The Last Word | January 29, 2013
>>> and so on this the 46th day since the massacre of 20 first graders and six educators in newtown , connecticut, it has come to this. father of newtown victim heckled at hearing. neil hesslin, whose six-year-old son, jesse , was shot to death at sandy hook elementary school , testified at the general assembly 's bipartisan task force event. the hearing was attended by other parents of sandy hook , and it was attended by members and opponents of any form of ammunition or gun control . here is what led to a grieving father being heckled by the gun-worshipping fanatics in the audience, who wrongly believes what no supreme court justice believes that the second amendment grants them to have the right to have any gun available on earth.
>> i was raised in a house with guns, weapons, i started skeet shooting when i was 8 years old. i was educated on the safety of guns, my father was an avid hunter, i hunted since i was 8 or 12 years old with them.
>> i still can't see why any civilian, anybody in this room, in fact, needs weapons of that sort. you're not going to use them for hunting. even for home protection, semiautomatic, or an automatic weapon is one of the most inaccurate weapons out there. the sole purpose of those ar-15s, or ak-47s is put a lot of lead out in the battlefield quickly, and that is what they do. and that is what they did at sandy hook elementary school on the 14th. that was not just a killing. that was a massacre. those children and victims were shot apart. and my son was one of them. i just can't fathom why any of us need that in our society or in our home. why do we need 30-round magazines or cartridges, there is nobody in this room here that has the capability mentally or physically to take on 20 people or 15 people where you would need 30 rounds of ammunition. there is no reason for it. that school was a beautiful place. it was like mayberry going to that school in the morning. i never saw anybody that was not happy there. and we dropped him off that morning at 9:04. i saw the clock, we walked him into the school. he gave me a hug and a kiss, and he said -- he said, and i gave him a hug and kiss back. and he said good-bye. he said i love you. and he said i love mom, too. we were supposed to go back and make gingerbread houses that day. we never made it. 20 minutes after that, my son was dead. and there is no reason for it. there is no reason that adam lanza's mother should have had the weapons in that home, locked up or not locked up with a child that apparently had mental issues. a place to start is banning these weapons. there is no reason for these, no place on the street for them. we don't need these weapons on the street or in our homes. we don't. and i ask everybody to think about it, and everybody in this room whether you're in favor of guns or -- or in favor of banning them, to try to work together and come up with reasonable changes that work. and i think one place to start is with the regulations on background checks . thorough background checks for everybody who purchases a weapon, resales have to have thorough background checks . i think a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault-type weapons needs to be in place. i just can't believe what happened at newtown . i dropped -- we dropped jesse off at 9:04, and an hour and a half later i was back at that school. and it was like a military installation . s.w.a.t. team members, families in hysterics. state police from all over the state. fbi -- it was unbelievable. students there looking to be reunited with their parents. parents looking for their -- their children. i was looking for my son. i was looking for his classroom. they were never to be found. what -- some of the surviving students' parents told me, my son jesse yelled, run, run, now. he was in ms. soto's class, ten of the students survived. my son was not one of them. i hope that those words helped those children survive. we're not living in the wild west . we're not a third world nation . we have the strongest military in the world. we don't need to defend our homes with weapons like that. and -- you know, i wish -- i ask if there is 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 -- and not one person can answer that question or give me --
>> no, no, the second amendment shall not be at risk.
>> all right.
>> all right.
>> please, please, no comments while mr. heslin is speaking.
>> some right-wing websites sprung to the defense of the hecklers insisting that they were simply answering mr. heslin's question, but of course they were not. the question he asked was, and i quote, why anybody in this room needs to have one of these all the-style weapons, military weapons or high-capacity clips. and no one in the room answered that question. it was a why question. the best the hecklers could come up with was some quoting, phrasing of the second amendment. you hear one or two of them saying shall not be infringed, as in, a well-regulated militia, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. that is of course, not an answer to the why question, the question of why do you need a 30-round magazine or an assault weapon . and the supreme court has always held that the government can indeed ban certain specified firearms as long as the government does not ban all firearms. the supreme court , including the most conservative member, anton scalia , believes that the second amendment rights are not enfringed when the government bans certain specified weapons as it has done in the past. heckling is when you say something stupid from the audience, and when a speaker directly asks an audience when 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. there are plenty of legal things for sale in america that we don't need, none of us need cigarettes. if you ask me why i need cigarettes and i say to you because they're for sale i have not answered your question, i have just said something stupid. almost as stupid as smoking cigarettes. neil heslin made a solid and emotional case about why no one in this country and no one in that audience needs massacre weapons. and then he openly asked that audience if anyone there could give him a reason why they did need massacre weapons, and not one word, not one word that the hecklers spoke was a reason why. not one word. that grieving father's question remains unanswered by the gun fanatics in that audience, who did indeed