In a column she wrote for the Daily Beast, Erica Lafferty, who lost her mother in the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings in 2012, ridicules as "disgusting" recent comments Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher made about the Santa Barbara shootings.
Wurzelbacher, who became something of a celebrity during the 2008 presidential campaign after a debate between President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, recently wrote an open letter to the parents of the University of California, Santa Barbara, college students who were killed earlier this month.
"As harsh as this sounds — your dead kids don't trump my Constitutional rights," Wurzelbacher wrote on BarbWire.com.
Lafferty, whose mother, Dawn Hochsprung, was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary and one of 27 victims of the massacre, responded, "I’m sorry my loss inconveniences you, Joe. But you’re the one who’s out of touch."
Wurzelbacher's comments, Lafferty wrote, "encapsulate the id of the small faction of extremists who are influencing our country’s gun laws."
Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was among the six students killed in Santa Barbara, has become an outspoken proponent of gun control. Speaking of politicians who would offer him their condolences for his loss, Martinez said, "I don’t care about your sympathy. ... Get to work and do something."
Wurzelbacher wrote, "Mr. Martinez and anyone calling for more restrictions on American’s rights need to back off and stop playing into the hands of the folks who merely capitalize on these horrific events for their own political ends."
Lafferty, in her op-ed, wrote, "It’s actually refreshing to see his [Wurzelbacher's] comments so unvarnished, so closely removed from this poor kid’s murder. And I wouldn’t have dignified his disgusting comments with a response if it didn’t follow such a disturbing pattern among gun extremists in this country."
Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).