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Matt Vespa


May 3, 2013 - 5:32 am

Erica Lafferty, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung, crashed Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s recent town hall meeting, with some media outlets celebrating it as an example of gun control advocates “pushing back.”  During the meeting, which occurred last Tuesday in Warren, Lafferty exploited her mother’s death to score quick political points against Ayotte.  It was shameless.  Lafferty asked:

“You had mentioned that the burden to owners of gun stores that these expanded background checks would cause. I’m just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the hall of her elementary school isn’t as important as that?”

Sen. Ayotte responded that the Toomey-Manchin bill wouldn’t have prevented Newtown, which is absolutely true.  After seeing the cultural entrenchment firearms have in this country, the left has resorted to exploiting the dead to further their agenda because the facts – and the people – are not on their side.  Additionally, despite what some major news outlets may think about Lafferty, the local papers were horrified – and called her antics political “bullying.”

The New Hampshire Union Leader printed an editorial yesterday asserting that:

 Ayotte explained her vote and explained that the background check bill would have done nothing to prevent the Newtown shootings. That fact has been pointed out by numerous news organizations. Lafferty was unmoved.

“It’s disappointing and disgusting that she can pretty much look me in the eye and try to justify my mother’s murder and the murder of five other educators and the murders of 6- and 7-year-olds,” Lafferty told Politico afterwards. “It’s disgusting.”

No, what is disgusting is deliberately mischaracterizing someone’s position for the purpose of portraying that person as a willing accomplice to murder. That has been the left’s strategy since Newtown. It is a testament to the Senate that a majority of its members, including Ayotte, did not cave to such bullying.

More disconcertingly, Shawn Millerick of the NH Journal wrote today how:

the media certainly covered what they wanted to see. The New York Times, the Washington Postand Politico all created the impression that Ayotte faced a firestorm of criticism at her town hall meetings. Only Politico, in its second story on the controversy, bothered to mention the following:

But there is also ample support for the senator, with supporters holding up signs that said, “N.H. Stands with Kelly.” Ayotte received standing ovations from the crowd in this timber-industry town, drowning out those who were booing her. The National Rifle Association has also aired radio ads expressing its support for Ayotte.

The truth is, Ayotte enjoys a great deal of support for her vote in this Live Free or Die State. And the elite media would do well to shine a light on those who were protesting her, as Fox News did on Wednesday night. See the below clip featuring an Obama-sponsored protester holding a sign splattered with fake blood politicizing the Boston marathon bombing.

He also noted that “these protesters made for great props for the elite media. But they are not Sen. Ayotte’s constituents and they won’t have the privilege of voting in the 2016 election, when Ayotte is next up for re-election. Her supporters will.”  Also, most of them were from outside the state, so it was coordinated astroturfing at best.  Yet, the most despicable aspect of this tantrum is that Organizing for Action seems to feel that Boston wasn’t significant due to the lack of death.  Is the fact that nothing will change on gun control forcing liberals to put every tragedy on a graduated scale?  Of course, since you really can’t fundraise off of the death of one eight-year-old boy.  With twenty-children, that’s media gold for months.  It’s depraved. It’s twisted. It’s American liberalism.

Lafferty has misdirected her hostility, and in the process – has tarnished the heroic actions of her mother by using her as a political football.  Nothing in the latest foray to curb our Second Amendment rights would’ve stopped Newtown, even Sen. Richard Blumenthal admitted this point before the vote.


Matt Vespa is a web editor at and occasional writer for Hot Air, RedState, and Townhall Magazine.

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I'm trying to think what to compare this behavior with. It's an automatic response in our culture. It happens like clockwork: Someone experiences personal tragedy, they get angry, they turn their anger into a political movement.

It's almost a cultural cliche, like tipping your hat to a lady or dropping money in the collection plate used to be.

As you can tell, I don't believe people with dead mothers or blown-off legs have "absolute moral authority," as someone in the media once said about a woman with a dead son. And I don't respond well to appeals to emotion. "Never Again!" and "It's For the Children!" leave me cold.

The woman in question has my sympathies. But the fact is, this has nothing to do with her deceased mother and everything to do with her and her feelings. She wants to do something to make herself feel better, to make her feel her mother "didn't die in vain." What she proposes is not a practical solution to gun violence - it's "therapeutic legislation." The entire country is meant to join her in a massive group therapy session, catering to her until she gets "closure." Helping her grieve isn't enough. She lost something, so the rest of us have to lose something. It's only fair...

Real leaders - and real voters - think about things before they do them. They don't rush off in the heat of anger, pain, or fear. Rage doesn't make you right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's another manifestation of today's rampant narcissism. Another manifestation is the fact that Obama was 1) re-elected, and 2) was elected in the first place.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's been going on since the 60s, when activism became the national religion. But it's morphed from "getting involved" to "getting my way."

It's not strictly a liberal thing - it's an activist thing. By today's standards, Carrie Nation may not have been a liberal. Hitler may not have been a liberal. Lenin may not have been a liberal. But they were all activists. They all knew their way was Right, and they wouldn't rest until they got their way.

People are allowed to do this a democracy, but it's not democracy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry. I'm rambling. It's Friday. My mind is on Saturday. Wrong time for thinking "serious" thoughts.
1 year ago
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