BOSTON — Like most people, Jay Lewis reacted to the news of a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School with a mix of horror and disbelief.
The kindergarten teacher, constable, gun owner and father who attended a gun rights rally on Boston Common Wednesday said the rhetoric around new restrictive laws that followed the tragedy was the wrong course.
“It hurt at the time, and as it’s gone on and I’ve heard people use that as a reason to enforce new gun laws, it upsets me because taking away the rights of citizens is not going to help crime,” Lewis told the News Service.
Laws governing the sale and use of guns have become a focus in the months since the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., with lawmakers in Massachusetts seeking to restrict the availability of certain weapons and President Barack Obama pressing the case for new federal laws.
On Wednesday, the two Democrats seeking an open U.S. Senate seat joined together to criticize their Republican opponents in the race for positions they said side with the National Rifle Association.
“While we may be competitors in the Democratic primary, we can both agree that it is deeply troubling to see our three Republican rivals siding more with the NRA and their activists who are descending upon Boston Common today, rather than with the President of the United States on the critically important issue of gun safety,” Congressmen Stephen Lynch and Ed Markey said in a statement. “Once again, our opponents find themselves dramatically out of step with the majority of Massachusetts residents. We both understand that we can and must do more to protect our residents from the scourge of gun violence, and hope our opponents will rethink their efforts to derail our President’s agenda when it comes to gun safety.”