'You Need To Have Moral Compassion For What Happened ... And They Didn't'

NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — The annoyance of a telemarketer’s phone call has quickly turned to dismay in Newtown.

As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported Monday, the controversial calls were made by the National Rifle Association.

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The nation’s most prominent gun lobby made robocalls to Newtown area residents and sent postcards urging people to call their state elected officials to “stop dangerous anti-gun legislation.” This in the wake of the Dec. 14 massacre of 26 people, including 20 children, inside Sandy Hook Elementary School by gunman Adam Lanza.

David Freedman, treasurer of the Newtown Action Alliance, said he received a robocall and a postcard from the NRA.

“I think it’s horrible. You know, it’s a disgrace,” Freedman said. “You need to have some moral compassion for what happened in our community and they didn’t.”

One of the Connecticut state legislators mentioned in the NRA postcard to Newtown residents said he had nothing to do with the NRA’s appeal. The office of Rep. Mitch Bolinsky said it received a lot of calls from Newtown, all of them angry about the NRA’s solicitation.

On the streets of the fragile community, the NRA’s telemarketing effort appears to have backfired.

“I think it’s horrible. It’s not the right time or place,” one person said.

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“They shouldn’t be calling. That’s disrespectful. Let everybody mourn,” another said.

“I would think that’s insensitive,” another added.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg even chimed in.

“Sometimes people just don’t express, don’t use good judgment. I guess the word ‘shameless’ comes to mind,” Bloomberg said of the NRA’s actions.

Some in Newtown said they’re not opposed to talking to the NRA.

“We are really wanting to have some constructive conversations with the gun owners and the NRA,” Freedman said.

They are ready for a dialogue, but not a one-way telemarketing campaign.

CBS 2 reached out to NRA headquarters in Virginia to ask the group about the phone calls, but the station’s call was not immediately returned.

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