Erica Lafferty will be heard.
The 27-year-daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung may not have the money to come to Washington to lobby for gun-control legislation. So she’s using a less-expensive way to reach Republican senators who are threatening to filibuster any efforts to change the nation’s gun laws: Twitter.
Lafferty’s Twitter barrage — her Twitter handle is @E_Laffs2 — has targeted the 14 Republicans who have pledged to join a filibuster, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. She attached poignant photos of her mom and her family, trying to appeal to the human side of the lawmakers.
The young woman, who lives near Newtown, also tried to reach the senators the old-fashioned way, by telephone.
Joining her effort was Connecticut’s governor, Dan Malloy, who tried to shame the senators to take her calls.
Getting nowhere fast, Lafferty kept up the tweet barrage.
After a day of desperate tweets yesterday, only one Republican had responded.
The first-term senator who is pledging to lead a filibuster to block Senate consideration of a gun-control package, which includes expanded background checks of firearms purchasers.
“She called his office yesterday morning,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said today. “He immediately said, ‘Let’s call her back.’”
Frazier said the two spoke for “10 to 15 minutes” on Tuesday afternoon. While describing the discussion as “a personal conversation,” Frazier said “it was a cordial conversation. She was able to ask him some questions.”
Lafferty told the New York Times that she asked Cruz pointed questions, including these: “What would have happened if my mom chose not to do her job? How many more people would have died if my mom had chosen to hide?”
Cruz did not back down an inch from his filibuster threat against any proposal he sees as a threat to the Second Amendment.
“They agreed to disagree,” said Frazier.
Still, she added, “he was glad he could do it. He was happy to.”
Lafferty responded to the conversation, naturally, on Twitter. “At least he called (me) back,” she wrote, followed by the hashtag #ThanksButNoThanksCruz.
Sympathetic Texans sent Twitter messages of support to Lafferty, many of them blasting their Republican senator.
The Connecticut woman is showing no signs of slowing down. Today, she tweeted to unpersuaded senators with a defiant message.