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Ear to the Ground

NRA Inundates Newtown Residents With Anti-Gun Control Robocalls (Audio)

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Posted on Mar 24, 2013
AP/Tina Fineberg

Some residents of Newtown, Conn., are understandably upset at the National Rifle Association for bombarding them with pro-gun robocalls and postcards that ask the community to oppose the gun-control measures that the state legislature is considering in the wake of the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“Folks in Newtown have been receiving ‘Robo Calls’ from the NRA this week,” read a message the gun-control advocacy group Newtown Action Alliance posted to Facebook on Thursday. “Aside from being insensitive and uninvited, these calls may be in violation of telemarketing laws as they do not give the option to opt-out of future calls during the call.”

One resident, Tom Maurath, told The Huffington Post that he got a postcard from the NRA that read, “Despite public outcry, anti-gun legislators in the Connecticut General Assembly are aggressively forging ahead with numerous proposals that are designed to disarm and punish law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen.” Maurath said that he also was on the receiving end of a robocall from the group, and that the message was similar to the one on the postcard.

“The idea that this message could have been delivered to a sibling of one of the families who lost children at [Sandy Hook Elementary School] is just appalling,” he said.

The NRA claims it was calling only residents who were members or supported the pro-gun lobby, but Maurath, a registered independent, says he has no connection to the organization or its affiliates.

The Huffington Post:

“I received one of these,” Newtown resident Christopher Wenis wrote on Facebook Thursday afternoon. “I was insulted and offended.” Wenis told The Huffington Post in an interview Friday night that in the 36 hours since he first posted his response, he received two more robocalls from the NRA, one later on Thursday night and one on Friday evening.

“I’ve got a 5-year-old son who went to preschool on the Sandy Hook Elementary School campus,” Wenis explained. “And this was a really hard week for me on a lot of levels. These calls were the very last thing I needed.”

...In the months since the tragic school shooting in December, Newtown has become a focal point for the nation’s renewed debate over gun control, as well as an international symbol of America’s epidemic of gun violence. The Connecticut Legislature is considering a bevy of gun-control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. On Tuesday, a bill requiring universal background checks for gun purchases in Connecticut cleared a key committee. The state already has a ban in place on military-style assault weapons.

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Listen to one of the NRA’s robocalls:

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