Newtown Families Head to Washington on Day After Navy Yard Shooting

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCConnecticut.com
    Members of the Newtown Action Alliance are heading to Washington, DC to continue to lobby Congress. This trip comes the day after another mass shooting in this country.

    Today, members of the Newtown, Conn. group working to curb gun violence are heading to Washington, D.C. and they said their visit is even more significant because it comes one day after another mass shooting.

    The group, Newtown Action Alliance, was formed in the weeks after the school shooting in Newtown last year that took the lives of 20 first graders and six staff members and they have pledged to lobby Congress four times a year.

    "It just strengthens our resolve. We didn't think twice about continuing to go down there," Dave Ackert, of the Newtown Action Alliance, said.

    The activists were originally scheduled to meet with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, of Illinois, for
    a stand your ground hearing today, but that was postponed because of the shooting in Washington, DC.

    However, the Newtown Action Alliance members said they have plenty of work to do on gun safety laws over the next couple of days.

    “We're nine months ahead of where they're going to be, so we're going to see if we can help in any way possible,” Ackert said.

    "You need to have hope and you need to have a sense of community to pull through things like this. Newtown has been an amazing community. We are coming out of this much stronger than we were before," he said.

    Gina McDade, of Sandy Hook, is a member of the alliance and said she needs to comfort her friend who was in DC during the shootings.

    “She was on her way to work at the Coast Guard and she didn't understand what was going on and so she reached out to me yesterday, because now we're united and it's not a club anybody wants to be in," McDade said.

    As the alliance visits Capitol Hill, they plan to lobby lawmakers about gun safety laws, universal background checks and other issues.

    "I just hope it doesn't happen to anyone else and that's why I'm going to try and change Congress' mind and just get safer gun laws passed," McDade said.

    The Connecticut Citizens Defense League said now is not the time to make a statement about gun control out of respect for the families.

    "We are shocked and saddened by the actions of a disturbed individual who was bent on the Murder of innocent people," Scott Wilson, president of the CCDL, said in a statement. "Our heartfelt sympathies certainly go out to the families of these victims, and also to the 1st responders that laid their lives down trying to protect and save those in harms way.  CCDL feels a statement regarding gun control, is not appropriate at this time. This consideration is out of respect for the families of those lost, and survivors."

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