work after death? Of course, the pharmaceutical lobby is standing tall at about $100+MM per year...hmmmmm.
Donald Borsch Jr. March 14, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Joe March 14, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Geez mom, some people would say guns serve the purpose of providing food. Some need them for protection like shop owners in dangerous urban (and liberal) environments. Some use them for fun like target shooting (this is my reason). There are any number of purposes for guns, that you'd ask such a question speaks loudly to your lack of intelligence.
Joe March 14, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Geez mom....others might even have called him her son. You must think your two are not 'troubled' because of you. Mental defect is a medical issue, not a parenting condition. You really are an ignorant one aren't you?
Joe March 14, 2013 at 07:51 PM
This guy might only of need 4-6 bullets to defend himself..... http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/grayslake_gurnee_round_lake/chi-round-lake-shooting-20130312,0,7515323.story Of course he's up against the crackerjack laws of Chicago and can't get a gun to defend himself.
Lois Imbriano Barber March 14, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Donald, by the word 'that', I was talking about the gun he used to kill the 26 in Sandy Hook elementary School. It was an assault weapon, which yes, I would like to have banned.
William March 15, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Mom of two. Once again I understand how you feel. But it's not just the fact that I am a gun owner that I feel strongly about this. Crime is always a result of society, whether it be peer pressure or monetary. In one of the building we owned we had a leak in and old roof. Everytime the roofer came out and repaired the leak it stopped...but a new one formed...over and over again. Not intentionally, the roofer was effectively moving the leak. This is waht the gun ban will do...it won't contribute to stopping any violence, but it will just open an other avenue for it. That is a fact that the 1994 ban made very clear. There was no change in violent crimes, but a change in the gun used. The problem is always a matter of common sense, crime prevention, adequate punishment and of course some sensible guidelines regarding the treatment of mental health issues. With all due respect, the ideas pointed out in the letter will not address the problem, it merely moves it.
Donald Borsch Jr. March 15, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Lois, Your fear is misguided. You see, an AR15 is harmless, and is only as virtuous or evil as the one holding it. Since Adam Lanza was evil, the AR15 he wielded rendered death and destruction. However, he is very dead now, so the AR15 you hated in his hands is no longer a threat to you. Banning AR15s as a token gesture to making CT safer is suspect at best, since it has been proven time and again that Adam Lanza killed those innocents and not an AR15. Ban crazy and we can chat. Ban guns and you are spitting on The Constitution. That is wholly unacceptable.
Michael Cragin March 15, 2013 at 10:46 AM
these fanatics keep posting statistics...comparisons.....quotes.......etc...IT DOESNT MATTER......manyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy want changes....we dont care who says what....we want change....and it will come....begin here.......stop the war weapons....dig deep into those that have them......WE DONT WANT THEM.....save your speels for the next NRA meeting.......
Joe March 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM
People - especially the uninformed 'reformers' please pay attention for a moment. I know it's hard and you're easily distracted....... Ct has had an Assault Weapon Ban in place since 1993. It is in place today. It is nearly identical to the Federal ban that expired in 2004. You alraedy have what you're asking for! If you were more intelligent or more intellectually honest, you'd know this and move on to the CAUSE of these shootings. Now, you may go back to watching 'The View". Thank you.
Mom of two March 15, 2013 at 12:31 PM
So Donald, what if you're not an evil person and you shoot it, does it shoot out flowers and rainbows?
Bob Attanasio March 15, 2013 at 01:02 PM
To argue against chnages in gun laws by stating that more peiple die in car accidents, or shark attacks or lightning strikes or anything else is like arguing against cancer research because more people die of heart disease.
Lois Imbriano Barber March 15, 2013 at 01:39 PM
I cannot understand how anyone, anywhere, can disagree with the common sense gun reforms the Families would like to see. That being said, I must address the New London stabbing murder case. People have been committing murder since Cain & Able. We will always have strangulation, blunt force homicides, and stabbings. We just want to prevent the mentally ill from being able to get their hands on the type of weapon Lanza used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The movie theater shooter was stopped only after he stopped to reload. If he didn't have such a large magazine of bullets, he would have been stopped sooner. Our Police Chief wants to change the gun laws and I stand behind him 100%. Imagine if the 4 men in New London were each armed with an assault weapon that held 100 bullets?
Donald Borsch Jr. March 15, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Lois, You said: "We just want to prevent the mentally ill from being able to get their hands on the type of weapon Lanza used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School." And this proposed legislation will stop that from happening how, exactly? It's already part of our current Gun Control Laws, but I reckon you feel we need to bolster it and make it work better, is that it?
Joe March 15, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Sure Bob. One could make the same comparison to the argument FOR more gun control. The proposed legislation would not have prevented what took place here in town. The proposed legislation will not keep anyone away from guns who are intent on committing crime. The proposed legislation could possibly limit one's ability to defend themselves. Your point is not very sharp.
Jeff March 16, 2013 at 12:43 AM
@ Bob Attanasio, do you even have the slightest clue on how hard it is to obtain a CCW in Ct? We have hundreds of laws. Pistol Permit holders in the U.S. are some of the most law abiding citizens in this country. Not many can meet the requirements and if the world behaved like permit holders, well, it would be a better place. Last I looked, Ct has some of the most restricive laws in the country. This is all about people control. I bristle at any one telling me what "I need". Whether it's how much money, how fast my car can go, how many sq ft my house is, or how many bullets I need in my guns. "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom, it is the arguement of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
Bob Attanasio March 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM
All I was pointing out was a flaw in an argument that is often used and totally irrelevant. I was not advocating a position. You want to pick a fight - that's fine. I'm not interested in fighting with anyone - just pointing out a ridiculous position.
Dart March 16, 2013 at 01:13 PM
What is the CAUSE of these shootings on your opinion? Do you know for certain?
Moe March 16, 2013 at 02:11 PM
"But we must do something!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rNV_LB9RUF0
Joe March 18, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Great Find, THANKS!
Donald Borsch Jr. March 18, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Local Colorado Sheriff says he will not enforce Federal gun control laws should they pass. Now what will the anti-gunners do? http://wr2a.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/sheriff-john-cooke-gun-control-bills-unenforceable-knee-jerk-reactions/
Daniel Young March 18, 2013 at 06:33 PM
and Gov George Wallace refused t enforce school integration laws, and the brothers Kennedy had to step in on the side of justice. The right-wing nuts just DON'T GET IT!
Common Sense March 18, 2013 at 08:28 PM
He should be fired. He is a civil servant paid to uphold the law. No one is above the law.


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