There's a lot of news surrounding gun control and legislation right now. You can go through any headline right now and find an angle. Want to talk about the NRA's crazy leader, Wayne LaPierre? The quotes coming from that guy are golden right now. Want to talk about the reaction to Obama's reinforcement of gun legislation, or the debates happening on the Hill? Plenty of that, too. What really gets me, though, are the references to a father being heckled. What for? For wanting better gun control.
It's just a blurb, really, a small part of larger reports currently going on about the issue of guns, the Second Amendment and how the nation proceeds from here. But it's heartbreaking, because under no circumstances should a father be heckled following the death of his child, regardless of your perspective on the issue. We're human beings first, not American citizens. Death, love, compassion, these are not national issues. These are human issues. So it's killer to read stuff like this:
"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.Here's a link from the Connecticut Post where the father is holding a large portrait of himself. The photo is copyright and can't be reposted here, but if you bother with the link, you'll see a man on the verge of a breakdown. We're talking about a debate in which parents of child victims at Newtown are urging for tighter gun regulation. They're not asking for guns to be taken away, they're not requesting rights be stripped. They're asking for tighter regulations. They're asking why Bushmasters are so widely available.
"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.
This may be an abstract concept for Second Amendment extremists, who are chanting "Second Amendment" while a father makes his plea. They have only the theoretical argument concerning their rights and the nature of gun control. This, however, is not theoretical to a grieving man who no longer has his child. This is reality and, in this sad reality, we can't even have a debate about guns without evoking the heckling of gun nuts.
That says a lot about the gun extremists, and should be reason to press on with these debates, as painful as they are for the parents involved. I'm not going to write about the thousands of people who attended the hearing, the lack of answers from the gun companies about how safety should be enacted or the jobs they say they create. This post is about a father being heckled following the death of his child, for asking questions about gun control. Think about that.