By Jueseppi B.
Neil Heslin, of Shelton, holds a portrait of himself and his son, Jesse Lewis, one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, during testimony before the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Monday, January 28, 2012. Photo: Brian A. Pounds
Father Of Newtown Victim Heckled While Calling For Gun Control
HARTFORD — Some came dressed in camouflage and others in suits.
Some wore National Rifle Association hats, casual clothing or bright power ties and sat next to each other, but on starkly different sides of the raging national argument on gun control.
Both groups, totaling about 1,500 people, were frisked upon entering the Capitol complex Monday, then applauded their supporters during daylong hearings on the aftermath of the Newtown massacre.
As members of a General Assembly task force took hours of testimony, Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe joined a dozen local law enforcement executives from throughout the country at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss gun control.
Under heightened security, including the rare use of metal detectors inside the Legislative Office Building, gun owners warned that they shouldn’t have to give up their rights after Adam Lanza killed his mother, then murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
Father of Sandy Hook Victim Makes Emotional Plea
Published on Jan 28, 2013
Neil Heslin’s six-year-old son Jesse Lewis was one of the victims of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Monday he asked Connecticut lawmakers for tougher restrictions on guns. (Jan. 28)
Some warned that gun ownership is a check on governmental tyranny and charged that Obama has an agenda to disarm them and take away rights guaranteed under the state Constitution and the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Others criticized lawmakers for proposing laws before the final report on the Sandy Hook murders. State police chiefs said they want all firearms registered, including rifles that are now exempt. Gun manufacturers warn that thousands of Connecticut jobs are at stake.
Bill Stevens, of Newtown, who has a daughter in town schools, promised that in the case of a home invasion, he would be calling 911 after first shooting the people threatening his family.
He paraphrased a famous gun-rights quotation: “I will tell you here today, you will take my ability to protect my Victoria from my cold, dead hands,” Stevens said to the applause of supporters at about 5:30 p.m.
By 7 p.m. about 615 names had been called, although some left the Capitol without testifying.
Neil Heslin on the Sandy Hook Shooting
Published on Dec 20, 2012
Neil Heslin, father of Jesse Lewis who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown CT talks to CNN’s Piers Morgan. Check out more videos from CNN at http://www.youtube.com/cnn. Or visit our site at http://www.cnn.com/video/
“The local and national debate has been co-opted by the anti-gun agenda,” said Lindy Urso, a Greenwich lawyer. “This has nothing to do with Newtown.”
But gun-control advocates said the Bushmaster assault-style rifle that Lanza used should be banned, along with other weapons that have infiltrated the gun market after the state’s 1993 prohibition on assault rifles.
“How many more people have to be massacred in our schools, shopping malls and movie theaters before those of us who are in a position to create laws actually act?” said Gayle Weinstein, the first selectman of Weston.
Nancy Lefkowitz, of Fairfield, who with Meg Staunton came up with the idea of the Feb. 14 “March for Change” at the Capitol, said that it’s not the right of people to own “killing machines” like Lanza’s Bushmaster.
“In the 45 days since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 3,600 people have died because of gun violence,” said Lefkowitz, who demonstrated in Washington 12 years ago during the “Million Mom March.”
Since then, 360,000 have died.
“And some of you have asked us to wait while you weigh your options?” Lefkowitz said. “Don’t you think we have waited long enough? Stop this bleeding. You can be sure your hesitance to act swiftly and aggressively in favor of safer, rational gun laws turns thousands of residents of this state into single-issue voters and we are now paying attention to your every move.”
If there was an area of agreement between the opposing sides, it was in the even more-complicated area of mental health and the challenge of keeping firearms from people who are disturbed enough to use them against others.
“This was definitely a mental health issue that ought to be addressed,” said Gregory Droniak, of Derby, adding that armed guards should also be assigned to schools.
Peter Diatelevi, a retired Ridgefield Middle School teacher, said that a law-abiding gun owner does not break the rules on gun ownership.
“That’s a people problem, that’s not a gun problem,” Diatelevi said.
The sometimes boisterous public hearing — after nearly four hours of testimony from State Police, parents of slain Newtown first-graders and city mayors — seemed dominated by gun owners, who railed at more than 90 proposed bills.
“The Second Amendment!” was shouted a couple of times by as many as a dozen gun enthusiasts in the meeting room as Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his slain 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state.
“There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened,” said Heslin, who said he grew up using guns and was undisturbed by the interruption of his testimony.
“That wasn’t just a killing, it was a massacre,” said Heslin, who recalled dropping off his son at Sandy Hook Elementary school shortly before Lanza opened fire. “I just hope some good can come out of this.”
After waiting more than 45 minutes to walk through metal detectors, gun enthusiasts and gun-control advocates alike spilled out of one large hearing room in the Legislative Office Building into three satellite rooms, where proceedings were televised. An erroneous fire alarm, due to an equipment malfunction, briefly interrupted the morning session.
“Connecticut can lead the way in common sense and take the first steps in being proactive without dividing our population,” said Seth Block, of Fairfield, a gun owner.
Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney, co-chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group, threatened to empty the meeting room in the Legislative Office Building, jammed with hundreds of people, if the chatter from the audience continued.
Another father of a 6-year-old murdered in the shootings fought back tears and told lawmakers to make any changes in gun laws simple.
“I don’t believe it’s so complex,” said Mark Mattioli, whose son James was among the first-graders slaughtered.
“We need civility across our nation,” said Mattioli, who appeared with his wife, Cindy, before the legislative panel. “The problem is not gun laws, it’s a lack of civility.”
Veronique Pozner, whose son, Noah, was killed in the massacre, said his grave is only a five-minute drive from Chalk Hill School in Monroe, where the Sandy Hook Elementary students are now going to school.
“He was cheated of his full potential,” Pozner said, adding that her two other children, both Sandy Hook students, are haunted by their brother’s death, especially Noah’s twin sister.
“It is our feeling that assault weapons should be comprehensively banned in the state of Connecticut,” she said. “Faster weapons equal more fatalities.”
State police chiefs said they support new legislation that would require background checks before every rifle sale in the state, particularly in the so-called secondary market among private owners.
They also suggested eliminating the state Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, which reviews cases where the privileges of gun owners are suspended or revoked.
Gun manufacturers, while telling lawmakers they wanted to work with them on ways to address the issue of gun control, offered little in the way of proposals.
Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation, said that gun manufacturing in Connecticut is a $1.75-billion industry with 7,300 jobs.
Keane said the organization has been working to keep guns out of the hands of people like Lanza.
Kevin Reid, of Oxford, general counsel for Sturm, Ruger & Co., the gun manufacturer with headquarters in Fairfield, said that while the company does not make guns in Connecticut, it use state subcontractors.
“We pump tens of millions of dollars each year into the Connecticut economy,” Reid said.
Senate President Pro Tempore Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, replied that Connecticut firearms makers can — and should — make weapons safer.
“You may work with us to improve the safety of these firearms so we can prevent the unauthorized access of these firearms,” Williams said.
“The reality is the technology is not mature enough,” Keane said.
During morning news conferences, gun manufacturers said they want to be part of the discussion leading to new laws, while a state teachers union said 85 percent of its members oppose arming teachers.
On Tuesday at 2 p.m., the legislative working group on mental health issues will hold a public hearing at 2 p.m. in Room 2-C of the Legislative Office Building.
A false fire alarm, 45-minute waits to get into the Capitol complex, even the heckling of a bereaved parent of a Newtown shooting victim marked Monday’s day-long legislative hearing on gun control.
“The Second Amendment!” was shouted by several gun enthusiasts in the meeting room as Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state.
“There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened,” said Heslin, who grew up using guns and seemed undisturbed by the interruption of his testimony.
Jesse Lewis, Rest in Peace
Ok, now it’s my turn.
The NRA is the most despicable disgusting down right nasty evil bunch of bottom feeding TeaTardedRepubliCANT Pseudo-Freudian Psycho-Sexual Secret-Whore Pro-caucasian Pro-Racist Anti-LGBT Anti-Feminist Reich Wing GOPretender Conselfishservative NRAsshole-Gun Loving Nut Bag racist white supremacist asshole on earth.
If it were possible, I’d line up every card carrying member of the NRAssholes and cut ‘em down with one of their beloved assault weapons.
How can you heckle a parent of a child killed in Newtown, Connecticut?
How does a stupid ass moron who has no brain wave activity, shout out the 2nd amendment during a grieving father’s testimony concerning his son’s slaughter inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School?
I have run out of patience with ignorant dumbass Americans who are scared pussy whipped humans who can’t imagine a world without guns.
How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown? 1318 as of right this second…..but in a second that number will rise.
This fact bears repeating……
Since The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, there have been One Thousand Three Hundred & Eighteen humans killed by guns.
Wake The Fuck up America.