When a father testified about his murdered 6-year-old child…he got heckled. The unthinkable happened on Monday for Sandy Hook parent Neil Heslin, whose son, Jesse, was killed in the December massacre in Newtown.
While other parents of victims attended the hearing, Heslin also faced “gun-worshiping fanatics in the audience,” as described by msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell, while speaking in front of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety.
The response from NRA members and other gun enthusiasts came after Heslin posed a legitimate question to the room: “Why anybody in this room needs to have one of these assault style weapons or military weapons or high capacity clips?”
In his Rewrite segment on Tuesday, O’Donnell slammed the hecklers, saying their actions were completely misguided. “Heckling’s when you say something stupid from the audience. And when a speaker rhetorically or directly asks an audience why you need 30-round magazines and assault weapons, and you yell a response which is basically ‘I think the Second Amendment says I can have them,’ you have not answered the question about why you need them.” O’Donnell continued, “There are plenty of legal things for sale in America that we don’t need,” citing cigarettes as an example.
O’Donnell applauded Heslin’s “solid and emotional case about why no one in this country and no one in that audience needs massacre weapons.” He made sure to note, “That grieving father’s question remains unanswered by the gun fanatics in that audience.”
Twenty students and six educators died in the attack.