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.