(Note: WTIC NewsTalk 1080 will carry the State of the Union on a delayed basis, following UConn basketball.)
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra and two local police detectives who were among the first on the scene for the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting will be guests of U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech.
Blumenthal said Monday he hopes the presence of the Newtown officials in the House of Representatives on Tuesday night will inspire the president to push ahead with a “very aggressive” gun control package in light of the Dec. 14 shooting, which left 20 first graders and six educators dead.
“I think the president, looking out at the gallery, knowing that victims are there, has to be moved to, in effect, sound the charge,” he said, adding how he’s concerned about talk of backing off on a new federal assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
Murphy said Newtown Detective Dan McAnaspie will join him in the House. He also has invited Detective Jason Frank to Washington, D.C. He hopes both will attend a traditional Senate dinner before the address and have a chance to speak with other senators.
He said having the Newtown officials there reminds members of Congress that a mass shooting can happen anywhere.
“It’s a reminder to even the most hardened friends of the gun lobby that your community could be next if we don’t make changes,” Murphy said.
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty has invited Sandy Hook’s lead teacher, Natalie Hammond, who was shot in the foot, leg and hand but crawled to safety.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. John Larson has invited his longtime friend Ross Hollander, president of
Hartford Distributors in Manchester, where on Aug. 3, 2010, eight workers were shot and killed by an employee who had just been fired.
Also, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes invited his constituent Kurtina Murphy, of Bridgeport, whose 3-year-old daughter was hit in the crossfire of a gunfight last summer but has recovered.
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