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Daughter of Sandy Hook victim still calls her mom's phone

April 11th, 2013
04:36 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

Erica Lafferty lost her mother, Dawn Hochsprung, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Her mom was the principal who, instead of running from the gunfire, rushed toward it, to try and protect her students. She paid with her life.

Erica told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that she still finds herself calling her mother’s cell phone – forgetting she’s not there to answer – only to get the voicemail message.

In the wake of the shootings, her daughter began to email and call U.S. senators, hoping to encourage a change in America’s gun laws. None of the senators replied and as a last-ditch effort she took to Twitter. She sent the politicians tweets asking them to, at the very least, bring the legislation to a vote. Slowly senators started to respond – some by Twitter, other with phone calls and meetings.

On Thursday, Erica flew to Washington D.C. and watched as gun control legislation made it to the floor for debate for the first time in more than a decade.

“It’s the first step. It’s a victory – a small one – but a victory,” she said.

Erica said she won’t stop trying to rally for changes to American gun laws.

“I know we are not going to stop, so people are going to get really sick of us” she said, “because it’s absolutely something that needs to be addressed.”


Filed under:  Gun Control • Latest Episode
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. larry

    lame, do some real reporting

    April 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • mystikelsea

      ...and what is "real reporting?"

      April 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Reply
      • Richard Yates

        I'm pretty sure this is NOT it.

        April 12, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • mystikelsea

        Christiane Amanpour is a pretty serious reporter.
        I reject the notion that every single news story ever published has to be "hard hitting" – which she HAS certainly been.
        If you have any conception of her body of work, you would shut your mouth. Criticize the CEO of CNN or someone like that if you want to see more hard reporting. Christiane has delivered in the past and will deliver in the future, I am sure.
        This isn't a story about Paris Hilton. I, for one, was enriched by the story. As someone whose close friend was just killed at the barrel of a gun a few weeks ago, I was comforted and informed to read a story like this. I know what the feelings discussed in this story are. I know what it's like to call someone to get only their voicemail. For eternity.
        One thing I can't stand is when people open their mouths when they have nothing to say. You don't like the story? Big deal. This isn't the front page of the New York Times. But here you come, blaming someone that has nothing to do with the "problem" you think you have.
        If you want to see "hard reporting', then go build a time machine and take your sorry a$$ back to the 1970's. Or protest the CEOs of big (American) news organizations (America collectively has some of the worst news reporting on the planet). Or send hate mail to Rupert Murdoch: a true culprit. Whatever floats your boat, buddy.
        But don't come to a casual posting about a real story and demand that it be something else. It's like going to an ice cream parlor and demanding a vegan dinner. Only a moron does that.

        April 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bombadil

      “I know we are not going to stop, so people are going to get really sick of us” she said, “because it’s absolutely something that needs to be addressed.”
      Is that "real" enough for you?

      April 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  2. Ms. Ratna Baichwal

    I really admire this lady. Way to go nice to see someone who has the courage of her convictions.

    Sincerely,

    Ms. R. Baichwal

    April 12, 2013 at 9:23 am | Reply
  3. Richard Yates

    Sad, but mentally imbalanced.

    April 12, 2013 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • enon

      I sympathize with your predicament, it is obvious from your previous comment

      April 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Reply
      • Debra T

        LAUGHOUTLOUD!

        April 13, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  4. Debra T

    @yates...Troll

    April 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  5. brewdog5150

    While i am saddend by you loss, i am already tired of you blaming guns.

    April 14, 2013 at 9:49 am | Reply
  6. Hao So

    My best friend in high school died in a car crash,
    but his death will never mean anything because you heartless people won't ban cars.

    April 14, 2013 at 11:15 am | Reply
  7. truth seeker

    This woul be sad, had this event actually happened. Sandy Hook never took place. Look at the facts surrounding it and you will see the truth.

    April 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Reply
    • truthiness

      Is that what a YouTube video told you?

      April 15, 2013 at 5:44 am | Reply
    • rosijoni

      Do you get your news from the same sources that claim 9/11 never happened? I suppose you are also a fervent reader of Breitbart.com, and a "ditto head" on Rush Limbaugh's program. "Nuff said.

      April 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • rosijoni

      "Truth Seeker" – I just went to YouTube and started to watch this video from infowars.com – a crazy, extremist site that will attempt to debunk each and everything that happens in this world. THE WORLD WILL END TOMORROW! CLICK ON THIS BEFORE IT DISAPPEARS! THE BOGEYMAN IS OUT TO GET YOU! That is their type of "news". Get real.

      April 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  8. Zoe G

    I know she does

    April 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  9. Get Mikey

    While I am deeply affected by her mother's reaction to the obvious impending danger she faced, all I can think of is, if her mother was the type of good person to run TOWARD the shooter, surely she would have been the type to instead pull out a gun and shoot the guy had she had one with her and had done the proper training at the time. After all, it was good police officers and firefighters that we lost on 9/11 who ran toward the danger as others fled.

    Hate to break it to ya, honey, but Adam Lanza broke the law. It doesn't matter how many laws you pass against law abiding citizens, because they're not the ones breaking the law. But meanwhile the law abiding citizens are being punished because of grief-stricken people seeking retribution against the wrong people. Furthermore, the families of the victims are using the corrupted parts of the system by hiring lobbyists in order to do so. And in doing so, they are tarnishing the names of their loved ones in the process.

    But if these families of the victims of Sandy Hook are so grief-stricken that they want to eliminate the right of self-defense for people who are abiding by the laws of the land, why don't they first demand that the laws already on the books be followed? And while they are at it, how about asking Attorney General Eric Holder why he allowed so many weapons to end up across the border and into Mexico where they ultimately ended up being used to kill not only Mexican nationals but also American law enforcement? Is a Mexican life for some reason worth less than an American life? (Heaven forbid!)

    You see, it does no good to pass new laws when the ones already on the books are not being enforced. It just becomes one more law on the books . . . that likely also will not be enforced.

    And even in the background check legislation that's supposed to be agreed upon by the "Gang of 8" there is a glaring loophole! Right now, even if they pass the law as currently written it does not require background checks of friends and family, only sales to strangers. That right there still puts a gun into Adam Lanza's hands, as from what I understand his weapons were legally owned and acquired and registered by his own mother. And there is not a background check in the world that can prevent someone from killing their own mother and then taking her weapons.

    But while I am extremely sorry for what has happened in your immediate family, I can only hope and pray that you understand that you are being used, being victimized once again. First it was the shooter, who stole your mother from your family. Now it is your government leadership, who is using you in order to steal your freedom by using your pain of loss in order to promote something that is currently illegal yet highly desired by those in power–to take away Americans' guns. You see, they cannot take away what they do not know about. And the only way they can possibly know about them is to require a background check during the purchase and registration afterward, and then place that data into a database to generate a list of names and addresses of where to go in order to pick them up when the time comes.

    Surely you understand your American history enough to know that when the British advanced upon Lexington and Concord it was to collect the colonists' weapons!

    April 15, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  10. jose franco

    Silly gun lovers. I live in the Netherlands, gun ownership is very much restricted, only the police (good guys!!) carry guns. We have almost no gun deaths. completely ridiculous that just about anyone in the Us can purchase a gun without and back ground check...WHATS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!!

    April 16, 2013 at 7:55 am | Reply
  11. olivia griep

    Guns are bad.

    April 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  12. olivia griep

    While I am deeply affected by her mother's reaction to the obvious impending danger she faced, all I can think of is, if her mother was the type of good person to run TOWARD the shooter, surely she would have been the type to instead pull out a gun and shoot the guy had she had one with her and had done the proper training at the time. After all, it was good police officers and firefighters that we lost on 9/11 who ran toward the danger as others fled.

    Hate to break it to ya, honey, but Adam Lanza broke the law. It doesn't matter how many laws you pass against law abiding citizens, because they're not the ones breaking the law. But meanwhile the law abiding citizens are being punished because of grief-stricken people seeking retribution against the wrong people. Furthermore, the families of the victims are using the corrupted parts of the system by hiring lobbyists in order to do so. And in doing so, they are tarnishing the names of their loved ones in the process.

    But if these families of the victims of Sandy Hook are so grief-stricken that they want to eliminate the right of self-defense for people who are abiding by the laws of the land, why don't they first demand that the laws already on the books be followed? And while they are at it, how about asking Attorney General Eric Holder why he allowed so many weapons to end up across the border and into Mexico where they ultimately ended up being used to kill not only Mexican nationals but also American law enforcement? Is a Mexican life for some reason worth less than an American life? (Heaven forbid!)

    You see, it does no good to pass new laws when the ones already on the books are not being enforced. It just becomes one more law on the books . . . that likely also will not be enforced.

    And even in the background check legislation that's supposed to be agreed upon by the "Gang of 8" there is a glaring loophole! Right now, even if they pass the law as currently written it does not require background checks of friends and family, only sales to strangers. That right there still puts a gun into Adam Lanza's hands, as from what I understand his weapons were legally owned and acquired and registered by his own mother. And there is not a background check in the world that can prevent someone from killing their own mother and then taking her weapons.

    But while I am extremely sorry for what has happened in your immediate family, I can only hope and pray that you understand that you are being used, being victimized once again. First it was the shooter, who stole your mother from your family. Now it is your government leadership, who is using you in order to steal your freedom by using your pain of loss in order to promote something that is currently illegal yet highly desired by those in power–to take away Americans' guns. You see, they cannot take away what they do not know about. And the only way they can possibly know about them is to require a background check during the purchase and registration afterward, and then place that data into a database to generate a list of names and addresses of where to go in order to pick them up when the time comes.

    Surely you understand your American history enough to know that when the British advanced upon Lexington and Concord it was to collect the colonists' weapons!

    April 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  13. backlink

    Hello this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or in the event you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog quickly but have no coding expertise so I wanted to obtain advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated! backlink http://fiverr.com/twnseobacklink

    April 25, 2013 at 1:46 am | Reply

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