Wednesday 13 December 2017

Father of six-year-old boy killed in Sandy Hook massacre heckled by pro-gun activists

John Hall

THE father of a six-year-old boy who was killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre has reportedly been heckled by pro-gun activists while testifying at a local hearing on firearm control.

Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was among the 27 victims of last month’s massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, was giving an emotional account of his son’s death when activists apparently interrupted him, shouting “the second amendment”.

Mr Heslin held a large framed photograph of Jesse as he spoke, saying: “It’s not a good feeling. Not a good feeling looking and your child laying in a casket or looking at your child with a bullet wound in his forehead.”

It was around this point that a handful of people among the 2,000 gathered at the packed legislative hearing reportedly began to shout and interrupt Mr Heslin.

“We're all entitled to our own opinions and I respect their opinions and their thoughts,” Heslin said in response. “But I wish they'd respect mine and give it a little bit of thought.”

The hearing by a legislative subcommittee reviewing gun laws was the first time family members of Sandy Hook victims had been given the opportunity to offer public testimony.

Members of the Connecticut State Police firearms training unit brought weapons to the hearing to provide state lawmakers with a short tutorial on what's legal and illegal under the state's current assault weapons ban, passed in 1993.

Among the weapons on display was an AR-15, the same type of rifle that was used in the Sandy Hook shooting.

The Sandy Hook massacre took place on December 14 last year and left 20 first-grade children and six women dead.

The murderer, Adam Lanza, had killed his mother in their home across town and then drove to the school to carry out the mass shooting before committing suicide.

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