The family of Vicki Soto, the Sandy Hook school teacher murdered as she shielded several of her young students in the Newtown school shooting, has publicly condemned an insensitive gun rally planned at a Starbucks in the still-grieving town.
More than 3,500 people have RSVPed to a "Starbucks Appreciation Day" on Facebook for the Newtown, Connecticut outlet of the popular coffee chain, with an event description reading:
"Starbucks is allowing us to lawfully carry firearms in their store. Recently, they have been the target of unjust attacks from certain groups that do not support our right to bear arms. We will thank Starbucks for standing up for our right to bear arms by going there on Friday, August 9th."
Also on Facebook, the page operated by the mother of Vicki Soto posted about the event, taking the gun enthusiasts to task for choosing Newtown as a venue to celebrate guns in the wake of the horrible violence that visited the town just months ago.
In an update, Soto's mom writes:
"It is with a great deal of heartache, that we have learned of the planned 'Starbucks Appreciation Day' that is happening here today in Newtown. The amount of disrespect these people show to my family and the 25 other families, not to mention the entire town of Newtown is disgusting. We have been through enough. The town has been through enough. We do not need you coming here brandishing your guns."
The post continues:
"Think about the children of the town, who are already scared and traumatized, and now they have to see a large group of people with very visible guns, where they live. Think about the point you are trying to make but really think about what you are doing... Why not go to the NRA office and show your support there with your own kind? Why must you come into Newtown and traumatize the town even further? What is the point you are trying to make? Why not go to any other Starbucks?"
"You have a right to your opinion, but you also have a duty to voice your opinion in a respectful manner. This is not respect."
One NRA supporter commented:
"I am an NRA supporter but this is disgusting!!!! Those aren't NRA supporters, they're bullies and thugs!!!"
Do you think the Starbucks gun rally in Newtown is insensitive or unnecessary?