A candlelight vigil held here December 18 to honor those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Connecticut instead ignited a firestorm of controversy.Speaking from the podium, organizer Ellen Granum made remarks critical of the National Rifle Association and in favor of gun control. A gun control petition was also circulated.At that point, some of the approximately 150 people in attendance left the event in silent protest.Paul Daly, a native of Newtown now living in Barnesville, was one of those who left in disgust. ‘I’m not going to stand around and have the deaths of those poor children politicized. This is about the kids not politics,’ said Daly.Granum was heavily criticized on barnesville.com and in letters to the editor published in this edition.’Those poor souls were not even buried yet and someone had the nerve to voice their political ideology at a prayer memorial. Where has our sense of decency gone,’ wrote Katherine McHan.’We were most certainly not the only community having such a vigil but, unbeknownst to those in attendance, apparently ours had an underlying agenda,’ wrote Jimmy Burnette.’I can’t understand how someone could use this time of mourning for a political agenda,’ posted Debbie Adamson.’Shame on you! Pimping a tragedy for political purposes,’ penned Robert Tippin.Granum has also written a letter to the editor. It reads in part, ‘I offer my sincere apologies to all of you who were taken by surprise and made comfortable by my criticizing the NRA. I had no intention of ‘˜politicizing’ the occasion with that criticism. I have been made aware, however, any criticism of the NRA raises red flags for many in our community.’Her husband Jim Granum told The Herald Gazette Ellen taught kindergarten 25 years and that in her mind she was with the children in the tragedy.