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'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.

Michael Duff February 13, 2013 at 06:20 PM
"We never like to think we're outgunned in any situation we're dealing with," says Police Chief Michael Kehoe of Newtown. I feel the same way about my home and business.and family.
Donald Borsch Jr. February 13, 2013 at 06:39 PM
"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." ------------------ Um...I wasn't aware that within CT it was that easy to circumvent the background check criteria we already have in place. So we need to make our laws more serious now, as opposed to them being only, what, 'half-serious' before? Simple lesson I was taught early on: The more rules you must make means the less authority you actually have. Criminals beware! New and better background checks are going to be forced on the law-abiding to make it more difficult for you to get yer grubby hands on guns! You have been duly warmed.
Fairfield Old Timer February 13, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Pathetic....isn't it?
Igor February 13, 2013 at 09:09 PM
This comment isn't necessarily about gun control but in the Constitution in general. I think it's a little outdated. Why does everyone think that the people that penned it were right when they wrote the 2nd amendment? They also believed in slavery which turned out to be wrong. What makes them right about this?
Winston Bernard IV February 14, 2013 at 02:46 AM
Igor thinks the Constitution is outdated. Ok, Igor. So you think that since the 1700's, no government has tried to kill or exert complete control over its citizens? I'm sure the Cubans, Tibetans, Cambodians, and Jews would have something to say about that. The idea of protecting ones self from a tyrannical government is TIMELESS my friend.
Lizzie February 14, 2013 at 03:32 AM
what part of "Overwhelming majorities of Americans" can't you understand?
Todd Chandler February 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM
the powers-that-be 150 years ago thought that it was out-dated too, so they changed the Constitution to end slavery. It is not unheard of to change the Constitution. The FOunding Fathers actually gave us the mechanisms to do this. They had the foresight to know that even they couldn't know everything that would happen. Remember, when they wrote it, we were a minority on this continent. For those of you that cling to the second amendment, I would remind you that it was an AMENDMENT. There have been many more since then, and there will be more in the future. I think some of you get it confused with one of the COMMANDMENTS.
Igor February 14, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Winston, what the hell are you rambling about? I merely said that the people who wrote the Constitution weren't right about everything. At the time yes, but times have changed and the Constitution needs to change with it.
Donald Borsch Jr. February 14, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Igor, You raise an interesting point. Well done. However, allow me to answer your question with a question: Do you think the mindset behind the Founders building-in the Second Amendment, as an answer to governmental tyranny, is no longer valid or relevant? I think it is relevant, hence I support the Second. There is a very real threat of governmental tyranny in our future, and our Founders had the wisdom and foresight to tell us how to counter it. So Igor, is the Second Amendment no longer relevant since our government is so benevolent?

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