Rubbing Salt In Raw Wounds

To the Editor:

Thought I could maybe help out Lou Carpenter [“The Holster On My Hip,” Letter Hive, 8/23/13] and others confused about why many of us in Newtown/Sandy Hook might get very upset seeing them open-carry their weapons around town.

I realize that some of these people might have their heart in the right place and truly may not understand.

A few months ago, as you know, our town was rocked by the use of guns to try to terrorize and destroy us. Needless to say, we are highly sensitive on the subject… yes, it was a madman using the gun, but regardless, it was a gun that was used.  I repeat:  it was a gun.

And there are quite a few in town who don’t have a problem with hunting rifles, revolvers, and bows used in the right place and at the right time. I am one of those. Those who understand that owning a gun, although a right, is also a privilege. You respect your guns.

Here is what I have observed:  Before this event, no one bothered with open-carrying. It just was not really done... not necessary. You yourself, Lou Carpenter, said you never had before.

Even in Louisiana, “Sportsman’s Paradise” where I lived most of my younger life, it still isn’t really done because it’s just not necessary.  When I visit my family, if we see anyone there wearing a weapon, they’ve got an official reason to be doing do.

However, since our horrific event, for some reason, there are many here in Connecticut who have decided that wearing their gun in the open makes a point. What point I am not sure, but they think it proves something.

Are you using open-carry to prove that you have the legal right to do so? We know you have the right:  open-carrying doesn’t make your right to do it any “righter.”

Is it to prove you’re tough? If you’re tough, you already know you are. You don’t have to advertise it all the time to everyone; only when necessary.

Maybe we don’t like it because… wearing your weapon openly to the grocery store where patrons and/or their child may have been at SHE [Sandy Hook Elementary] that fateful day, sees your gun and has flashbacks…

…or to Starbucks where, not only for the aforementioned reason, but also where one of the baristas was a teacher-victim at SHE…

…or that flaunting your gun around town like someone showing off their toy, makes it appear as if you do not care what just happened here.  But maybe you didn’t think of that?

I’m absolutely not saying you don’t care, I’m just saying that you are rubbing salt in very raw wounds…it has only been a few months – not even a year.  We cannot read your mind that you do care; we only know what we see with our eyes.

Open-carry all you want; it’s your right! Just take it a few miles down the road to another town where our day of terror at SHE did not happen.

Liz Sortino

13 Turkey Roost Road, Sandy Hook          August 26, 2013

More stories like this: 12/14, guns, Starbucks


Good letter, a little off base.

I have many of the same thoughts and emotions as you Liz. I don't disagree with your outlook on the situation. As some others have pointed out; Newtown was used to push an anti-gun agenda in CT and throughout the nation.That is the sole reason anyone would 'flaunt' their open carry firearm within Newtown. Again, I don't like it but I place the blame when it is supposed to be placed.

From your letter it sounds like you were never a part of the anti-gun push. That is probably why you don't understand why anyone would 'retaliate' at the expense of the victims and the community as a whole.

Mrs. Sortino is SPOT ON correct.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will start by saying that Mrs. Sortino is my sister-in-law. She also happens to be spot on correct in her response to the original letter to the editor. This has never been a Second Amendment issue. It is the NRA Leadership and gun manufacturers that want to frame the discussion in that light. I don't own a gun but I fully support someone's right to own a hand gun, a deer hunting rifle, or the equivalent for whatever reasons they deem necessary. The difference is that semi-automatic, automatic and other weapons of this kind were designed for one purpose, to kill many people quickly. Whether they can also be used to shoot at targets is completely irrelevant. There needs to be improvement in the gun laws that at least make these weapons more difficult to obtain. Lives will be saved. The notion that the gun is not the issue, that the sanity of the gun holder is the issue, is absurd, at best. I pose this question to those who adhere to this view. If Lanza had approached Sandy Hook Elementary on that tragic day, armed only with a Bowie Knife, would more of those children and teachers be alive today? OF COURSE THEY WOULD. It's common sense. The gun is a part of the issue, without a doubt.
As to sensitivity to the Newtown community, this is also a no-brainer. I am a strong advocate of freedom of speech and fighting for causes in which you believe. However, when a tragedy the magnitude of which has rarely been seen in our lifetimes has occurred less than one year ago, I think it's fair to note that some sensitivity and respect is called for on the part of every person in this debate. To try and prove a point by wearing a gun in the open, while families are still torn apart with incomprehensible grief and have to be reminded once more of that grief by your armed presence, is incredibly selfish and callous.
The bottom line is that no matter which side you land on in this debate, respect and sensitivity to the Newtown community should come first and foremost. Period.


Lanza did not use a legal firearm. He stole one and killed his mother. He had no regard for laws, morals or life. There is virtually no way to have stopped him from obtaining a weapon capable of mass murder. you are naive to think some sort of stricter law would have forced him to use a bowie knife. He had years to plan. I am not willing to bite my tongue and wait for the next mass murder happen because everyone blamed THE GUN thinking it will solve the problem. Never mind watch countless innocent people be subject to violent crimes and murder because they are unable to protect themselves with a firearm. A gun will be obtained illegally or a different and potentially more effective method will be used by sociopaths.

Miss Sortino hits the nail

Miss Sortino hits the nail squarely on the head. As a ardent 2A proponent I thought this was a disastrous move by and for law-abiding gun owners. It was insensitive and inflamed emotions and that played right into the hands of people who can't win the argument based on facts and logic, but can only invoke emotion.

However I would say for my part, and I don't speak for anyone who attended the Sandy Hook Starbucks, you have to look at it from my standpoint just like we should have looked at it from yours. The people in Sandy Hook are leaving their community and entering into mine to infringe on my rights. One parent who is basically penniless is being flown all over to advocate for positions in opposition to the Constitution that many of us hold dear.

While I have much sympathy for the families for the tragedy they suffered, that doesn't give them some sort of privilege to have their say and attack the rights of law-abiding citizens while expecting those same people to remain silent out of respect for what the families endured. Respect is a two-way street. If you are going to step out onto the football field then don't cry when you get tackled. If you don't want outsiders coming into your community with such a display then maybe you consider first how your actions might boomerang back at you.


You think he realized it was a bad move? What makes you think so?


You think he realized it was a bad move? What makes you think so?

Liz, I'm very sorry for what

Liz, I'm very sorry for what you and all of the other residents of Newtown have had to go through, no one should ever have to cope with an event that tragic. Unfortunately cowardly and evil people in this world do exist and that is why I am a gun owner.

I feel it's my duty to protect myself and those I care about from people who try to harm them, I will not rely solely on the police and wait minutes when seconds count. Yes a gun was used that day but blaming the gun instead of the person pulling the trigger makes no sense. I recently lost an uncle to alcohol abuse, I love him a lot but I blame him, not the alcohol. No one blamed the pressure cookers for the Boston Marathon bombing, so why blame a gun for Newtown?

The fact is politicians in CT and across the country are exploiting what happened in Newtown to push forth their own agenda. CT passed some of the toughest gun laws in the country this year yet you still here about shootings in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport on a near daily basis. Gun control laws do nothing but make it harder for us legal gun owners. Law abiding gun owners are continually punished for the actions of those who break laws and we've gotten sick of it. That is why some of us have chosen to open carry, to show those elected to office that thousands of people are sick of having their constitutional rights trampled on. To show those who think all gun owners are pissed off rednecks with a chip on their shoulder that nothing could be further from the truth. It has nothing to do with "flaunting our toys" or "being tough" and to be honest some of the nicest people in CT I've met have been those I've seen open carrying and started a conversation with. Want to meet a group on polite guys, go to a gun shop.

Well said, JPR88

If there was a horrific school bus accident, would we hide buses because it might scare someone to see them? Or no longer put our children on them; or ourselves? If a fire swept through the building, would we roil and feint when someone uses the word, "fire"?

Problem is, bad things happen to good people and when they do, there is always someone there to exploit the situation for personal or political gain. Playing upon fear, these gamesters are masters at the craft of spin, experts of deception. Not all Newtowners subscribe to a fear of guns or gun owners, (gun permit applications are up statewide, including Newtown), but many have been deceived into believing that the issues of man's character can be altered by words on paper.

i agree with you liz...i was

i agree with you liz...i was one of the first to say it was'nt right to open carry....it made the rest of us look bad...i think he finally realized it was a bad move

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