Congressman hosts gun safety event for kids on Newtown anniversary
December 10th, 2013
09:18 AM ET
9 years ago

Congressman hosts gun safety event for kids on Newtown anniversary

(CNN) – Rep. Ted Yoho said the date for his upcoming gun safety event for kids was not purposely chosen to coincide with the first anniversary of the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting, which left 20 young children and six adults dead.

"My thoughts and prayers go to the victims and families," the Florida Republican Congressman added, in a statement posted Monday to his Facebook page.

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"Gun safety education and responsible gun ownership are important topics that should be taught throughout the year," Yoho continued. "And this event is an opportunity to help my constituents learn about these incredibly important practices."

The first-term Congressman will host the event, titled "Family Firearm Safety Event," in his district on Saturday.

"Please bring your family and kids for an educational event on gun safety, purchasing firearms, legal requirements and safety standards while encouraging responsible firearm ownership," the invitation says.

Yoho is a staunch opponent of gun control. After President Barack Obama unveiled his proposals and executive actions in January to combat gun violence, Yoho released a statement saying the President's remarks made him "convinced more than ever that we must protect our 2nd Amendment rights."

"While I agree with President Obama's message that we must curb gun violence and protect our citizens, disregarding our Constitutional rights are the wrong way to go," he added, encouraging the Obama administration to "enforce the laws already on the books."

"As a proud gun owner, I believe that our right to bear arms is a birthright and I will oppose any effort to infringe on our guaranteed Constitutional rights," Yoho continued.

Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • House
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. current state of the union

    Gop plays both sides on this, there's guys like Smith who take this at face value, not knowing this was meant to insult. And the date is his way of joining the nothing to sacred crowd of extreme hatred. He is disgusting, he didn't change the date, but made notice of it. Dont see it smith, that's the both sides thing, insulting to those who know, and get credit by those who think he cares, makes me want to vomit.

    December 10, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. S.B. Stein

    We need to make it easier to convict people for violating the current weapons laws. If that can be done, then there would be less of a need for new laws.

    December 10, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. rs


    This man is a true PATRIOT. All children should be required to own at least one fire arm by age 16.
    You obviously have never been around teenagers or schools.

    December 10, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. TheThinker

    A government official... actually concerned with the public's safety?... I don't understand, aren't the politicians and their media serfs just supposed to posture with soundbites to further polarize the electorate?

    December 10, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. rs


    acccording to a study JUST released by the CDC, CONGRESS and HARVARD, gun ownership has increased the highest point ever since 1994 and violent crime has dropped to its lowest point EVER.
    Yeah, everybody is happy- except of course the 11,372 who have been killed by guns in America since Newtown, or their families.

    December 10, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. James

    @ryancf – so was the 1st Amendment, but you still enjoy and want to protect your right to speak your opinion don't you?

    This is actually a good thing. We have been bombarded with news articles about kids finding Dad's loaded gun and a host of other things that would not have happened if the parties had obeyed the simple laws of gun safety. Teaching gun safety, demystifying guns, and educating people whose gun knowledge comes from "Law and Order" and CNN can only help.

    December 10, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. Pat

    Boston = blame the bombers, not the pressure cookers
    Newtown = blame the guns, not the criminal

    And liberals wonder why they are so detested by normal people.

    December 10, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. rs


    He lives in Florida. Not Newtown, CT. The evens are totally unrelated. How anyone turns an event on gun safety into endorsement of a school shooting thousands of miles away is ridiculous. How anyone turns an event on gun safety into a sign of disrespect to victims of a shooting thousands of miles away is ridiculous
    Very simple- hold it on the anniversary date of 22 first graders being blown apart by a crazy person with a semi-automatic weapon. It is what the GOP and the NRA do- celebrate the shooting with a gun show or some other mind-numbingly stupid event that tells the survivors and those still mourning- "we don't care".
    Move the date- it is that simple.

    December 10, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Big Picture

    I applaud this congressman for holding a safety and awareness event. At least he is doing something positive rather than trampling on people's rights. No matter when this congressman were to hold this event, it would be tied to the Newtown tragedy. While it was a tragedy, it was not a gun control issue. It was a mental health issue that nobody seems to want to address.

    December 10, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Only a cold hearted, thick headed, gun nut would think that it would be a good idea to turn the anniversary of a tragedy into an annual gun expo for kids. That's just sick. My apologies to the families, to America, and to sane, decent people everywhere.

    December 10, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Sniffit

    Tone deaf meathead birther using the anniversary of the Newtown tragedy and the suffering of the victims' families as a launch pad for his gun rights talking points.

    December 10, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. JC

    Firearm safety? Outrageous!

    December 10, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Dan

    Laughable to hold such an event but not allow families and children to bring their firearms.

    December 10, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. sonny chapman

    This STUNT is all about HIM. How self-centered & insensitive to the Newtown folks who've still got & probably always will have a huge hole in their hearts. HIS 2nd Ammend. Rights trump the rights of all others.

    December 10, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. CRG

    This congressman is an idiot, another one of the imbeciles destroying the credibility of the Republican Party. The Party needs to weed out these wackos ASAP.

    December 10, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. Grady

    irony...Yoho shoots himself in the foot while demonstrating gun safety...

    December 10, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. rs

    Goblin King

    @rs "To create an event like this right now is not only incredibly insensitive and in bad taste, it is simply cruel."

    How is it any of those things?
    Simple- how might you feel on the one year anniversary of having your first grader blown apart by a kook with an AR-15? Maybe if you were related to or cared for one of the more than 11,000 killed this year in America since Newtown. Really think a NRA-tool holding a "gun safety" event for kids no less would make you feel good? We're talking about innocent lives taken for the most part by weapons (meant to kill) in possession of people who clearly shouldn't have had them.
    I am all for gun safety- and deep, thorough background checks, but for God's sake- don't do this nutty gun-love nonsense for kids this week. It is an act of disrespect.

    December 10, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. To Gurgyl...


    I pick you to be the guy that comes and takes mine.

    December 10, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. rs


    Boston = blame the bombers, not the pressure cookers
    Newtown = blame the guns, not the criminal

    And liberals wonder why they are so detested by normal people.
    You can make meals with a pressure cooker and never kill someone. What do you do with a piece of hardware wwhose sole purpose is to kill?

    December 10, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Mother of three sons

    You cannot undo years of programming that guns are fun, exciting, and powerful (I.e. Television, movies, and video games) in one simple lesson. The weapons effect shows that people will act more aggressively when they see a gun than when they don't. Ask any adolescent male what he was thinking about when the DARE officer came to school. Most will tell you that he was dreaming of holding the officer's gun and taking out the bullies in the room. Exposing kids to guns is dangerous and reckless without concurrent controls on what is being taught by the media and communities.

    December 10, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. Sniffit

    Well, the MSM gave him what he wanted with this publicity stunt. It's hard to say who that makes the stupidest party involved here: Birther Yoho, the MSM or the idiots who buy into his tinfoil hat talking points.

    December 10, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Me



    Since demonizing firearms has produced such wonderful results,
    it nice to see someone teaching respect for them for a change.
    You may be correct about teaching respect for things meant to kill. But I think we'd agree it isn't the responsible weapons enthusiast whi is the problem in mass killings like Sandy Hook.
    No, the problem is the utter lack of respect for the survivors and family members to hold that event in that place at this time. It is what the NRA did after Colombine- it is simple cruelty by those who have small minds and just don't care. A bad combination with things that kill.
    Again rs, I didn't hear you crying about the anti-gun ads that started airing right around the anniversary, that is JUST IF NOT MORE insensitive!!!!!!!!

    December 10, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. RCM

    This type of thinking is why America is in the top 10 of dangerous places to live.

    December 10, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -Jim O

    @ The Real Tom Paine

    More useful than what the folks on the other side of the issue have tried to put together. If you're going to preach, preach to them all about respect.
    I did not say not to hold the event, but that to pick the anniversary pof the Newtown incident is grossly disrespectful. Even after he was made aware of this PR problem, he went ahead with it anyway. How does that help him accomplish his goal of promoting gun safety, something the NRA is actually very good at? It distracts and diminishes it.

    December 10, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. PaulG

    Gun control is not about controlling crime, it is about disarming the public.

    December 10, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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