The father of a 6-year-old killed during the Sandy Hook shooting was interrupted by dozens of pro-gun audience members as he was testifying in front of a state committee hearing in Connecticut about gun violence.
Neil Heslin's son Jesse was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, along with 25 other people. As he pleaded with lawmakers to improve mental health options in Connecticut and ban assault weapons, his testimony was interrupted by dozens of audience members described by the Connecticut Post as “[wearing] National Rifle Association hats.”
“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," Heslin said.
Undeterred, Heslin continued. "There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened."
"We're not living in the wild west, we're not a 3rd world nation. We have the strongest military in the world," Heslin said. "We don't need to defend out homes with weapons like that."
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Heslin fought back tears as he attempted to describe how it felt as a father to lose a son in a shooting like Sandy Hook.
"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. It's a real sad thing," Heslin said, as he held a photo of him with his son.
"We're all entitled to our own opinions and I respect their opinions and their thoughts," he said of pro-gun activists who shouted through his testimony. "But I wish they'd respect mine and give it a little bit of thought."