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'Why aren't they protecting us?'

Neil Heslin, Carlee Soto, and Erica Lafferty, each of whom lost loved ones in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in December, appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" yesterday, still disappointed by the Republican filibuster that killed expanded background checks last week.

"It's not about the Second Amendment, it's strengthening and adding to laws that already in effect," said Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse Lewis was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. "I don't think they did justice for all the victims of Newtown." [...]

Carlee Soto, whose sister Vicki Soto was a teacher at Sandy Hook, chastised lawmakers for not doing enough to prevent future shootings. "My sister was not a coward, she protected her kids. Why aren't they protecting us?" [...]

Erica Lafferty, the daughter of principal Dawn Hochsprung, echoed Soto's comments. "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," she said.

Lafferty added she felt "disgusted" by the Senate opponents of the bipartisan compromise.

Also over the weekend, Caren Teves, whose son was killed in the Aurora slayings*, showed reporters a hand-written note from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), saying he was "truly sorry" for her loss and that "strengthening background checks is something we agree on." That Flake went on to help crush expanded background checks struck Teves as a betrayal.

"What he did was to go against his own words and vote no against comprehensive background checks ... I believe he's a coward," she said.

For Flake and other Republicans, "strengthening background checks" is an amorphous phrase with multiple meanings.

Meanwhile, it's also worth keeping in mind that the pushback from the right against Newtown families is intensifying.

We talked a week ago about complaints from Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Rush Limbaugh, and congressional GOP staffers about the victims' families. Apparently, some conservatives were willing to go even further.

A Minnesota radio host said he would like to tell the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims to "go to hell" for infringing on his gun rights.

Bob Davis was discussing those affected by the Newtown, Conn., tragedy during a Friday segment of his show, "Davis & Emmer," on Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130, according to Minneapolis' City Pages. The topic focused on how family members of the 26 victims, 20 of whom were between the ages of 6 and 7 years old, have become advocates for gun control. In Davis' opinion, these Newtown families are infringing on his constitutional rights.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Republican strategist Ed Rogers late last week were also still insulting Newtown families, calling them "props" for the White House's efforts to reduce gun violence.

It's hard to even imagine a group of people more deserving of our sympathy and respect than Newtown families, but for some on the right, the only thing that seems to matter is preventing any new gun laws. If the victims' families interfere with that goal, for the right, they deserve more aggressive pushback.

* corrected