2 months, 1 week ago
The Paradis and D’Avino family knows guns. They’ve owned them and enjoyed hunting and target shooting. Shooting was just part of life, like the time after Thanksgiving dinner in 2009 when a guest of husband and wife Peter Paradis and Mary D’Avino brought out an AR-15 rifle he had in the car.
Together, with their children, the couple spent time shooting at a tree in their backyard on five acres off heavily wooded Route 61.
Paradis and his stepdaughter, Hannah D’Avino, recalled that holiday afternoon recently. They sat their kitchen table and reminisced about Hannah’s sister, Rachel D’Avino.
Rachel D’Avino died Dec. 14, 2012, inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Twenty first-grade students and six staff members died when Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old Newtown resident who had attended that elementary school, stormed into the building with a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle. He shot his way through classrooms, then killed himself as police converged.
The rifle that killed their stepdaughter and sister was the same kind of military-style rifle the family had shot together that Thanksgiving Day. They’re commonly called assault weapons, a term once applied to fully automatic weapons used on the battlefield but now applied to semi-automatic military copycats given the same look, but not the ability to fire continuously with one pull of the trigger.
Let’s pause there for a moment and review the media explanation of guns. The term “assault weapons” was not once, ever in history, used to describe what the military uses (which is technically referred to as assault rifle). As we’ve discussed before, the concept of assault rifle involved three features: intermediate cartridge, mild recoil and selective fire.
Since the typical working man cannot afford the cost of owning a fully automatic weapon (only automatic weapons manufactured before 1968 stayed in circulation and their price is extremely high – see the Hughes Amendment), we have only two of the three features. The phrase “assault weapon” is a fabricated bastard concocted by the Brady Campaign to scare people.
The next part of the article is very interesting and important.
Rachel’s murder has not marred her family’s memory of that holiday afternoon. For a family of marksmen, it also has not changed their views about guns.
After months of silence, Hannah D’Avino and Peter Paradis said they feel compelled to speak publicly: They are not happy that Rachel D’Avino’s name and her memory are being used to push for more and tougher gun legislation.
Their tragedy, they say, has been hijacked for political gain, to further a message with which they disagree.
“We’re very frustrated mainly because the 26 families got lumped together. We’re 26 families made of individuals that all have different opinions,” Hannah D’Avino said. “It’s like people are speaking for me and speaking for my sister. They don’t know her and they don’t know us.”
Paradis and D’Avino note that the only firearm-related injury or death in their family happened when Rachel was killed. She joined them in target shooting and was a good shot, they said.
That’s not all they remember of her _ it is a small detail of a life remembered mostly for her short career as a behavioral analyst and her work with autistic children and their families. Rachel D’Avino carried a passionate desire to help autistic children, to improve their quality of life and their families. The family home’s solarium is filled with gifts sent by strangers: drawings, letters, jewelry from people touched by her story, and by her tragic death. The family continues to raise money in Rachel’s name for research and services for autistic children and their families.
The family has been reluctant to talk publicly, largely because of unprofessional treatment by media representatives. Days after Rachel’s death, they were inundated with requests for interviews. They were frustrated by repeated attempts by producers and reporters who hoped to land their angle of the Newtown story.
Hannah D’Avino “friended” a woman on Facebook after the woman said she was a friend of Rachel’s. That woman later turned out to be a producer asking to interview her. Another woman got past a state trooper stationed at the front of the family’s driveway, saying she was a friend of Rachel who wanted to bring a basket of packaged muffin mix to the family. Inside was a card containing a business card from a producer at CNN.
So there you have it. The D’Avino family wants to help the families of autistic children in memory of their beloved Rachel. The media wanted to foist their political views into the tragedy in order to score points, and CNN lied in order to gain access to the family.
It seems that the term “assault weapon” isn’t the only bastard in the story.