Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse McCord Lewis was killed in the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, choked up today as he testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a proposed assault weapons ban.
"Jesse was the love of my life," he said. "He was the only family I have left."
Heslin called on Congress to take steps to reduce gun violence, saying, "There's many changes that have to happen to make a change effective. Mental health issues, better background checks, bans on these weapons, bans on high-capacity magazines — they all have to come together and they all have to work effectively... Common sense tells you that."
Addressing military-style weapons specifically, Heslin said, "Those weapons were used in a battlefield in Vietnam. They were used in the Persian Gulf, they were used in Afghanistan, in Iraq. The sole purpose is to put a lot of lead on a battlefield quickly."
The assault weapons ban, proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), is one of a handful of gun control measures that Congress is considering in the wake of Sandy Hook.
Most everyone agrees that an assault weapons ban has little chance of becoming law.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- How I lost all my money
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
Subscribe to the Week