Pro-Gun Hecklers Shout At Father Who Lost Son In Newtown

About a dozen gun enthusiasts yelled “Second Amendment!” and “Do not infringe on our rights!” at Neil Heslin, who called for an assault weapons ban during a legislative hearing.

“That wasn’t just a killing, it was a massacre,” Heslin said before the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Connecticut. “I still can’t see why any civilian, anybody in this room in fact, needs weapons of that sort. You’re not going to use them for hunting, even for home protection.”

He asked the crowd why assault weapons should not be banned. The crowd answered in shouts. The Connecticut Post put the number of hecklers at “as many as a dozen.”

3. Heslin’s son Jesse McCord Lewis was among the 20 children killed in December.

Jessica Hill / AP

4. In his obituary, his family said that the 6-year-old “ran into the hallway to help when he heard the shots.”

Jessica Hill / AP

[source]

5. [UPDATED] Listen to Heslin’s full comments here:

Gun rights advocates and others have suggested Heslin was not heckled, since the crowd was responding to a question Heslin asked. Others counter that Heslin’s question was rhetorical. But around the 15 minute mark you can hear shouts such as “Second Amendment” interrupting Heslin’s testimony. An official can then be heard reprimanding those who were yelling.

6. Here’s the transcript:


Heslin: “I don’t know how many people have young children or children. But just try putting yourself in the place that I’m in or these other parents that are here. Having a child that you lost. It’s not a good feeling; not a good feeling to look at your child laying in a casket or looking at your child with a bullet wound to the forehead. I ask if there’s anybody in this room that can give me one reason or challenge this question: Why anybody in this room needs to have one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips. [Looks behind his shoulder, then turns back forward.] Not one person can answer that question or give me an…”

People in the audience: “Second Amendment shall not be infringed,” other indistinguishable remarks.

Official: “Please no comments while Mr. Heslin is speaking. Or we’ll clear the room. Mr. Heslin, please continue.”

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Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact this reporter at jessica.testa@buzzfeed.com
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