When Libera moved away for a time from upstate New York, he also left behind his father’s love for guns.
The photograph of the sign he erected was posted to a Facebook page honoring the firefighters. It drew more than 70 comments, many critical.
There were those who said the sign was “repulsive,” that it politicized the firefighters’ deaths. Officials told him the sign had to be removed because he lacked a permit; he took it down in the spring.
Meanwhile, signs sprouted in some yards in Webster demanding repeal of a new state gun control law pushed through by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the wake of the Newtown shooting.
The pro-gun response discouraged Libera. He was troubled when parents of some of the children he instructs, not knowing he was responsible for the sign, remarked that its message was so horrible they avoided driving by.
“I think they just want to shut it out and pretend it didn’t happen and hope it goes away,” he said.