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“It’s absolutely grotesque to suggest that if my mom had a gun that the Newtown massacre may have somehow turned out differently. She was a mother and an educator — not a Marine. And she did everything in her power to protect those children from harm. These cowards don’t have an ounce of the courage that my mom had.” – Erica Lafferty, daughter of murdered Sandy Hook Elementary principal Dawn Hochsprung, Pro-gun groups plan ‘Guns Save Lives’ day on Newtown massacre anniversary [at]

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  1. I hope one day, when she is over her unimaginable grief, she will reconcile her last two sentences with the first.

  2. Miss Lafferty, what is grotesque is the disgusting fact that some lowlife worm took the life of your mother and the children in her charge,and that the law helped him do that .

    Real courage is putting aside your cultural prejudice against guns to ensure future children are safe.

    • Actually, that’s the whole point. If she believed for even a moment her mother could have done anything more to avoid the outcome the grief caused by understanding her mother died in vain (and her death could have been avoided) would be so overwhelming it would destroy her. It’s a common coping mechanism.

      If I recall correctly a key faculty member at Virginia Tech commented she “couldn’t do anything to help” in the same manner. That denial is a clear coping mechanism.

  3. Maybe true, but what if she had a gun AND gun training? What if “everything in her power” included more things than…. what was it exactly that was “in her power” that day? Next to nothing I assume.

  4. Respect for your grief. I’m sure that your mother was a wonderful person. But how did she protect the kids in her care? By dying first so she didn’t have to watch them die?

    I respect your mothers courage. She died riding to the sound of the guns. But she died empty handed. She may not have been a Marine, but she deserved the right to have a fighting chance like any Marine.

    • Hell, the fact she ran towards the guy shooting proved she was more of a Marine than most people. Had she had a gun, she might have been able to stop the guy.

      • I will catch some flak for this but I will still say it.

        There is a difference between courage and stupidity.

        Defending a loved one, whether they are your pupils or family or a stranger = brave.

        Running unarmed towards a gunman = stupid

        I apologize if this offends anyone but those are my thoughts, you shouldn’t get a medal for getting killed for no good reason (I heard about a soldier here in Norway who drove over an IED and died, he got the Norwegian equivalent of the Medal of Honor posthumously for that).

        • Agreed, but what we don’t know what her options were.

          If she had none, charging the guy is better than just passively dying.

        • What about windows? Nobody thought about escaping through a window?

          But I dont want to discuss “should-have-would-have” it is too late for her.

        • Could you have escaped thru a window and left elementary school kids that you were entrusted with to their death? If you could, then having a gun would have made no difference.

          I measure courage by the example set by a woman in my young military days. She stood amongst the wreckage of a burning airplane and tossed children to safety that would have died without her. Many died even with her. At any point she could have escaped the plane and saved herself. She died still throwing babies to safety.

          She had no helmet, no body armor and no m16. She died in fire to save just one more.

        • If I had a gun I wouldn’t contemplate escaping through a window.

          But I dont want to discuss this anymore. You can say it is a noble/self-sacrificing way to go (beautiful when you think about it).

      • Jwm – Yes. Incredible courage by the Principal.
        None of us are qualified to second guess her, unless you have faced a psychotic gunman with only your bare hands.

        Piss poor judgement by Gottlieb, putting SAF and the responsible gun owners it represents,
        out there on this day of mourning. I would have thought the SAF Board would have someone double-checking his decisions, after the Manchin debacle. I am regretting my life-time membership, once again.

  5. Armed non-USMC Mothers defending themselves and their kids:

    I can do this all day.

    What is grotesque is that some people are INSECURE in their ability to responsibly own a gun and don’t have the WILL to do what may be necessary to defend themselves or their own children, and then these people, to mask and equalize their inadequacies, want to put all others in the same position by denying them their RKBA.


    • Guns were called “equalizers” for a reason. Yes, one should devote as much time and money to training as one can afford. But the wonderful thing about guns is, they were the first “point and shoot” technology. You didn’t have to have the upper body strength and substantial training required to wield the previous gold standards of self-defense technologies, the sword and the bow and arrow, which in earlier times allowed common people to be easily dominated. Thanks to modern firearms, every man and woman can at least have a realistic chance of defending themselves, even with very minimal training.

      It is funny how liberals are simultaneously terrified of guns, as if they were some magical self-animating objects, and yet on the other hand, consider them useless except in the hands of military and police personnel.

      I feel terrible for this lady’s loss, but she’s obviously incapable of putting together logically-connected, reality-based ideas.

  6. Very strange. When confronted with the reality of violence, some people accept it and prepare so they can have a fighting chance if it happens again. Others insist that they are powerless, and that somebody else do something to change the world around them. The former is an adaptive response, the latter wishful thinking. The fact that so many wishful thinkers are able to thrive and survive shows how little violence most of us face. People like that didn’t tend to last very long during rougher times in history.

    • Very strange indeed. It is hard to believe she lost anyone, making partisan statements like that and utilizing her own mother’s corpse as a prop. There is something odd about the Sandy Hook crowd, something about their agitation that just doesn’t make sense.

      The story is horrible but it is hard for me to take away from it anything other than the idea that we need to do a better job of keeping track of people with mental illnesses so they don’t fall through the cracks like Adam Lanza supposedly did.

      His mother seemed to have had some kind of mid life crisis that had her buying firearms, which seems odd for a lady with her background in that area. It is all just so improbable. Having both owned firearms my whole life and having worked with the Autistic and Mentally Retarded, it is a hard narrative to swallow. Nancy Lanza would have to disconnect herself for many years for this to happen the way we have been told it did.

      It is almost as if the long suffering enemies of the 2A created for themselves a literal Potemkin Village to bring their tired, statist narrative back from the grave. But that can’t be true, because if they did it one place they could do it again. And again, and again until they get their way.

      But that is totally impossible… right?

  7. That is actually the point, she did “everything in her power” but that was artificially limited by people who think it is better to be a victim than to defend yourself. I am shure if she had been able to do more she would have, but she was prevented from doing so by a “gun free zone”.

  8. Well, it’s her mother, so presumably she knows her better than anyone else. I wouldn’t presume to tell her she’s wrong about her mother. From all accounts, the actions she did take were very brave for someone placed in a basically unimaginable situation, certainly one she was unprepared for.

    Unfortunately, two things are likely true: first, a gun couldn’t have made things any worse, because if it did no good, the final outcome would have been unchanged; and second, we’ll never know for sure, and in that way Daughter is as wrong for saying a gun wouldn’t have helped as the people who insist that it would.

    Finally, I feel like pro-gun groups holding rallies on the anniversary is in poor taste, and I don’t feel that “the antis are gonna do it for their side, so we have to provide counterpoint” to be enough reason to overcome that poor taste.

    • That would be the decent thing to do: Leave the anniversary of Sandy Hook as a time to remember and grieve. On the other hand, since we can’t expect any degree of decency from the civilian disarmament movement, I can’t condemn the pro-constitution movement for putting out a productive message along with the grabbers destructive message. I personally won’t be out waving any signs, though.

    • Sorry Matt, going to call you on this one. Newton stopped being about good or poor taste when the DNC got up on the first little coffin and started waving the bloody shirt. You don’t destroy an enemy as tenacious and evil as the anti-self defense shills without being willing to go just as far as they are. Further, if necessary. As I mis-quoted earlier dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack. I’m in the “not one step back” phase. I refuse to be defeated by people who use murdered children as political props. If that means I need to do things that are slightly distasteful, so be it.

      • I gotta agree with Matt on this one. Sure the DNC started to do a jig on the graves of the dead before their bodies were cold, but that doesn’t mean we should play into their agitprop. The media and the DNC want pro-gun rallies on December 14th so they can push their propaganda about gun owners. I say don’t give it to them. How about holding a “Guns save lives” day on the anniversary of the following instead:




        I’m sure there is a DGU on December 14th that could be used, but I’d rather our side have a clear message with a clear event. You want to beat them, don’t give them agitprop ammo.

    • Maybe her Mom couldn’t have done anything if she had a gun. You’re right Matt. None of us would know better than her daughter. That said, Principal Hochsprung wasn’t the only adult in the building. If one of the other adults had a gun and some training, maybe they would have ran toward the gunfire also. With a better ending.

  9. We the people will never let The United States of America become disarmed . Arm the good guys , they’ll take care of the bad .
    Denny .

  10. what the anti-gunners miss is the point that the known presence of guns in the school could have deterred the wackjob from choosing the school as the location for his cowardly deed. Not that teachers need to be Marines or sharpshooters. The known presence of armed “good guys” (and gals) is the deterrent. We survived the nuclear cold war by being good guys with guns (that were never fired). Criminals and cowards take the path of least resistance, which today are the free fire (aka: gun free) zones.

  11. Adam Lanza wasn’t a marine, either.

    In fact, I’m straining to think of a single mass shooting that was carried out by a combat veteran. I think the closest we come was Charles Whitman, who as a marine did a tour at Guantanamo Bay.

    • ….and Whitman was suffering from a brain tumor which likely caused his rampage.
      And ma’am, your mother’s courage and dedication is unquestionable. But were she given
      another chance, would she not she not prepare for such an emergency?

    • Lee Harvey Oswald. The university of Texas tower shooting. John Allen Muhammad. There’s no shortage of looney veterans. Timothy McVeigh wasn’t a shooter but he is consistent with the looney veteran status.

      • The question involved COMBAT veterans, not veterans. Of the ones named, only McVeigh was a combat veteran, having served in the first Gulf War.

  12. Courage and an empty sack is worth the sack. Being courageous in a situation where you are unable to influence events is worth nothing. It just gets one more person killed. This girl needs a swift smack across the lips for being a worthless shrew not worthy of her name.

  13. Cover picture on the story says the weapon Lanza used was full auto. They’re ignorant shills. Ignore them.

  14. An interesting move by Gottlieb. It will be fascinating to see how it plays out. As we can see, it is already getting media attention and as the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, as long as they spell your buzzwords right. Millions of low-information readers have now been exposed to the words “guns save lives.” Who cares if they hate us a little more, at least they have those three words to deal with.

    • The Alinsky is strong with this one. And the sad thing is that I can’t say you are wrong.

    • Note the SAF slid the event a day, from the 14th to the 15th, the “Bill of Rights Day”, per their presser:

      Alinsky smart? Uh. I’d say more like stoopid. Reminds me of Gottlieb backpedaling on the Manchin deal, trying to change the narrative, once gun-owners howled for his head.

      Stick to funding court-cases SAF, and leave the grand-standing to someone better at it.
      You are tone deaf, again.

  15. I think some of us tend to forget how empowering learning to shoot can be. People (especially women) who reach adulthood with the misconceptions the left pushes about guns are generally intimidated by the thought of owning and shooting a gun. They don’t think they could ever handle that kind of power until/unless they actually try it and when they do it becomes a very empowering experience. Ms. Lafferty doesn’t know this yet. In her mind only special people with extensive special training could handle a combat situation. She doesn’t know that her mother could have protected those kids with a gun, and so could she. I feel sorry for her loss, but I also feel sorry for her lack of self confidence.

    • Excellent point.

      How many times have we heard civilian disarmament proponents incorrectly claim that only the police can safely and effectively use a firearm against a spree-killer?

      Civilian disarmament proponents make such claims because they think it takes several months and/or years of training to be proficient with a firearm … and they believe that all police officers receive such extensive training.

      Of course the reality is that most firearms are very simple tools and an average person can be proficient with a firearm with just a few hours of training/practice. We have to remember to share this simple and powerful truth with people who are not aware.

      • And the self confidence gained by overcoming your fears and rising to the challenge of mastering a firearm will carry over to other challenges in your life.

  16. It’s a stupid line of reasoning she has. Suggesting that things might have turned out differently if her mother had had a gun is not grotesque at all. What would have been grotesque would have been to say that if her mother had a gun, things most definitely would have turned out differently. But suggesting that they might have is just a statement of fact. The “Marine” argument is a ridiculous straw man.

  17. I too think it’s in poor taste to hold a rally on the anniversary of a tragedy. Yes, law abiding gun owners aren’t mass shooters, etc etc ad nauseum — it doesn’t matter. People not already on one side or another are going to see this as bad taste, and maybe as proof that pro-2A people are wackadoos. There are 364 other days in the year, where the Bloomberg acolytes don’t get to take that particular cheap shot.

  18. I get that some people can’t face violence. And I understand that some people would rather die than kill a person that is trying to kill them.

    What is egregious to me is when faced with an armed attacker, the teachers’ only options were to run away or die — because there was no security, no police, and they were in a gun free zone.

    They were setup to fail, fish in a barrel that still naively believe 911 will guarantee the police will arrive in time.

    It’s time to wake up.

    Every death in a gun free zone should be liable from the legislators and govt that allowed unconstitutional gun free zones to exist in the first place. Concealed carry is the solution, but law abiding citizens with permits can’t carry in gun free zones, ironically without committing a felony.

    But I guess the govt doesn’t seem to mind the criminally insane or violent people from committing murder in these places as they are providing a target rich environment.

    • It’s all about response time. CHL carriers are typically on scene when SHTF (not so much in gun free zones), but we aren’t a guaranteed success story since using guns in a DGU in this country is grounds for all sorts of legal issues even if you are well within your rights (Zimmerman).

      Frankly, the pessimist in me looks at Newtown and Sandy Hook and I can’t help but say “you reap what you sow” to all the anti-gun crowd. These tragedies are made possible by the anti-gun lobby and everyone that is hoplophobic.


    • Depends on the state and the location. Malls typically post no gun zones. All they can do in Virginia is kick you out. That can’t have you arrested unless you refuse to leave. Interestingly enough the anchor stores do not post which under Virginia law implies that guns are permitted. Since the Navy Yard shootings and the Westgate Mall incident I don’t go to public places likes malls any more unarmed. Evrey time I go to Tysons Corner I demonstrate the futility of gun free zones.

  19. No she wasn’t a Marine, but Lanza wasn’t a Marine either. What she tried to do for those children was selfless. However if Dawn Hochsprung had some basic pistol training and a 38, she and some of those children might still be alive and she could have put an end to Lanza’s madness.

  20. There was article written in the 1990s, I can’t remember by whom, that pointed out that those who oppose armed self defense are moral cowards. His argument was that by refusing to take responsibility for your own safety you expect someone else to put their life on the line for you. No one has an obligation to do that if you are unwilling to risk your own life first. I have a policy that if you deny my right to self defense I will not even call 911 for you. I am not going risk my life or the life of a police officer for you.

    People who oppose armed self defense as choice (how many of them proclaim that they are pro-choice?) are actually resentful that you are willing to defend yourself. They are jealous that you won’t be a victim and they will. In the age of enforced egalitarianism it just isn’t fair that you will survive and they won’t.

    And Ms. Lafferty many people who are not marines respond to natural and man made disasters with courage and ingenuity. You read about these people everyday in the newspaper.

  21. I do think it is foolish to do a pro-gun day on the anniversary of the Newtown massacre, as it rubs some people the wrong way and also provides great fodder for the anti-gunners to use against us. Seriously, what are these people thinking?

  22. The biggest problem I have is with the concept that because it wouldn’t have saved her mother (no way to know for certain, either way) armed self defense would not – and probably does not – save anyone. The blindness against accepting that armed self defense works in many, many thousands of cases per year frustrates the absolute crap out of me.

  23. While I do have empathy for the familes who lost loved ones in newtonw.
    Its th old “what if.”
    What if her daughter did indeed have a gun and the training to use it.
    Would it have made a difference??
    Maybe maybe not.
    But if it would have.
    At least her daughter might have had a chance.
    Being in a “Gun Free” area guaranteed she did not have one at all.

  24. May have turned out differently? You mean there’s a possibility that it did?

    Might, dumbass, not may.

    That said, “she did all in her power…” Exactly! more power frequently equates to more doing, as anyone who’s ever tried to use a cheap floor jack or underpowered hoist can attest.

    Why can some people not get that? You don’t have to be a Marine. If you can hit a wastebasket with a wad of paper at fifteen feet, you can hit center of mass on a bad guy at engagement distances.


  25. You all are being a bit uncompassionate. Remember there are sheep and sheepdogs. It is perfectly OK in this country if someone chooses to be a sheep. It is perfectly OK if someone mourns the loss of a loved one and is angry due to an untimely or unfortunate death of a family member.

    To say that a person is stupid because they weren’t armed to defend themselves is morally bankrupt. To suggest that every person in this country be armed 100% of the time and if someone dies while unarmed – they are stupid just doesn’t work. There are some people who just can’t handle the pressure.

    There are situations to where each of you can prepare/anticipate and still die a horrible death. I am not saying that the OP statement is infallible, but good grief people. That daughter is still in the right to be angry and sad from her mother’s loss.

    • Sheep who chooses to mourn the loss of other sheep after the wolves strike? Reasonable and customary.

      Sheep who wants to defang all sheepdogs in response? Total f*cking dumbass.

      If someone finds that uncompassionate, then tough titty.

    • Think I smell a troll, but I’ll bite:

      1 – Noone is saying Principal Hochsprung was stupid for not being armed. They’re saying that laws which prevent her or any other teacher who wants to arm her/himself are stupid.

      2 – Noone is saying we should make everyone arm themselves 100% of the time. They’re saying that everyone has the right to be armed 100% of the time if they choose.

      And finally: I don’t think I saw anyone who said that Principal Hochsprung would have certainly lived had she been armed. They said she would have had a chance to survive and possibly save some of those kids.

  26. “to suggest that if my mom had a gun that the Newtown massacre may have somehow turned out differently. She was a mother and an educator — not a Marine. And she did everything in her power to protect those children from harm”

    True, she was a brave and courageous woman by approaching a gunman unarmed and “did everything in her power to protect those children”
    But, her limited power could have been near equal to that of Lanza IF she were armed.

    “the Newtown massacre may have somehow turned out differently”
    It would have turned out differently.
    It wasn’t the first responders that ended the threat by taking Lanza’s life, he took his own life at the first threat of an armed response.
    Had her mother been that first threat of an armed response he might have turned his gun on himself at that point, saving not only her life but the lives of others.

    Lanza wanted to assure that his death was as swift and painless as possible instead of being shot multiple times and dying a painful death.
    The mere sight of another with a gun or any gunfire in his general direction may have triggered that response sooner.

    But that’s all speculation as we’ll never know the outcome of an alter situation as there are no second chances for first responders, armed or not.

  27. She is entitled to her grief, and I sympathize with her loss. Her mother’s death was and is a tragedy. But she is not entitled to dictate my right to defend myself, my family, and yes, MY STUDENTS.

    She can call being armed “grotesque”, but you know what’s grotesque to me? The thought of being powerless and watching children die.

    Signed, another elementary school teacher / gun owner.

  28. “It’s absolutely grotesque to suggest that if my mom had a gun that the Newtown massacre may have somehow turned out differently. She was a mother and an educator — not a Marine. And she did everything in her power to protect those children from harm. These cowards don’t have an ounce of the courage that my mom had.”

    It was a terrible tragedy that I would not want anyone to endure. That said, you don’t have to be a marine to know how to use a gun and regardless of how courageous she was if she had a gun she would have been more effective at protecting those children. It is self evident that Marines and Cops cannot be everywhere simultaneously and were not there when she needed them. Courage, preparation, and self defense are the responsibility and decisions of each individual – no one else is going to do it for you nor can they.

  29. Many 80 year old grandmothers have successfully protected themselves against violent criminals with their guns, I’m pretty sure none of them were marines.

    • Heck, I bet you could find instances where frail old grandmothers and diminutive women have successfully protected themselves against actual trained Marines (and soldiers of other varieties), thanks to having a gun.

    • Some of ’em might be former marines. The first female marines would be pushing a century old by now…

  30. Stated simply;

    She’s entitled to her grief,
    She’s entitled to her opinion,
    But she’s not entitled to her own facts,
    Unarmed and charging an armed loon down
    a hallway is fool hearty.

    • Foolhardy, yes…but did she have any other choice that was more likely to save those children?

      The grotesque and completely unforgivable aspect of this situation is the anti-gun laws that are in place almost everywhere by default — they ensured that Principal Hochsprung had no choice but to cower helplessly or die a fruitless death.

      As JWM said earlier, she died riding to the sound of the guns. A brave and noble thing. Many soldiers have failed to do better.

      Whether she could have succeeded even if she were armed, we’ll never know. What we do know is that our government, though its asinine policies, doomed her to fail.

      • Agree on all points, especially the BS our govt. throws down.


        I’ll admit it’s a little Monday Morning Quarterbacking and don’t know the terrain. But trying to think of what you’d find in an elementary school office. I think I would’ve tried ambushing the a**wipe with a pair of scissors or the blade off of a paper cutter from around a corner. I’d probably not make it anyway but I could do some serious damage and hopefully stop his progress. A lot better than running down the hall at him with a stapler.

  31. So she wanted her mom to be unarmed? Ok, her choice.

    I want mine armed if she wants to be and needs it.

  32. So, in order to survive an attack, one has to be a Marine? And the murderer, did he have to be a Marine too?

    I’m sorry for the woman but it’s clear that grief has turned her brain into silly putty. Maybe I’m too judgmental, but the fact is that I just can’t tolerate stupidity.

  33. When confronted by wolves, some people become even more sheepish. And that’s fine. But do not try to make others into the same.

  34. Ma’am, I’m sorry for your loss. No one disputes your mom’s actions. If you really think your mother wouldn’t have wanted a blaster to protect those kids at that moment in time, than you’re letting your own grief blind you. Sorry, but it’s true.

  35. From the article: “Groups including Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns have said the Sandy Hook anniversary should be an occasion for Congress to revisit legislation expanding background checks for gun purchases.”

    Ms Lafferty joined MAIG in the push for universal background checks. They all ignore the fact that Lanza’s guns were bought through the background check, and extending that check to private sales would not have prevented this shooting.

  36. I think she’s actually onto something. . . how about all teachers must first undergo Marine combat training? See, then we could arm them and of course since they’re all Marines they’d be more than capable of handling a single nutcase. Before you think I’m crazy, consider this, why shouldn’t the ability to protect children from violence be a job requirement for someone who will be responsible for many children each day as part of their job? Marine training is certainly over the top, but if you can’t handle basic pistol instruction perhaps you shouldn’t teach.

    We don’t employ police officers who cant acceptably use a pistol, why not hold teachers to this standard as well?

  37. Hey, they are the ones planning to celebrate gun control day every 12/14. They have already pist on the childrens graves by making sandy hook about potg rather than bscmf’s, so why hold back?

  38. Your mother deserved to be more than a meat shield for those children, that is not “everything in her power”. The biggest difference between a civilian and a marine is training, motivation, and mindset.
    Sorry for her pain and loss, but taking away the rights of others will not bring your loved ones back.

  39. I sympathize with her. I really do.

    But no amount of emotion is ever gonna convince me that she was better off in this situation without a gun than with one.

  40. I respect this young lady’s grief at the loss of her mother and I pray that the Lord may comfort and keep her, but if her mother or any other adult there had the option of meeting violent deadly force with something more than violence of action and a , frankly, ineffective charge in the open towards the muzzle of a mad man’s gun then, hypothetically, the outcome would have been different.

    Progressivism- the thought that 26 dead teachers and children are more morally justifiable than the school’s principal explaining just how that armed mad man got that double tap to the chest and that head wound to the police before they could arrive to make an arrest.

  41. I love how the rest of us are spineless next to this brave woman. I will pray that I am never forced to step into a dangerous situation that would require the sacrifice of my life, but neither one of us is capable of predicting my level of courage until that day.

    • But if you grow up believing guns are evil, and that you need to rely on the police to save your @ss and protect you, chances are you going to huddle in the corner like a coward waiting to be murdered when that day comes.

  42. It’s she was a marine, she wouldn’t have needed a gun. But she would have wanted one.

    I’m not a marine either. I hope if I’m in a similar situation I hope I have her balls, and a gun.

  43. Dumb broad. So, if you have a gun on you, to protect THE CHILDREN (what all evil liberals say is the reason for taking all rights away) as well as yourself, you are a coward?
    You REALLLLY don’t wish your ma had a gun when that freak retard showed up in the classroom?

  44. Please excuse my bluntness in addressing this person who has chosen to go public with her anti-gun stupidity:

    “And she did everything in her power to protect those children from harm.”

    1. Did not protect children from murder. FAIL.
    2. Did not protect staff. FAIL.
    3. Got killed. FAIL.

    Did I miss anything?

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