Sandy Hook massacre: How ‘gun nuts’ and a biased media patronised Neil Heslin
CAN the Sandy Hook massacre be used to score political points? Yes. Ken Dixon, reported in the Connecticut Post of Bridgeport on Neil Heslin’s appearance before a state legislative panel in Hartford. Mr Heslin’s son, 6-year-old Jesse Leis, was murdered by Adam Lanza. Dixon wrote:
“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.”
Mr Heslin is an ordinary man pushed into an extraordinary situation. He did ask to be noteworthy. He just wants to he heard. He wants tighter gun controls. He does not want another child to suffer his son’s fate, nor an adult his pain. The State gave him the floor. His words do not need analysing. You just need to listen.
Laura Beck was one of many writers who read that story. She wrote on Jezebel:
Father of Six-Year-Old Newtown Victim Heckled by Gun Nut Jackasses
How fucking low can you get? Serious question, is it possible to sink to a deeper level of disgusting than heckling the father of a dead child? If it is, it’s impossible to think of right now because of all the boiling blood blocking our brains.
Those gun nuts have become the lone shooter.
Raw Story gave us more:
He said firearms like the popular AR-15/M16 rifle were designed to “put a lot of lead out on the battlefield quickly.” When Heslin asked why anyone should be allowed to own a semi-automatic rifle like the one used to kill 26 people in Newtown last month, angry gun advocates shouted, “the Second Amendment!”
“We’re all entitled to our own opinions and I respect their opinions and their thoughts,” Heslin said. “But I wish they’d respect mine and give it a little bit of thought.”
Mr Heslin’s grace is apparent. Beck’s is not. She, like the gun nut/s, is playing to her side, demonising the opposition. David Frum tweeted:
Briefly set aside your stance on gun control. What horrible human being heckles a grieving parent in such a way?
Others say Mr Heslin was “shouted” at.
If there is to be meaningful debate on gun control, you need the facts.
Twitchy.com got hold of the full video. Beck wrote:
Please note, the AP edited out the hecklers in the above video…
Only, the uncensored videos shows something not so dark. Mr Heslin is not shouted at. He is not heckled.
The exchange that outraged many with an agenda to support went like this:
“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. [Pause, waiting for response.] Not one person can answer that question.”
Audience members: ”[Unintelligible] Second Amendment shall not be infringed”
Public official: “Please no comments while Mr. Heslin is speaking. Or we’ll clear the room. Mr. Heslin please continue.”
John Hayward adds to that:
The exchange is very easy to follow. Heslin says, “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.” Then he sits there for a few moments, looking at the audience andwaiting for a response.
When he doesn’t get one, he declares, “Not one person can answer that question.” He says this in a way clearly meant to convey triumph that nobody responded to him.
Then, and only then, does someone call out, “The Second Amendment shall not be infringed!” Several others are heard raising similar objections at the same moment. The officials conducting the hearing promptly told whoever this was to pipe down. They did not reprimand Heslin for breaking format to provoke the audience.
Interestingly, Heslin turns to the people who shouted about the Second Amendment and says, “Oh, right,” in a way that doesn’t sound sarcastic or dismissive. After order is restored, he says, “Anyway, we’re all entitled to our own opinion, and I respect their opinions and their thoughts . . . but, I wish they’d respect mine and give it a little bit of thought, and realize that it could have been their child that was in school that day.” He does not behave as if he’s been heckled or insulted. No one makes any further effort to interfere with the rest of his remarks.
Anyone who spoke up to defend Mr Heslin failed to give him the respect he deserves. He stated the facts about his awful loss and his innocent son in challenging circumstances. Vested interests and the media would be respectful to do the same…