To The Editor:

I’d like to respond to Chuck Sharpe’s “Advancing a Political Agenda” of 17 April. I live in Lonedell but work full time in Connecticut literally across the street from Bradley International Airport where Air Force One landed.

What is despicable is Mr. Sharpe’s assertion that the president used these people as political pawns.

Among those Newtown parents were included gun rights advocates and active Republicans and Conservatives yet they all willingly boarded Air Force One having been given the opportunity to express to the nation via Congress their grief and how they do not want anyone else to ever feel such grief.

Having lost a stepson due to a gun and having to console his mother every anniversary of that event or birthday or Christmas, I can sense only a fraction of what those parents went through.

The president didn’t have a gun to their head forcing them to get on board or make their statements. This wasn’t exploitation. It was an expression of sympathy and an action to help prevent such tragedies from ever reoccurring.

I’d be happy to have Mr. Sharpe fly to Connecticut and I will personally escort him to the victims’ homes so he can meet them and hear from them live and in person about their opinions and feelings in the entire matter.

I can assure you that they won’t be political pawns then.