The National Rifle Association may want to consider adjusting their outreach techniques, especially in the town of Newtown, Connecticut whose residents have been receiving robocalls and postcards from the pro-gun organization. The calls have infuriated residents who are still reeling from the tragedy that took so many lives just three months ago. The latest tactics by the NRA go beyond the pale, even for them.
The robocalls are part of an all out media campaign to prevent the Connecticut General Assembly from passing strict gun control laws. On March 19 the GA unanimously approved requiring background checks for all guns sales in the state.
The Newtown Action Alliance first posted about the robocalls on Facebook along with a link to the National Do Not Call Registry. Other Newtown residents responded that they too had been receiving unsolicited phone calls from the pro-gun group. For many residents the phone calls don’t just come once a week but often several times a day.
Christopher Wenis is a resident of Newtown who has found himself at the mercy of such calls. Wenis reached out to the NRA multiple times in an attempt to remove himself from their call lists. Despite assurances that he would be placed taken off their lists, the phone calls continued through out the week and into Friday evening.
Ignoring the phone calls won’t help either as voicemail machines pick up the prerecorded 30-second phone messages. That is what so deeply offended Tom Maurath, a 40-year resident of Newton, who said he worried that his six-year-old son could have been unintended recipient of the message. Maurath has also received post-cards from the NRA which blame the Connecticut General Assembly for trying to take away gun-owners rights.
When asked for a response about the robocalls, an NRA spokesperson said that they have supporters who deserve to be kept aware of any legislation concerning diminishing the rights of gun owners.
For residents like Tom Maurath though, that excuse isn’t good enough. He’s a registered independent and has never aligned himself with any guns-rights organization.
"There are only three phone number prefixes here in town, and it's less than three months after the most horrific tragedy imaginable. You'd think they could have scrubbed the list, just to be decent. Instead, you're making an unsolicited call with no opt-out that my children could answer."
While it may not be illegal for the NRA to make these phone calls, it sure as hell is in bad taste.