Sen. Blumenthal Defends Fundraising Off Newtown Shooting

Sen. Blumenthal Defends Fundraising Off Newtown Shooting

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent an email to his supporters on Thursday asking them for a contribution “in the wake of the horror of the December 14, 2012 massacre of 20 beautiful children and 6 dedicated educators.”

The New Haven Register reports that Blumenthal sent an email that included the following statement:

As your senator, I will continue fighting for the rights of all the people, not the special interests. But I need your help. Please contribute $5 now as the Senate debate continues on common-sense gun reform legislation this week.

Both Blumenthal and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) have led an effort in the historic U.S. Senate cloture vote this week to permit debate to proceed on gun control. Both senators, as well as other lawmakers, are using the Newtown shooting as a basis for additional gun restrictions.

At the University of Hartford on Friday, Blumenthal and Murphy spoke to promote federal gun restrictions and to accuse the National Rifle Association (NRA) “of essentially fear-mongering to build its membership and its fund raising and also to, in effect, keep this bill with misconceptions and misrepresentations.”

Blumenthal evaded a question whether he was not doing the same thing he was accusing gun advocates of doing, responding that such messages, either as fundraisers or informational bulletins, go out on a regular basis tied to the issue he is working on at the moment.

Blumenthal said:

I have been immersed in seeking to achieve an end to gun violence. I have been immersed in advocating for sensible common sense preventive measures dealing with gun violence. This outreach is done regularly and usually about the work I am doing in the Senate. Gun violence has been the work I have been doing in the past weeks.

Murphy defended Blumenthal, stating, “People want to support the work that we do and right now people supporting the work we are doing is on this bill.”

Asked whether their work is exploiting the Sandy Hook tragedy, Blumenthal replied, “I am committed to working with the families in fighting for the cause of gun violence prevention.”

Both Blumenthal and Murphy praised the families of the victims who lobbied lawmakers this week in Washington to urge them to pass the cloture vote. The senators claimed that, with education, they believe the misinformation around the background check amendment will help to get the votes they need when debate begins on Tuesday.