Newtown Victims' family members: We're not going away

Neil Heslin, Erica Lafferty and Carlee Soto appear in a segment taped Friday, April 19 for the April 21st edition of "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer.

(CBS News) The daughter of one of the Netwown, Mass., shooting victims, Erica Lafferty, said she is "honestly disgusted" by the senators who voted against the bipartisan background check amendment to the Senate's gun control bill.

Lafferty's mother was Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed December 14th by Adam Lanza along with five of her colleagues and 20 of her students. The background check amendment written by Senators Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Penn., failed Wednesday by a vote of 54 to 46.

Lafferty told Bob Schieffer the "nay" vote was "grossly unfair to the family members of Newtown as well as all other gun violence victims."

Lafferty and a group of Newtown victims' family members had been on Capitol Hill since Monday talking to senators of both parties, including a number who voted against the bill.

Schieffer also spoke with Neil Heslin, the father of six-year-old Jesse Lewis, and Carlee Soto, the sister of kindergarten teacher Vicki Soto.

Vicki Soto, Carlee said, "wasn't a coward that day." Vicki is remember for protecting her students, pushing them out of sight and telling the gunman they were somewhere on the other side of the building.

"My sister wasn't a coward. She protected her kids. Why aren't they [the senators] protecting us?" Carlee said.

Lafferty added, "My mom was not scared in the halls of Sandy Hook; they should not be scared to cast a vote to protect millions of innocent people."

Heslin echoed their point, explaining to Schieffer that his son, Jesse Lewis, was brave, that he yelled to his classmates to "run," and died while looking Lanza in the face. He said all 26 victims all "were killed by him eye-to-eye. And it's beyond me how these Congressmen cannot stand up and support something that would prevent - or help prevent - something like this from ever occurring again."

The amendment needed 60 votes to pass. It only received four votes from Republicans and just five nay votes from Democrats. Heslin implied these votes showed there was "nothing bipartisan about it, at all." He said that was the most discouraging thing about the week, to realize after talking to all of these senators, that "it's a political game."

Despite learning that cold reality this week, all three agreed they're not going away and they're not giving up.

"I'm really going to be here to do anything that they need me to do, get the word out, talk to anyone that will listen," Lafferty said. "People are going to get sick of seeing my face because I'm not giving up on this, I'm not giving up on my mom."

  • Alicia Budich

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