‘I will be heard’: Daughter of slain Sandy Hook school principal

Updated
President Obama presents a 2012 Citizens Medal to Erica Lafferty in honor of her mother, Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, on Feb. 15,...
President Obama presents a 2012 Citizens Medal to Erica Lafferty in honor of her mother, Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, on Feb. 15,...
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Erica Lafferty does not want Congress to forget about her mom, the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who was gunned down on Dec. 14 along with 20 children and five other educators.

The principal’s daughter took to social media to call out the 14 Republican senators who are threatening to filibuster the first major gun control legislation since the assault weapons ban was introduced in 1993.

On Tuesday, Erica Lafferty tweeted a photo of her sister kissing their mother, Dawn Hochsprung’s, cheek on the day of her wedding to every Republican senator who threatened to filibuster the gun control vote.

Hey, @mcconnellpress, here is a pic of my mom & sister on her wedding day. I don’t get that at my wedding in July twitter.com/E_Laffs2/statu…

— Erica Lafferty (@E_Laffs2) April 9, 2013


After failing to reach any of the senators by phone, Lafferty initiated a social media campaign and enlisted the public’s help to individually call out the legislators who have pledged to obstruct the upcoming vote. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy sent out a series of tweets to those same legislators, urging them to return Lafferty’s calls.

.@senpatroberts Please call @e_laffs2 back. The families deserve to be heard, and they deserve a vote

— Governor Dan Malloy (@GovMalloyOffice) April 9, 2013


A few hours later, Lafferty persisted. She tweeted:

@marcorubio I’ll never see my mom again because she was gunned down in Sandy Hook. I don’t deserve to be heard? twitter.com/E_Laffs2/statu…

— Erica Lafferty (@E_Laffs2) April 9, 2013


Tweeting a photo of her mother holding her granddaughter for the first time, Lafferty directed the image at Senator Mike Crapo.

@mikecrapo My mom was gunned down @ Sandy Hook, Alyson will never know her Grandma. We dont deserve to be heard? twitter.com/E_Laffs2/statu…

— Erica Lafferty (@E_Laffs2) April 9, 2013

NBC Connecticut reports that one senator, Ted Cruz–a staunch Texan conservative who has publicly praised the Second Amendment–agreed to call her back, and had a 15- to 20-minute phone conversation with Lafferty Tuesday afternoon, according to a source.

Cruz, one of the original authors of the letter stating the Republican intent to filibuster, explained his reason for the filibuster.


“The reason why I and others have written to the majority leader and said we will insist on a 60-vote threshold is to safeguard the Bill of Rights. The Constitution is our founding document, and it protects the rights of Americans even when the passions of the moment intrude.”

Thirteen senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid writing that they plan to block any legislation that they viewed as an infringement on the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms. But Lafferty told the 13 lawmakers that she would not stop until she heard back from the rest.

Going through the list of senators threatening to filibuster - calling them one by one.I WILL BE HEARD.

— Erica Lafferty (@E_Laffs2) April 9, 2013

After President Obama’s speech in Connecticut on the need for gun control, 11 family members of the Sandy Hook shooting victims traveled to Washington on Monday to lobby Congress to vote for tougher gun control laws.


Senator Harry Reid scheduled an initial vote for Thursday, citing his own father’s death by gunshot as a reason for the bill to face the Senate floor. “We’re moving forward on this bill,” Reid said. “The American people deserve a vote on this legislation.”

The bill would need to cross a 60-vote threshold, a high bar, for the Senate to even begin consideration on several gun control proposals–all backed by President Obama. But even then the bill, which would increase penalties for illegal gun sales, further expand background checks on all gun buyers, and offers a renewal of the assault weapons ban, would need 60 votes to end the debate after consideration. Upon those votes, the final bill would get passed if it had 51 votes. Democrats hold 55 seats, but an unpredictable factor will be the votes of Democrats from red states who face re-election in 2013.

Erica Lafferty joined msnbc to discuss her phone conversation with Sen. Ted Cruz and the message she has for Congress. Watch her interview with msnbc’s Thomas Roberts below.

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'I will be heard': Daughter of slain Sandy Hook school principal

Updated