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Newtown United Rebranding As 'Sandy Hook Promise'

The group is taking its message to a national audience in hopes of preventing another tragedy like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.


When the nonprofit initiative "Newtown United" launched in the days following the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the group packed residents into a room at C. H. Booth Library in Newtown for a meeting. In the weeks since, its Facebook page has gained more than 18,000 fans.

And today, Newtown United announced it will now be known as Sandy Hook Promise, a change its Newtown-based founders hope will reinforce its mission of preventing another tragedy by becoming a catalyst to effect meaningful policy change on a national level.

The nonprofit will "will ask individuals across the country to make a promise to encourage and support common sense solutions that make their communities and our country safer from acts of violence like that which occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012," according to a press release.

Co-founders include parents, students and others in the Newtown community, like Sandy Hook parents Lee Shull, Tom Bittman and Tim Makris.

“Something has to change,” Shull told residents in one of Newtown United's first meetings in December. “We can’t let this happen again. It’s a watershed moment.”

Shull was referring to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in which a 20-year-old armed with an assault rifle and handguns shot his way into the building and killed 20 students and six educators before taking his own life.

The school remains closed as a crime scene while police continue their investigation, so Sandy Hook students are now attending school in neighboring Monroe.

Taking Their Message to the Top

Since its founding, members of Newtown United — including local teenagers who attended Sandy Hook Elementary School — have reached out to lawmakers with their message of change. In December, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal told Newtown United to aim nationally.

"We have to talk about the celebration of violence in this country," Murphy said.

National lawmakers may already be listening. Vice President Joe Biden, appointed by President Barack Obama to head the nation's Sandy Hook response, plans to announce sweeping changes to gun laws and mental health care — including hot-button issues like background checks and access to guns and ammunition — on Tuesday.

"So far [there has been] a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks," Biden said, according to the Huffington Post. "Not just closing the gun show loophole, but have total universal background checks including in private sales."

This coming Monday, on what will be one month to the day since the Newtown school shooting, Sandy Hook Promise will kick off its national effort with a press conference on the steps of Edmond Town Hall.

"Participating victims' families, survivors, first responders and other community members" will be among speakers, according to a release from the group.

GuildsfordBrothers January 14, 2013 at 01:41 PM
More than 40,000 new black rifles have been manufactured in the U.S. since December 14, 2012. http://blackriflecounter.tumblr.com/ The largest U.S. manufacturer and marketer of civilian black rifles is currently up for sale to the highest bidder and this presents a unique opportunity for change. Sign the petition below asking the CEO, Steven Feinberg, to implement sensible business guidelines in the wake of the Newtown tragedy: http://chn.ge/WW0Ybd
Margaret Bonertz January 14, 2013 at 05:08 PM
ppl need 2 protect r babies I hate how NRA is udeing this 2 fight 4 guns yes thats r right but honestly why & were wuld we need ASSUALT RIFLES @ OUR MILITARY R THE ONLY ONES THAT NEED THEM my husband my family r hunters so i believe in r rights to bare arms but no were does my family husband childen need ASSUALT RIFLES 2 hunt 2 protect r homes.......I swear ppl just fight 2 fight abt sumthing.....we have 7 guns (rifles & shot guns) .....my husband needs ASSUALT RIFLE 2 rotect his self when deployed...honestly tell me r u really going 2 go hunting with a ASSUALT RIFLE u cant u wuld have a shreaded animal its just wrong ppl need 2 think not just jump 2 the lines .....saying we hav 2 buy them while we can think of all the childre, parents, sisters,brothers& any1 that has been KILLED by these guns cum on JUST THINK DANGIT JUST THINK :~( M. Bonertz
Margaret Bonertz January 14, 2013 at 05:08 PM
ppl need 2 protect r babies I hate how NRA is udeing this 2 fight 4 guns yes thats r right but honestly why & were wuld we need ASSUALT RIFLES @ OUR MILITARY R THE ONLY ONES THAT NEED THEM my husband my family r hunters so i believe in r rights to bare arms but no were does my family husband childen need ASSUALT RIFLES 2 hunt 2 protect r homes.......I swear ppl just fight 2 fight abt sumthing.....we have 7 guns (rifles & shot guns) .....my husband needs ASSUALT RIFLE 2 rotect his self when deployed...honestly tell me r u really going 2 go hunting with a ASSUALT RIFLE u cant u wuld have a shreaded animal its just wrong ppl need 2 think not just jump 2 the lines .....saying we hav 2 buy them while we can think of all the childre, parents, sisters,brothers& any1 that has been KILLED by these guns cum on JUST THINK DANGIT JUST THINK :~( M. Bonertz
Sean January 14, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Banning guns solves nothing. The shooter in Newtown was not allowed to own firearms and was prohibited by law from bringing them onto school grounds.
Sean January 14, 2013 at 10:31 PM
And what is an assault rifle? No such term exists in the firearm community. Had this maniac not had the weapons he had, he could have easily made bombs, used other weapons: swords, knives, and the like. You want to live in a country where the police and military are the ones with firearms? How did that work for the Jews in Germany in the 1930's? How did that work for the Kurds in Northern Iraq with Saddam Hussein? Not well. Here is a scenario: two men kick in a front door to a home and attack a family of two children. All you have is a revolver. That is 6 shots. Are you going to be able to defend yourself? NOPE. You do not need to hunt with an AR-15, but you will need it if your home is attacked. Handguns will not cut it.
Sean January 14, 2013 at 10:34 PM
You want to protect our kids, end state mandated gun free zones. The shootings in Newtown, Columbine, VA Tech all have one thing in common: no one around to stop a maniac with a gun shooting people. Contrast that with the mall shooting in Oregon. http://www.dailypaul.com/266471/oregon-mall-shooting-stopped-by-licensed-gun-carrier When seconds count, police are minutes away. Former NY Judge Janine Pirro stated that in her 30 years of law enforcement, only one shooting was by a legally owned gun. You are advocating irresponsible solutions that will not stop these shootings.
Selestite January 19, 2013 at 06:23 AM
Reading your post was painful. The right to bare arms is to protect citizens from an out of control government. Say's nothing about hunting rabbits :)

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