Esty appointed to Democratic gun control panel

The day after she was sworn into office, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th, was appointed to a new, 12-member Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

The task force will try to co-ordinate congressional gun control efforts and recommendations expected at the end of the month from the White House on how to curb gun violence.

It is headed by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., a hunter and National Rifle Association member and includes Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., a former staffer of Rep. Gabby Giffords who was critically wounded when a gunman shot at the former congresswoman and the crowd surrounding her.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., whose husband was killed and son severely wounded by a shooter on the Long Island Railroad is also on the panel.

But the fact that the task force is composed solely of Democratic members may hurt its effectiveness.

Nonetheless, Esty, who represents Newtown, said she is honored to join the panel.

“As the Representative for Newtown and as a mother, I feel a special responsibility to that community and to the parents who have suffered such unimaginable horror,” Esty said in a statement. “We can’t allow the loss of innocent life we saw in Newtown to happen again.”