TODAY   |  May 04, 2013

Daughter of Newtown victim attends NRA conference

“I’m just looking to get questions answered,” said Erica Lafferty, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung. Lafferty said she is looking to speak with NRA members and lawmakers about the importance of background checks for people wishing to buy guns. TODAY’s Erica Hill interviews her.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> dawn was the principal at the newtown elementaryschool. she was killed along with others. she's there hoping to meet with leaders of national rifle association . thanks for being with us.

>> thank you.

>> you have said that in coming down there your goal is to have a conversation with members of the nra who are there at this convention. what will you say to them?

>> i am really just looking to get questions answered. i know that 74% of nra members support extended background checks with a huge push coming down from leadership is the exact opposite of that. so my goal is to figure out where the differences are between leadership and its members.

>> what do you expect to hear?

>> i honestly don't know. i am anxiously awaiting those answers. from what i heard from the media being inside of the convention yesterday, it does sound like leadership is giving a real hard push saying background checks wouldn't have changed sandy hook . no one knows that. they say mental health is a big issue which no one is disagreeing with. that's not exactly what's being discussed right now. i'm trying to get focus back to background checks where it belongs.

>> there's been a great deal of sympathy for your loss and for other families that lost someone at sandy hook across the country. you have worked tirelessly with a number of those families. spent a lot of time in washington talking to lawmakers. you've also been accused of being used as a prop. is there anything that you think could you have done differently to change the outcome in washington ?

>> my one regret is that i didn't start earlier. it's comical that i've been called a prop. i am absolutely here because i want to be and because it's the right thing to do and not because i'm bei used as a prop by any means.

>> so you disagree strongly with that language. realistically, what do you expect to change. if you couldn't get those things changed in washington with public support that you saw, what do you expect in terms of a change that will come from members of the nra ?

>> i'm hoping that -- i know there are a fewenators that are saying they are willing to work on some kind of compromise and adjust the language that was in the proposal so i'm hoping to figure out what it was they were looking to change, what the small piece of it was that they didn't agree with so that the next time it does come up to vote that it will pass.

>> we appreciate your time this morning. thank you.

>> thank you.