“Disgusted” and “Disappointed”: Newtown Shooting Victim’s Sister Carlee Soto to the Senate

The younger sister of Vicki Soto, one of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting victims, had powerful words for the U.S. Senate last week after a crucial gun control legislation vote requiring background checks failed. Speaking on CNN, Carlee Soto expressed what millions of Americans feel: “I am disgusted and so disappointed in our Senate.”

Click here to watch Carlee Soto’s interview.

Carlee Soto upon learning that her sister was gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School by Adam Lanza

December 14, 2012 Courtesy: AP’s Jessica Hill

The emotion was raw after this defeat because the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where twenty-six were killed including Vicki Soto, a teacher, and nearly two dozen children, moved the country toward restricting access to guns, including requiring criminal background checks before people buy guns which was the subject of yesterday’s vote.

Latinos overwhelmingly support this measure, regardless of political party according a Latino Decisions poll. Hispanics also favor tighter gun laws in general which likely has to do with the fact that, as is the case with the African-American community, gun violence disproportionately impacts our community and our youth. Every fourteen hours, an Hispanic child or teen is killed by a firearm.

But there’s another survey that explains yesterday’s gun law defeat. An AP/GfK poll shows 49% of those surveyed support more restrictions, although this number is down from 58% in January. This weakening in support suggests the “Newtown” effect of overwhelming public support for gun restrictions may be wearing off.

The gun rights lobby, with the National Rifle Association the most visible, had a simple strategy of pressuring vulnerable lawmakers and not budging, which energized its core supporters.

Some crossed the line: a conservative radio host told the Newtown families to “go to hell.”

Click below to hear the audio:

Others gloated, such as former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin who tweeted:

Sarah Palin tweet after gun law is defeated

Lost her overall relevancy but as the RTs and favorites show, Sarah Palin is far from alone in her views.

When CNN asked Carlee how she felt about this, she cooly answered “I love Sarah Palin but I can’t…even believe she would say that…No one is trying to take away your guns. It’s just a background check.”

Yesterday’s vote was a blow to advocates of gun restrictions and for families like the Sotos’ whose lives have been forever marred by this kind of violence. The gun lobby with the NRA leading the charge is powerful. But in Carlee I see the new face of the gun control movement–articulate, passionate, cool-headed, poised, and determined.

I don’t think this fight is over.

“‘Disgusted’ and ‘Disappointed': Newtown Shooting Victim’s Sister Carlee Soto to the Senate” was first published in Latina Magazine on April 11, 2013.

To read more of Viviana’s Latina politics columns, click here.

Question: If the Newtown shootings weren’t enough to move forward more gun restrictions, what if anything will it take?


  1. 4TruthandJustice says

    The news of the Sandy Hook shooting was shocking and horrifying. All I could think of the rest of that day was about my daughter, what if she’d been teaching at the school? I could not bear to think my own daughter was forced to be defenseless by the “gun free schools zone” law passed by Democrats in 1990. And then to see Obama’s shocking call for more gun controls ripped away any regard I had for that man and his party.

    Motive, Method and Opportunity underlie every crime, the petty ones and the immensely inhuman ones. With the Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, he had his motive (officially proven to be: “getting the highest kill score” compared to any other mass shooter), he had his method: he used a gun belonging to his mother and which his mother taught him to use – but the OPPORTUNITY was that schools are under a federal law which mandates everyone inside a “gun free zone” be without a gun that could be used TO DEFEND helpless children and the teacher’s life.

    Since that tragedy, Obama has concentrated on making all of the 100 million gun owners in this country “responsible” for it, claiming that 100 million citizens must be “background checked” to “assure” that no more school shootings will take place. That’s to divert from having people know that it was a gun control law which made Ms. Soto’s sister a helpless and terrified victim. It’s a huge mistake to think Obama’s manipulation of her grief goes unnoticed. He will never admit to them that a law created by Democrats gave Adam Lanza all the opportunity he needed to carry out his insanely savage act.

  2. 4TruthandJustice says

    With 100% sympathy for Ms. Soto for her tragic loss, I still have to say that her statement about the proposed background check indicates that she has never bought a gun and does not know what the “new” background check entails. It’s “just” a background check? Background checks are one of the most insidious ways of governments (and business managers) use to “control” people. If you fail one – you will be forbidden to ever own a gun again – and 8% of those who’ve been background checked under the current gun law have been denied MISTAKENLY. That’s about 1 in 12 people. Not an insignificant number and one which minorities should be aware of. And there’s no remedy, no appeal to these false findings – it’s permanent.

    Ms. Soto is right when she says, “I don’t think this fight is over.” Democrat leaders in Congress have already prepared a new bill which will re-introduce background checks for gun buyers / gun owners. And part of that bill will be called “immigration reform” – exempting immigrants from background checks to validate their citizenship. This is a clever bribe offered to Hispanics – who don’t like being investigated using background checks. So it’s not a REAL “Universal Background Check” intended to prevent criminals from getting guns. The bill is # S 744.

    It is hoped that this will put the NRA and other gun rights organizations in an impossible position. They will not want to be seen as anti-immigrant but that’s exactly what the Democrats will accuse them of. The real intent is to discriminate against gun buyers and even those who want to bequeath their gun or guns to sons and daughters. This bill will also discriminate against any of our soldiers who report problems with PSTD. They’ll automatically be put on this ‘no buy’ list. Guns they already own will be confiscated. That’s not “JUST” a background check.

    If I were Hispanic, I would not want to be put in the position of a pawn. I would be concerned about backlash if I accepted the Democrats’ bribe. An additional 20 million men and women bought guns following Obama’s Dec.16th speech. That brought gun ownership to 100 million adult voters. I know the Democrats have badly misjudged the American public.

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