[New York Times]
HARTFORD — Victims of gun violence, burly men clad in hunting jackets and National Rifle Association hats, mothers wearing stickers reading “We Demand Change Now.”
“The sole purpose of those AR-15s or AK-47s is to put a lot of lead out on the battlefield quickly, and that’s what they do and that’s what they did at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” testified Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son was among the 26 children and staff members killed.
They were among hundreds of people who packed into the State Capitol on Monday for a charged and often emotional hearing on gun laws. The turnout highlighted the deep divisions in a state that has become a focal point of the national gun control debate since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown last month that killed 20 children and 6 adult staff members.
Among those to testify Monday were parents of some of the youngest Newtown victims, who took opposing sides.
“The sole purpose of those AR-15s or AK-47s is to put a lot of lead out on the battlefield quickly, and that’s what they do and that’s what they did at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” said Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, was a victim. Mr. Heslin told lawmakers that he had grown up around guns and was the son of an avid hunter, but that he believed that there was no reason any citizen should have an assault-style weapon like the one used to kill his son.
“That wasn’t just a killing. That was a massacre,” he said. “Those children and those victims were shot apart. And my son was one of them.