During a commission for fact-finding in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre, parents of slain children and family members of fallen educators have been invited to participate — and the father of Jesse White, a man named Neil Heslin, was heckled by attending gun rights enthusiasts as he broke down speaking of his murdered first-grader.
Jesse White was one of the six children in Victoria Soto’s class slain after they fled a hiding spot. From what police can piece together, White is said to have run from the classroom toward the sounds of gunfire, perhaps to provide aid to his friends and classmates.
Heslin appeared at some of the first hearings to discuss the Sandy Hook massacre and spoke of how his son had been raised with guns for sport, skeet-shooting, and hunting. But when Heslin questioned the necessity of the high-capacity clips used in the Sandy Hook shootings, attending Second Amendment enthusiasts began to actually heckle the grieving dad, interrupting his testimony about the incident to shout about gun rights.
Raw Story has one account of Haslin’s comments before the heckling began, and the dad is said to have commented:
“That wasn’t just a killing. That was a massacre … Those children and those victims were shot apart. And my son was one of them.”
Of Jesse and his murder, Heslin said to those gathered:
” … I never thought I would be laying him to rest. The happiest day of my life was the day he was born. He is my only son, my only family. The worst day of my life was the day when this happened.”
But when Heslin questioned the need for militarized weapons among civilians, a person in the crowd angrily interrupted by shouting to his question of necessity, “the Second Amendment!”
White’s dad said of the heckling:
“We’re all entitled to our own opinions and I respect their opinions and their thoughts … But I wish they’d respect mine and give it a little bit of thought.”