Neil Heslin testified today to Connecticut lawmakers on behalf of his 6-year-old son Jesse, who was one of the kids shot and killed during the Newton massacre in December.
Holding a gold-framed photo of him and his son as an infant, Heslin’s heartfelt plea was interrupted when gun advocates heckled him during his testimony Monday. The hearing was to consider possible gun control legislation in Connecticut.
“Changes have to be made,” he told the lawmakers. “He was my son, he was my buddy, he was my best friend, and I never thought I would be here speaking like this, asking for changes on my son’s behalf.”
“And I never thought I would be laying him to rest. The happiest day of my life was the day he was born. He is my only son, my only family. The worst day of my life was the day when this happened.”
Heslin, like more and more lawmakers, described that the semi-automatic rifle used during the massacres in war terms, saying it was designed to “put a lot of lead out on the battlefield quickly.” Weapons such as the AR-15 rifle Adam Lanza used can shoot up to 45 rounds per minute, which makes massacring people all too easy.
Heslin then asked why anyone should need or be allowed to own a weapon such as that, and gun advocated shouted, “the Second Amendment!”
The second amendment, however, was written well before guns had the capacity to shoot off 45 rounds per minute and before the United States had a standing army. The intention of the amendment, as stated in the constitution, is that guns are necessary to keep a well regulated militia. It is the only amendment that states a specific intention for the right — and now, in the aftermath of Newtown and Aurora and Virginia Tech and Columbine, it’s clear why.